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Friday, 19 November 2010






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Sri Lanka Fashion Forum begins

The Sri Lanka Fashion Forum will held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel from November 18 to 22 to support Sri Lanka’s Clothing and Footwear sectors at grassroots level.

London College Fashion Design and Technology School Specialist Ian Goff, Footwear Advisory Council Chairman Ranjith Hettiarachchy, Sri Lanka Apparel Institute Chairman Prof Lakdas Fernando, Industries and Commerce Ministry Additional Secretary Asitha K Seneviratne and Design and Craft London College of Fashion Programs Director Sreven Dell at the press conference. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

“At a time when the global competitiveness is getting fiercer it is important for us to get the basics right,” the Sri Lanka Apparel Institute Chairman Prof. Lakdas Fernando said. He said the clothing industry which is a main foreign exchange earner and an employment provider to this country is stuck in a groove, not being able to move up where it aspires to be or not being able to go down and increase volumes like Bangladesh.

The Joint Apparel Associations Forum’s strategic plan suggests an expectation of US$ 4 billion export in five years hence, from the present 3 billion dollars clearly shows how much we have got stuck in a middle to low value market segment. The clothing industry already suffering from, insufficient labour to run the existing plants to full capacity will face severe threats in trying to compete on wages with the hotel and hospitality industry in the near future. Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar and the country’s largest Apparel Exporter in his Keynote address at the World Textile Institute Conference in Manchester clearly pressed the point for a new business model for apparel manufacturing.

He said, ‘the Clothing industry is heavily fragmented stemming from the single-minded pursuit of cheap labour.’

Sri Lanka Fashion Forum is bringing to Sri Lanka two resource persons Dr Lynne Hammond from the London College of Fashion and Prof Rudolf Haug from the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences who are both working in Bangladesh, supporting and strengthening, Bangladesh’s thriving clothing industry.

According to Enterprise and International Development Dean Wendy Malem who will be a resource person at the Sri Lanka Fashion Forum, ‘Sri Lanka has the talent and intelligence to become a brand-led fashion economy over the next decade as a leader in new global market developments.’ Sri Lanka Fashion Forum’s one day workshop and seminar on Brand Development will show a different way for our industry to move forward.

Together with the Fashion Forum’s second event on November 20, we are focussing on two important areas that will underpin the key elements that can give the necessary support for a new way forward.

London College of Fashion Enterprise and International Development Dean Wendy Malem and Brand Specialist Toby Meadows who is the author of the International best seller ‘How to set up and run a Fashion Label’ will be conducting a workshop on November 20.


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