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Cheap labour replaced by technology
May '10
For firms displaying their products at the Textiles Sector Trade Show in Wellington, natural fibres, especially merino and possum are the hands-down winners.

About 85 people are employed with Christchurch's Weft Knitting Company that manufactures its exclusive merino-possum apparels domestically. According to an official from the firm, Britain was its biggest overseas sales market, generating revenue of $1 million annually, followed by Europe.

The firm has a yearly income of about $10 million and has invested in technology and machines, which are capable of manufacturing full apparels as opposed to panels that later required stitching of fabrics to create garments.

Another official from the company stated that, this new state-of-the-art technology placed the company an edge above China, wherein, producers were attracted by cheap labour. Since it's complicated, technology has not been welcomed whole-heartedly by the Chinese or the Eastern bloc, informed this official.

In order to produce natural fibres and merino apparels for retailers in Australasia, an Australian company, The Merino Company, has recently developed TMC Apparel Solutions in Christchurch.

The apparels will be manufactured in New Zealand or China, on the basis of whether the consumers required the 'Made in New Zealand' tag or wanted bulk quantity, wherein cost of the garments plays an important role.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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