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Different Technological Methodologies Used in Garment Industry

Apparel Manufacutring technological advancements adopted by different countries

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In this article technologies adopted for production preparatory process, production process and post-production process used in the garment manufacturing industry and the level of technology that is used for each process commonly used by different countries viz. India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.

The research purpose is to learn about the machinery used in various processes i.e., Production Preparatory Process, Production Process and Post-Production Process of garment manufacturing industry and the level of technologies used by different countries in different processes. It is important to know the advancement in the industry so that the implementation of new technology can be proposed.

This research paper will cover the importance of technology in the garment industry. Study of the apparel industry in India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Defining various production preparatory process, production process and post-production process used in the garment manufacturing industry and the level of technology that can be used for each process. Different countries adopting the different technological methodology.

This research article is different from previous related research as it gives the overview of all the process used in the industry with the information of the level of technology being used in each process and how other countries are using different techniques for the same process. The research is done with the help of studying data from various published and related websites about the technologies being used in the garment industry.

Contributors: Aryan Rathore, Prince, Sneha Mahto, Somya, Suyash Prakash, Nilima Regina Topno

Introduction to Apparel Industry

The apparel industry includes companies that operate by manufacturing, producing, and supplying apparels for several purposes. Garment production is a systematic activity comprising of sequential operations such as laying, marking, cutting, stitching, checking, finishing, pressing and packaging. It is a procedure of converting raw materials into finished products.

Garment manufacturing comprises many processing steps, starting with the design concept and ending with a finished product. The apparel manufacturing process involves various processes, broadly divided into production preparatory process, production process, and post-production.

Production preparatory is a collection of work carried out before mass production. It involves fabric inspection, shade segregation, preparing GRN, pattern making, cut order plan, fabric Spreading, lay marking, lay cutting and relay of check fabrics.

The production process includes sewing of fabric panels with the help of a single needle machine, double-needle machine, overlock machine and feed of arm, fusing, embroidery and button attached.

The post-Production process includes garment pressing, folding, carton packing and thread cutting.

Apparel Industry in India

India is one of the world’s leading textile manufacturers. The Indian textile and textile industry is characterized by its strong vertical integration and presence in almost every sub-sector of the industry from fibre to export and export garments.

India’s ability to produce both man-made textiles and textiles, its availability of workers in line with the spirit of business reflects a strong environment thus guaranteeing long-term growth prospects in the Indian textile and clothing industry. In 2016, the textile industry accounted for 10% of the manufacturing sector, 2% of India’s GDP and 13% of total exports.

India is the seventh-largest economy after the United States, China, Japan, Germany, the UK and France. The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2015 at current prices stands at USD 2.095 trillion which accounts for 3% of the global economy. Critical economic factors such as oil prices, foreign investment, the government’s goal of reform, etc. have become commonplace in the economy. India has been the fastest-growing global economy with a GDP growth rate of 7.6% in 2015 and an expected growth rate of 6.6%, 7.2% and 7.7% in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. GDP per capita in India was regularly recorded at the US $ 15983 in 2015.

India lags behind other emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and Russia etc on per capita income, however with the change in the social and economic framework in India capita revenue is expected to increase. And the number of middle-aged people making up a large chunk of private use is expected to increase. According to the World Bank population, the emerging middle class is expected to reach about 60% of the country’s population by 2025, making India the fifth largest consumer market in the world.

Apparel Industry in China

China is known for its apparel industries. It’s the second-largest in the world after the USA. The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2015 at current prices stands at USD 11.008 trillion accounting for 15% of the global economy. It is one of the most powerful emerging economies in the world and recorded real GDP growth of 6.9% 9 in 2015. China’s GDP is expected to grow by 6.7% in 2016, 6.5% in 2017 and 6.0% in 2018.

