Emerging technologies in Sri Lankan Apparel Industry
Amidst a growing competition from Asian and East Asian countries with Cyclopean trade zones dedicated to garment production, Sri Lankan fashion and Apparel manufacturers has succeeded in carving a unique niche through heightened ethical practices in labour and environment management.
Sri Lanka's bold initiative in promoting value against volume in a highly competitive global market succeeded in earning the country an export revenue of nearly Rs. Five billion through garment exports in the last year, placing the local fashion and garment industry as the top foreign revenue earner over traditional exports like Tea, coconut and tourism.
Today Sri Lanka has the highest per capita apparel exports in the Asian region and holds a greater possibility of reaching the Rs.8.5 billion mark by the year 2020 through the combination of local resources with global technologies.
Sri Lanka's garment manufactureshave already made giant strides in adopting state of art technologies at local manufacturing plants to provide high quality products to the leading brand houses across the world.
Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers' involvement in producing wearable electronics, e-textiles and smart clothings for the global apparel market and the use of environment friendly fabric treatment and colour processing ingredients in the production cycle too has established Sri Lanka as an innovative manufacturer of novel clothing and fashion solutions in the global market.
Moreover the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka (EDB) and Sri Lankan Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) promotes the use of new technologies in the areas of design management, inventory management and product life cycle management to improve efficiency and quality of the final product.
With a larger focus on developing designs within Sri Lanka; JAAF has also been encouraging the empowerment of local fashion designers and promotion of new innovative fashion designs combining traditional local designs and technologies with new global trends.
Today a large number of local fashion designers of swim wear, intimate wear, haute couture and casual wear has made a name in the global fashion scene with elegant, authentic designs made from environmentally and economically sustainable material.
The use of digitalised links by Sri Lankan Apparel Manufacturers has also enabled developing direct connections with apparel importers across the globe including in USA and Europe, which are the two main import destinations of Sri Lankan Apparel.
JAAF also seeks to completely digitalise the Sri Lankan apparel sector under the theme 'Sri Lanka is Future' with a view to attract large scale global government and cooperate sector attention to the Sri Lankan fashion industry.
The EDB also supports the Sri Lankan apparel industry by the way of organizing machinery sourcing and technology upgrading missions to trade exhibitions with a view to expose local manufacturers to the latest technological innovations in the world apparel industry
Building of technological awareness through Industrial tours and factory visits is also a major contribution of EDB to the apparel sector. These tours provide the participants an opportunity to adopt new technological innovations in their production facilities to reach high competitiveness in the international market.
Sri Lanka's apparel manufacturers also boast of extremely sophisticated manufacturing infrastructure, which ensures the security and safety of people as well as machineries at workplace.
Most of Sri Lankan apparel manufacturing facilities are LEED (Platinum) certified by the US Green Building Council attesting to their environment friendly status and use of extreme safety measures to protect people as well as equipments.
Built according to the global guidelines to reduce carbon footprint and to maximize the use of rainwater and solar power, these green factories also promote recycling of all the industrial and daily waste, use of biodegradable cleaning ingredients and complete filtration of water used in the production process to minimise the effect on the surrounding environment.