A quota-free environment in the apparel and garment industry in Sri Lanka could be addressed by improving the value proposition that the industry offers to its customers and developing competencies to build in talent design, product development and marketing, according to Mahesh Amalean, Chairman, MAS Holdings.
He was addressing the media this week in Colombo on the occasion of accepting sponsorship of Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2010 which will be held in November this year. The event is organized by the Academy of Design (Colombo) in partnership with Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
SLDF 2010 promotes Sri Lanka’s creative industries on a global platform by showcasing manufacturing capabilities, creative strength and ethical fashion positioning of Sri Lankan Apparel Industry. The Festival will be attended by international designers, design educationalists, journalists, retailers, buyers and opinion leaders which includes global brand leaders such as Marks &b Spencer, Top Shop, Tesco and many global labels.
Emphasizing the importance of designing in the apparel industry, Mr Amalean said that MAS established their Design Centre in 2005 and it enabled them to evolve from a contract manufacturer status to providing a design to delivery solution to their customrs and to build design expertise within their business. He said that their investment on a marketing arm and a design centre augmented their product and services offered to their customers.
He said, “Today MAS has design offices in the UK, New York, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, specially their core customers like Marks & Spencer and Victoria’s Secret”. They also have established a Research and Innovation Centre aiming to consolidate in product, technology and process innovation. They were able to introduce new innovative products that provided better comfort, fit and performance.
He said that in addition to the innovation in product and technology, the introduction of Lean Manufacturing brought about innovation in process, completely revolutionizing MAS’ manufacturing process, improving quality, eliminating waste, reducing total cost and most importantly reducing the lead time from order to delivery, providing their customers the opportunity to place orders close to the season and enabling them to sell a larger percentage of their merchandise.
Linda Speldewinde, Managing Director, Academy of Design (AOD) said that Sri Lanka is ready to make its contribution to the world of fashion and design and they want the Sri Lanka Design Festival to facilitate Sri Lanka’s debut in the world of design.