China’s clothing market remains one of the fastest in the world. The GDP per capita in 2015 in China was USD 8027.7010 and private consumption accounted for 37% of the country’s GDP. International brands and independent labels enter tier-II cities such as Dalian (Liaoning province), Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Wuhan, etc., in addition to the four fashion destinations Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

China is the largest supplier of clothing at ~ 37% (USD 162.3 Bn) of exports in 2015. Shipping of goods is ~ 7% of total export nationwide. Exports have grown at a CAGR of ~ 6% during 2010-15. It is noteworthy that there has been a 6.4% decline in exports in 2014-15, which has led to rising labour costs, a decline in the Yuan and a global recession. The leading export partners for clothing are the USA, Japan, the U.K, Germany and South Korea accounting for ~ 44% of the exports.

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China has dominated the textile and clothing industry for decades; however, it has recently faced challenges. China’s rising wages have led to the withdrawal of business from China to emerging markets in South and South-East Asia. The purchasing power of the commodity is changing around the world with new trade agreements that favour emerging markets with cheaper labour and relatively low production costs.

Apparel Industry in Bangladesh

Bangladesh stands at the 2nd position in Readymade Garment Exporter (RMG), after China. 81% of the total exports of the country comes from this sector. 20%of GDP is contributed by the Apparel sector. 20million people are given employment in the apparel industry which can be seen as the major driving force of the country’s economy.

With the help of the RMG sector, the country intends to take the title of a middle-income country by 2021. They are trying to catch the goal of achieving apparel exports worth $50 billion by the end of the year. The Export Promotion Bureau showed a tally about the overall export of the country which stated a 5.18% growth in the financial year 2018, which added the sum to $36.67 billion owing to the Apparel sector. And in this year, it rose by 8.76% which was said to be 1.51% higher than the set target.

The hardworking labour force is the main reason leading the apparel industry in Bangladesh. To complete the target the worker, try to put extra effort into the system. Eventually, the per capita income of the country is improved which in turns improving the living standards of the citizens. Also, the country acquired an opportunity to trade with American and European countries.

Many global retail brands look up to this country because of the technology and quality compliance parameter in its apparel manufacturing systems. They have built excellent vertical capacities, which previously was offered only by China. It also helps global brands to more transparency in their supply chains.

Apparel Industry in Vietnam

Vietnam’s major industries are the textile and garment industry. The textile and garment industry produces the second-largest export turnover in the country. Vietnam saw a continuous growth of an average rate of 17% annually in its textile industry in the last 5 years.

The garment and textile industry of Vietnam includes three sub-sectors

  • Upstream sector i.e., fibre production
  • Midstream sector i.e., fabric production and dyeing
  • Downstream sector i.e., garment manufacturing

Low-quality production of the fabric and fibre by the sub-sectors leads to only domestic consumption. Around 70 per cent of the total garment sector is accounted for by the garment manufacturing sector that is downstream, the main activity in this is cut make trim activity. Vietnam exports its garment products mainly to the US, Japan, Europe and South Korea. Despite having great cotton cultivation potential Vietnam imported cotton in 2019.

COVID-19 pandemic harshly hit Vietnam’s garment and textile industry. Vietnam had a raw material shortage because the industry suspended the input production from china along with the pause on exports to the US and Europe led to revenue loss and job loss. The industry faced a loss of about US$508 million by June 2020.

The country decided to produce a face mask to solve the problem of suspended orders and raise demand in the domestic and international market. Vietnam’s local manufacturers produced 40 million face masks per day on average and the whole garment sector produced 100 million face masks per day.

Vietnam is one of the top textile producer and apparel exporters.

Apparel Industry in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s biggest industries are design, manufacture and textile exports and apparel production. They play a key role in improving the country’s economy.15% of the country’s workforce gets employment from Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. Half of Sri Lanka’s exports consist of its apparel exports. One of the top apparels producing countries in the world relative to its population in Sri Lanka.

  • The apparel industry is Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner.
  • Sri Lanka employed 338,704 employees in 2021 of which 80% were female.
  • Sri Lanka is highly supported by the multi-national companies introduced to it through globalisation.
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