The acrimony and dust surrounding inhumane conditions under which garment workers of underdeveloped nations work, has begun to settle. Jordan is becoming a fancied destination for luxury apparel.


Jordan, a Middle Eastern country, has evolved into a textile hub. It is home to around 20 international brands. Jordan's customers include brands and retailers such as Liz Claiborne, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, J. C. Penney, Levi Strauss & Co., Columbia, Hanes, Eddie Bauer, Lands' End, Macy's New York Laundry, Walmart, Kmart, Limited, Sears and Victoria's Secret. Textile and apparel factories produce a vast range including towels, fleeces, frilly knickers and t-shirts.


In control and charge

Jordan has earned a reputable name worldwide in textile outsourcing. Made in Jordan tags are making a wave in the United States of America. In 2014, Jordan exported garments worth US$ 1 billion to that country. Overall textile exports account for 20 per cent approximately of the country's Gross Domestic Product. Jordan and the United States of America signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2001, following which the country's textile exports flourished.


Even though the country's textile and garment sector has encountered several snags in its path to glory, production does not seem to be slowing down. According to Jordanian Department of Statistics, Jordan's apparel and textile imports expanded to 12.43 per cent and reached US$ 202 million in early 2014.


Textiles and garments exports from Jordan grew by 9.87 per cent to 866.239 million Jordanian dinars (JOD) in 2013, against the exports of 788.417 million JOD in 2012. Knitted or crocheted apparel and accessory exports fetched the highest sum of 771.593 million JOD, followed by non-knitted garments with 38.112 million JOD. After the FTA, the country has easy access to markets of Europe, Arab world, Singapore and the United States of America. Low-cost and skilled workforce is another factor that goes in favour of the Jordanian textile industry. The Jordanian labour force has proved its versatility in the production of international branded couture and ethnic apparel. The market has shown its adaptability to demand.


In an interview to a leading fashion portal, Radhakrishnan Putharikkal, president of Classic Fashion, one of the leading garment manufacturing companies in Jordan said that he chose to set up shop in Jordan instead of Morocco or Tunisia, as that country provides a stable political and social environment.


Export is the buzzword

The Jordanian textile industry shifted its focus from natural fibre to man-made fibre so that it could face international trade liberalisation and survive competition from global textile industries that export to the United States of America.


Mohammad Khourma, chairman of the Jordan Garments, Accessories and Textile Exporters Association (JGATE) said, "Although man-made fibre production in Jordan entails higher costs, the FTA allows these garments in the United States of America at a lower price and, consequently, [Jordanian apparel is] more competitive and appealing to the consumers in the United States of America than other traditional clothing that floods the American market from so many countries."