As the world continues to evolve with emerging trends, so does the apparel industry continue to change adopting new trends. Here’s a look at five [05] international trends that are starting to take root in Sri Lanka. Leading the charge is one of Sri Lanka’s largest apparel manufacturers – Star.

  1. Brands taking a more active role in aiding government/ nation during a crisis – the recent COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world, leaving no nation untouched is a prime example of how many apparel manufacturers have stepped up to aid their nation. Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers, besides manufacturing and providing free safety gear for hospitals and front liners, have also gone as far as to export protective masks and PPE safety kits to the USA, to bridge the gap in product shortages, etc.
  2. Creation of tech and fashion influencing apparel – Apparel manufacturing is now looking down the barrel of “weird”, as a shift in trend has led to the use of technology in fashion. This trend is in its infant stages but has the apparel industry on its toes to start new units equipped with the expertise to manufacture and manage these garment desires.
  3. Cultivating an online presence – As the marketplace evolves, both legacy and emerging brands must increase their online presence and use big data and analytics to offer more personalized solutions and capture a bigger share of the market.Through marketing to a wider audience, creating brand awareness – apparel industry brands are able to cultivate longevity, sharing with the masses their brand story and ethos.
  4. Closeness to markets/ Near-shoring will be important – Buyers are increasingly looking for full package suppliers who can give them variety and quality in the shortest time period at reasonable costs. The closeness of manufacturing destinations to their respective markets becomes an advantage, given the current pandemic conditions as well as the overall reduced cost for import. Many European brands have already adopted this trend of near-shoring for its fast-fashion sourcing requirement from Turkey, Tunisia, etc while sourcing its bulk orders from established suppliers in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, and India. While earlier manufacturing shift occurred on the basis of low cost, the next shift will be driven by the competitive advantage of countries and closeness to major markets.
  5. Evolving to achieve manufacturing and supply chain excellence, through
    • Changing demand & supply dynamics – shorter product cycles and faster launches. Also, there is a shift from high volume, low mix to low volume, high mix in terms of the product basket that brands have to offer.
    • Ever-evolving technology – Star is driven by innovation, sustainability, collaboration and a commitment to quality as the brand understands that technology has been the major driver of any industrial revolution. The new trends are inclined towards automation and efficiency in production as well as gaining scale in advanced material, robotics, nanotechnology, AI, and IoT.
    • And a strong emphasis on sustainability – Growing population and changes in lifestyle require the development of new technologies that will be able to reduce the use of resources (water, material, energy, etc.). Understanding that it is here that Sustainability led manufacturing will prevail, Star launched South Asia’s first Passive-House concept in 2007 – a 70,000 square foot Innovation Center where ideas are transformed into products with sustainability at its heart.