Blog: Asian suppliers take the initiative
Joe Ayling | 8 June 2009
A group of Asian garment suppliers last week launched an innovative solution to volatile demand from retailers in Europe and the US.
Using surplus stock originally planned to make clothes for now-collapsed Principles, five manufacturers decided to start their own online store under the brand name Epiq.
Whilst the website was originally started up as an emergency measure two weeks ago, Epiq has since added more stock and wants to expand the brand into the UK market.
With increasing responsibilities being placed on suppliers, such as design, warehousing and traceability, it is little wonder Epiq's initiative has hit the ground running.
Apparel and footwear makers in Asia currently have no choice but to adapt in line with a turbulent Western retail environment. And according to analysis by Clothesource last week, many are managing to do this.
The sourcing consultancy notes that the six countries making up 80% of Asian clothing exports - China, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka - have achieved export gains for the year so far in spite of sloping retail sales.
Successful manufacturers in these countries have managed to align themselves with retailers who continue to buck the trend, such as the UK's New Look, which last week posted full-year profits up 10.2%.
New Look's affordable fashion model resonates well with a recession-hit UK, and Asian suppliers ready to meet its design and pay structure can reap the rewards too.
Supply chain partnerships are make or break under the current climate, for suppliers and retailers alike.
By Joe Ayling, news editor.
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