Intimate Wear from Sri Lanka
Speaking volumes through intricate designs and details, the Sri Lankan apparel industry is a trusted companion of the global fashion industry. Apparel made under the ‘made in Sri Lanka’ label has championed the world of clothing, making powerful statements through the delicately woven fabric. One of the most widely celebrated export arms of the country, intimate wear produced in Sri Lanka is praised for its ability to provide quality, comfort and convenience simultaneously. Designed to suit the latest flavours of the fashion industry and sewn by highly skilled hands capable of putting even the best seamstresses to shame, Sri Lankan intimate wear is like a cloud-soft hug that comes in fabric.
Sri Lanka has an impressive portfolio when it comes to intimate wear. Nearly 5% of the global demand for undergarments is supplied from Sri Lanka. The country exports a range of bras, panties, lingerie, men’s underwear and women’s nightwear.
How Did the Sri Lankan Intimate Wear Industry Grow?
Due to the economic liberalisation reforms in 1977-1979, the Sri Lankan apparel industry saw accelerated growth, both on vertical and horizontal axes. This was further bolstered by the second wave reforms that followed in the first half of the 1990s. The Sri Lankan intimate wear industry, too, was a direct beneficiary of these economic reforms. As value-added products came out of Sri Lanka, by the end of the 1990s, the intimate wear industry had found its place in the fashion field with a well-developed customer base consisting of global high-end brands like Victoria’s Secret, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Tommy Hilfiger and Gap.
Notably, the buyer profile of Sri Lankan intimate wear didn’t include mass retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target. Instead, Sri Lanka catered to and partnered with speciality retailers and brand marketers like Mark and Spencer who sought greater variety and placed smaller orders that were per the country’s still-growing apparel industry capabilities. This was a blessing to the industry as it enabled closer relationships with global brands. Local manufacturers worked intimately with global brands and this allowed the imparting of technical, managerial and marketing savoir-faire that proved to be instrumental for the development of the Sri Lankan intimate wear industry.
Who Are the Main Buyers of Sri Lankan Intimate Wear?
Nourished through such rapports and growing at a brisk pace, it didn’t take Sri Lanka long to become one of the world’s most acclaimed intimate wear producers. Today, Sri Lanka is the second-largest exporter of undergarments to the USA and the EU, accounting for 10% of the supply to each market. Sri Lanka has successfully retained the customer base it had in the 1990s and still works with global brands like Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger and Mark and Spencer. 5 million out of 70 million panties produced per year by Victoria’s Secret comes from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also supplies 15 million bras, 10 million sleepwear items and 2.5 million swimsuits per year for various Victoria’s Secrets ventures.
Even with countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia providing relatively cheap apparel, Sri Lanka has been able to retain, and, more importantly, increase its exports throughout the years. The driving force behind this steady growth is how the Sri Lankan apparel industry functions. Or, in other words, the brand image that Sri Lanka has created through ground level practices in the industry.
How Is Sri Lankan Intimate Wear Produced?
Ethically Made Garment Without Guilt
Drawing attention to good workplace conditions and the rights of workers, the Sri Lankan apparel industry is 100% ethical and guilt-free. Sri Lanka is one of the first in the world and the only one in South Asia to sign the 39 ILO Core Convention. Honouring the convention, Sri Lanka ensures that each piece produced in the country is free of child labour, sweat-shop practices, discrimination and forced labour. Consequently, Sri Lankan, intimate wear has become a much sought-after symbol of guilt-free clothing popularized by the #whomademyclothes movement.
Attention to Sustainability and CSR responsibility
The Sri Lankan apparel industry is highly conscious of its sustainability and CSR responsibility. Spearheading the sustainability of the apparel industry, Sri Lanka is the proud home to Asia’s first green factory – Mihila by the Hirdaramani Group. In addition, the Sri Lankan apparel industry also makes sure to do its part towards society, implementing manifold CSR projects with every passing year.
A workforce that is highly skilled and sophisticated
Thanks to the public education system that provides free education up to the tertiary level, the Sri Lankan workforce is highly skilled. As research suggests, they are adept at comprehending and producing intricate designs and perform well on detailed work processes. Their skills and education aid them in colour management, sewing complex details, quality assurance etc., thus enhancing the quality and the aesthetic spirit of Sri Lankan intimates.
Who Are the Main Exporters of Sri Lankan Intimates?
The main manufacturers and exporters of intimate wear from Sri Lanka are Brandix, MAS and Hidramani.
As a leading apparel manufacturer in the region, Brandix produces lingerie and men’s and women's underwear. Located in Ragama, Sri Lanka, Brandix takes pride in producing phenomenal and innovative designs that provide the comfort the human body craves.
Apart from being a major supplier for global brands like Nike, MAS has also built its intimate wear portfolio. It launched its lingerie brand Amante in India in 2007, catering to Asian women mainly. Ultimo, their intimate wear partnership in the UK, has always been a celebrity favourite, with global icons like Mel B on the top of its client list.
Always giving priority to green apparel manufacturing, intimate wear produced and exported by Hidramani resonates with clients through their masterful melange of chic patterns and comfort to suit modern busy schedules.Discover Sri Lankan Exporters of Intimate Wear >