IT is costing top international fashion labels more to produce their apparel in the republic, but that has not stopped them because manufacturers are able to comply with their design demands.
These requests range from making a shirt feel soft to sewing a skirt with a bias cut.
Textile and Fashion Federation president Edward Ang said factories usually made higher-end goods, which could be sold for a higher price. This makes it possible for Singapore to have higher-cost labour.
Such know-how is one reason American brand Eddie Bauer, for example, is willing to pay 10% to 15% more to make its smart-casual outdoor wear for adults in the republic, rather than in places like Vietnam and Indonesia.
At least five other top labels, including DKNY, Gap and Fila, also make some of their clothes here.
The result: The garment-making sector is booming.
In 2001, Singapore-owned textile and apparel companies exported S$4.2bil (RM8.82bil) worth of items, with their factories in 20 countries responsible for about three-quarters of that.
But though there are about 100 garment-making firms here, only a few big ones are in the export market. –The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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