A supermodel shows off Victoria's Secret's latest line backed by design excellence; an Olympic swimmer cuts through the water, his evolved Speedo swimwear taking him closer to gold and glory; a six month-old baby grins as she tugs on her, comfy Baby Gap t-shirt with a look that screams 'Picture, please!'. Sri Lanka clothes the world, redefines industry frontiers, and connects global super brands such as Victoria's Secret, GAP, Liz Claiborne, Next, Jones New York, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Pink, Triumph, Ann Taylor, Speedo, Abercrombie & Fitch, Land's End, Marks & Spencer, Boss, Diesel Intimmissimi, Lululemon, Calvin Klein, Colombia, Boss, Decalthon, H & M, Ralph Lauren, Speedo, Sanmar, Levi’s, Tesco, Zalando, and Uniqlo.
Throughout the years Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers & suppliers have gained a strong reputation worldwide for ethical manufacturing of high-quality apparels trusted by the iconic global fashion brands. Sri Lanka’s apparel and textile manufacturing industry is the most significant and dynamic contributor to the Sri Lanka’s economy. Entirely privately owned and operated. Sri Lankan apparel and textile manufacturers have successfully utilized the opportunities in the international market to evolve beyond traditional exports and tailoring designs to provide sophisticated and creative solutions through fashion BPO services, research, development and innovation centres.
Apparel categories span sportswear, lingerie, loungewear, bridalwear, workwear, swimwear and childrenswear. These products are manufactured and exported with the flexibility of catering to specific seasons of many countries around the world; it is small wonder that this industry has enjoyed epic growth levels over the past four decades, and is Sri Lanka's primary foreign exchange earner today.
Sri Lankan apparel has evolved from traditional exports and tailoring designs to providing sophisticated solutions, creativity and experience in BPO services, Fashion, R&D, and Innovation Centers, bridging the country's gap between developing and developed. The country has the highest apparel exports per capita of any exporting nation in the region.
Organic growth is guaranteed through market penetration and capacity expansion. In addition, Sri Lanka's envisaged exponential growth through hub services will emphasise the industry's rise to the international fame. It is no surprise that Sri Lanka's top three apparel companies are already amongst the world's 50 most important suppliers, and in 2018 the industry’s aggregate export revenue amounted to US $4960 million, just shy of the high water mark of US $5 billion.
Several Indian retail brands count on sourcing from Sri Lankan factories attracting global brands to invest in Sri Lanka as an Indian Sub Continent Hub. A large UK retailer watches their cost and lead-time savings grow exponentially - and it all began when they set up their regional Supply Chain Logistic Hub in Sri Lanka. A number of European and Asian fabric suppliers store their fabric in Sri Lanka to support fast fashion, taking advantage of fast regional shipping times and clearing in less than 24 hours.
The USA and the United Kingdom have historically been the highest buyers of Sri Lankan apparel throughout the decades...and they continue to reap the rewards of their long time partnerships...Exports to the USA continue to surpass US$ 1 billion, and the EU contracts are worth over US $1.5 billion and have experienced substantial growth year on year…
Such global fame is in no small part attributable to the industry's profound commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. Environmental, social and economic sustainability are highlights of the industry.
Green manufacturing is more than a buzzword; Sri Lankan apparel industry has embraced this concept. Sri Lanka also demonstrates the best of technology in the garment industry, including the world's first eco-friendly "Green Garment Factory" that cut energy in half and water consumption by 70%. These factories have found business sustainability through the practice of lean manufacturing, with lowered overheads and faster return on investment. LEED Platinum and Gold Certified entities practice international standards of recycling, effluent treatment and waste management practices. A collective effort to reduce the carbon footprint has been made by Sri Lanka suppliers and manufacturers to make local apperal industry more eco-friendly and sustainable. Sri Lanka also abides by the regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Like any other industry, Sri Lanka's global fame and worldwide appreciation is attributed to the people behind the fabric. Sri Lanka is a socially responsible and preferred destination for apparel sourcing and is the only outsourced apparel manufacturing country in Asia to ratify all 27 ILO (International Labour Organisation) conventions. The local apparel industry stands out as a reliable source that pays fair wages to workers and actively discourages sweatshops and child labour. Apparel in Sri Lanka is free of discrimination, sweatshop practices and child labour and the guiding force behind this commitment to Ethical Business and Manufacturing is the homegrown "Garments Without Guilt" code which exceeds leading industry compliances.
The apparel industry provides direct employment opportunities to over 300,000 and 600,000 indirectly. Leading universities turn out highly qualified graduates each year, and talented individuals are exposed to the limelight through a number of local design festivals and trade shows. Working hand in hand with customers on forecasting trends and creating new customised ranges with innovative techniques, the future of Sri Lankan apparel is in safe hands.
Long term relationships with reputed multinational retailers who have identified standards of manufacture and compliance have led to economic sustainability. Association with global brands of international repute is not a mere business transaction but an exercise in maximising value of wealth creation for society. Sri Lanka is a producer of "Garments Without Guilt" the "Made in Sri Lanka" label is comfortably synonymous worldwide with the values of high quality, reliability, and social and environmental accountability.Why Sri Lankan Apparel?