“In the 1990s and 2000s, lingerie manufacturers saw Sri Lanka as ‘the place to be’. Especially companies like Courtaulds and Coats Viyella made great efforts to transfer skills to Sri Lanka and as a result, there was a large manufacturing shift from the UK to Sri Lanka. Now, especially in lingerie, Sri Lanka has a very high skill base.
Adding to that, Sri Lankan apparel industry pioneers also invested heavily in building a robust raw material supply chain for the industry. Sri Lanka’s location along major shipping routes is also a plus. Before the pandemic, shipping lead time to the UK was only around four weeks,” he added.
Wacoal initially came to Sri Lanka in 2005 through a partnership with a leading Sri Lankan manufacturer. “We have been continually upscaling our operations in Sri Lanka and now employ more than 1200 in our team,” said Yeomans.
He revealed that despite the recent challenges faced by the island nation, production volumes of Wacoal Lanka – the Sri Lankan entity – have been maintained. Wacoal is eyeing further expansion of its manufacturing base in Sri Lanka, with two additional production lines being added in the coming months. In tandem, the company continues to invest in new technology. Wacoal, a market leader in the plus-size lingerie categories, promotes inclusivity and body positivity via women’s intimate wear with its extensive brand portfolio for Wacoal Europe which includes Wacoal, Fantasie, Freya, Elomi and Goddess.
“We saw far more of an impact from the pandemic, which caused challenges across all manufacturing bases, compared with the situation in Sri Lanka right now. We continue to have confidence in the country and believe strongly that we made the correct decision in continuing to invest in the country.
Despite challenges, Sri Lankan authorities understand the importance of the apparel exports industry and have continued to support the sector. Our team on the ground, similar to the rest of the country, has been very resilient and continues to meet every new challenge placed in front of them,” stressed Yeomans.
Source : dailymirror.lk