Colombian fashion on the rise

Published on 22 June 2018

Exports of Colombian garments and textile accessories have performed well at the beginning of 2018.

Colombia is not only known in the world of foreign trade for its good coffee, flowers and bananas, or fuel exports. Being one of the main places for the development of fashion in the region, the specialization of the workforce and the proximity to the United States, allow exports of Colombian clothing to be an important source of work and generation of foreign currency.

With the production of natural fiber pants in the lead, exports of Colombian clothing and accessories have shown a blip at the beginning of 2018, and between January and February grew 27% over the same period of the previous year. Denim pants (jeans) for men and those produced from other cotton fabrics, such as drill, have had a particularly significant boost. The table shown below shows the general progress of the most representative garments and textile accessories in its export offer.

Cotton trousers, cotton shirts, and the consolidated lingerie and swimwear industries are added. In fact, the coffee country is recognized as the origin of recognized brands throughout Latin America: its main market after the United States. In the following chart, you can see the importance of regional trade for Colombian clothing exports.

It is important to note that, while neighboring countries are important, Mexico and, above all, the United States, are the most important destinations. These countries serve both as points of sale, as distribution centers for transnational brands.

In general, the results show the exploitation of Colombian commercial openness, and the development of quality products recognized worldwide, as in the case of elastic fabrics (lycradas) used in underwear and swimwear. The most prominent tool, however, is the Trade Promotion Agreement with the United States, known as TLC. This allows the North American country to enter without tariffs, and boosts the competitiveness of producers to arrive with quality products at better prices.

If you follow the path of product development, there is no doubt that competitiveness will be assured, even in spite of the low costs of Asian production, the main competitor in terms of prices, but not quality, service or dispatch time. . As an example, it should be borne in mind that serving a textile order from South America can take 45 days, with one month of manufacture and two weeks of maritime journey; while doing it from China can take twice as much. On the other hand, there are typical elements of Colombian fashion that have managed to position themselves in the market, such as the aforementioned lingerie, and jeans lifts tail, very popular in the Latin American market within the United States.

For more information on Colombian exports, you can access the Veritrade page.
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