Industrial upgrading in the apparel value chain and the role of designer in the transition: Comparative analysis of Sri Lanka and Hong Kong

Gopura, Sumith, Payne, Alice, & Buys, Laurie (2016) Industrial upgrading in the apparel value chain and the role of designer in the transition: Comparative analysis of Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 4(4), pp. 103-112.

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The apparel industry is a major export industry in Sri Lanka that depends upon labour intensive manufacturing. The Sri Lankan apparel industry is transitioning from Cut, Make, Trims (CMT) assembly and Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) to Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) and Original Brand Manufacturing (OBM), experiencing the economic benefits of apparel product export. The transition relies on having expert professionals who can provide creative, commercial, technical, and leadership skills in the process. In order to identify the creative roles and responsibilities that can contribute to the industrial upgrading process in Sri Lanka, this paper first provides an analysis of the global apparel value chain and the journeys of the countries with newly industrialized economies (NIEs) in the region. Second, a comparison of Hong Kong and Sri Lankan apparel industries contextualises the development of fashion design within each nation’s industry as a competitive advantage. In each country we examine three factors that demonstrate growth in fashion design: development of fashion design education; development of exportable own brands; and the establishment of local showcases to a global audience. The examples of both Hong Kong and Sri Lanka demonstrate the ways in which creative roles may act as a bridge between production and marketing networks, buyers and producers in maintaining and building industry value-adding for highly sophisticated and competitive fashion production systems. Although the Sri Lankan apparel industry has not progressed as far as Hong Kong in this arena, evidence suggests the industry is actively growing design capabilities.

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ID Code: 101558
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Apparel value chain, Industrial upgrading, Fashion designer, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong SAR
ISSN: 2350-8442
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: 2016 The Author(s), with first publication rights granted to APJMR.
Copyright Statement: Copyright of this article is retained by the author/s, with
first publication rights granted to APJMR. This is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of
the Creative Commons Attribution license(http://creative
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2016 00:52
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2016 21:20

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