Blog: Got to Guatemala
Leonie Barrie | 5 May 2004
Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, what with making sure you get to the airport on time, no delays or missed connections, and of course that you haven't forgotten vital pieces of travel documentation like passports and tickets. In this case the latter didn't matter to me; DHL managed to mislay my tickets so I set off for the airport not actually knowing whether I would fly or not! Luckily it was fairly easy to persuade Continental to reissue the ticket - for a fee of course - and it was with a huge relief that I touched down in Guatemala City 22 hours later. Never mind the culture shock - and with 75 per cent of the population below the poverty line there certainly is one - it was just good to check into my hotel.
Two days into the trip and I've already visited six companies making everything from fabrics to lingerie. Luckily they've all been located in and around Guatemala City, and the road network seems pretty efficient so it's been easy to get from one to another - although hurtling along to the sounds of Erasure and Haddaway remixes is a pretty surreal experience.
Another surprise is the amount of investment into the industry by South Korean firms; to put it into perspective, I was told today that 78 per cent of clothing manufacturers in Guatemala are South Korean-owned businesses, many of whom have set up here to take advantage of its quota-free benefits and close proximity to the US. One such company, T-shirt maker Shin Won, sits between two volcanoes, one of which looked pretty active. When I asked when it had last erupted, it was a bit of a shock to be told: "This morning!"
One thing that hasn´t caught me unawares is the amount of time being given over to the CAFTA question. Will it be passed or won't it, and what are the implications either way? The concensus seems to be that it has to happen; the alternative is too depressing for many to contemplate and being left in a state of limbo while the politicians grapple with the minutiae of the agreement is already holding up investment into the country. No doubt this is something that will be aired again over the next few days as we move into Apparel Sourcing Show mode. A breakfast with the country's president kicks off the opening day tomorrow.
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...
- Apparel factory auditing is in the firing line
- How US border adjustment tax could affect apparel
- Trump and the apparel industry – Infographic
- "Buy American, Hire American" to guide Trump trade
- Ten retail trends to watch for in 2017
- Trump signs order to withdraw from TPP
- UK clothing factory workers paid half minimum wage
- Brands need to tackle Turkey factory refugee abuse
- Patagonia launching circular economy platform
- Auditing "in need of reinvention" says new project
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022