Cebu's high-end garments niche cited

September 4, 2009 CEBU CITY – Apart from the worldwide popularity of Cebu-made furniture, home furnishings and fashion accessories, the province has strongly maintained its position as a favored manufacturing base for high-end garments, an industry player said.

With local garment exporters leveraging in the upscale market, Cebu Garments Industries Association (CIGA) founding member Samson Tiu said Cebu is still the preferred manufacturing and designing site for popular international apparel brands. He said this is driven by the highly skilled workers and designers in the local garment industry.

Among the branded apparels manufactured in Cebu are Calvin Klein, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Nautica, Abercrombie and Columbia Sports Wear.

“There are still so many brands (in the ladies' wear category) that are made in Cebu,” Tiu told the Manila Bulletin.

In the past, he said some clothing lines of famous underwear brand Victoria's Secret were made here but Tiu said the company has already pulled out its Cebu outsourcing operation.

Still, he stressed Cebu's garment industry remains competitive in contrast to the overall export sector which has contracted largely due to the global financial crunch in 2008.

While local garment export players recognize China's lead in capturing the bulk of the world's offshore market for garment manufacturing, Cebu always has its edge in terms of the brand owners' requirement for upscale quality and design, Tiu said.

“Quality workmanship is still our strength and unbreakable niche; we have to capitalize on this," he added.

Driven by this optimism, Tiu said CIGA is determined to rejuvenate the organization and boost the confidence of surviving garment exporters. (Manila Bulletin)

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