CEO Stretchline Holdings, MAS Fabrics
What is your opinion about the global luxury lingerie market?
There’s always going to be a market for high end apparel but there is an increasing demand for high quality apparel at more affordable price points. As economies still recover from the downturn, the appeal of 'affordable luxury’ has grown and some luxury brands have therefore increased accessibility and visibility of the brand to a wider market. However, it is also true that consumers especially in the west are turning to smaller luxury purchases which include lingerie. Furthermore, lingerie being a technical and highly functional garment benefits from the association with higher quality craftsmanship and raw materials. Luxury lingerie brands therefore have a huge opportunity today to position themselves for growth in the current market context.
How can water/energy consumption at apparel factories be reduced at a considerable rate for sustainability?
Everything from renewable energy sources to re-using water and steam and effective structural layouts that optimise natural lighting can make a significant impact on the industry footprint and the bottom line simultaneously. For example, we re-use wastewater for temperature control, we depend on biomass boilers and have also introduced several measures to effectively manage our electricity consumption through power capacity banks and energy efficient cooling systems. As a result of these practices, we have saved approximately 26.4% of total electricity consumption over the last two years and reduced our carbon footprint by a massive 33% since 2010. In 2013 we will be dependent on renewable sources for upto 40% of our total energy requirement.
Do you feel that the textile market has been suffering because the rising costs? What are your suggestions to curb this?
The rise in the cost of raw materials is impacting the value that a supply chain can deliver and it is therefore imperative that apparel and textile manufacturers adopt a lean approach to manufacturing. Lean Enterprise has always been at the core of our group as it enables us to maximise resources to deliver value for money solutions to our customers. This means that there is a systematic approach to eliminating waste and identifying continuous improvements across the value stream. The increasing price of energy has also posed a significant challenge for the industry which will cease to be viable if it does not embrace the vast gamut of sustainable practices available.
Stretchline is a leading global brand in narrow fabrics. What are essentials for a brand to position itself in the global market?
Stretchline has built its brand on delivering newness, quality and service consistently and spreading its reach globally to meet customers at their doorstep. By investing in strategic 'needle point’ locations, Stretchline has been able to grow to become the only global brand of elastic. This success of Stretchline and its ability to offer innovation to the customer has further propelled MAS Fabrics to become a major contributor to Sri Lanka’s success in intimate and active wear.
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