Sourcing shifts – Where next for apparel sourcing?
Once clothing sourcing was all about China. Not any more. New manufacturing hubs offer a new competitive edge, while sourcing closer to home is a more commonly considered option. But this multiplicity of choices can bring its own headaches, requiring brands and retailers make subtle, complex and fluid purchasing decisions to keep ahead of the competition. We take a closer look in this month’s management briefing.
Once clothing sourcing was all about China. Not any more. Recent years have seen a decline in China's export industry, especially in labour-intensive sectors such as clothing and footwear manufacturing, because of rising labour costs and an appreciating Chinese yuan. But while many China garment makers are moving out or moving online, production shifts are not necessarily a linear process.
Regardless of the debate about whether China is losing its shine as a clothing source, brands will always be looking for a competitive edge in new manufacturing hubs.
While international clothing buyers today have a lot of sourcing choices, this multiplicity of options can bring its own management headaches, making it important that brands make subtle, complex and fluid purchasing decisions to keep ahead of the competition.
With fast fashion demands growing and China's costs rising, sourcing closer to home is a more commonly considered option for apparel brands and retailers.
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