The Woolmark Company's Out of Vietnam project set its sights on helping Vietnam become a top 5 global clothing and apparel manufacturer by 2020.
One year into the program, Woolmark has reported making significant inroads to building up Vietnam's wool supply chain with the goal of helping them become a major world player in the garment supply industry.
"When we embarked on the Out of Vietnam project just one year ago, the original plan was to have 12 manufacturing partners on board by the end of June 2013,” statted Jimmy Jackson, Woolmark Company’s general manager for product development and commercialization. “But because of the keenness of the Vietnamese industry, today we have nearly 50 companies."
The Out of Vietnam project has been successful in bringing aboard new manufacturers that produce sweaters, socks, accessories, sportswear, underwear and quilted products out of Woolmark's Australian wool.
Throughout the first year of the project, the Woolmark Company has been focusing it's efforts on creating long-term manufacturing relationships, teaching their manufacturers new technologically advanced production techniques, and ensuring their products are of the highest quality.
Beginning in July, buyers from Japan will be traveling to meet with Woolmark's Vietnamese manufacturing partners and evaluate the viability for potential retail and brand introduction. Once the highest quality product is achieved, Woolmark will begin marketing to European and US brands.
A wise investment.
With growing tensions and the escalating numbers of garment industry disasters in many parts of Southeast Asia, Vietnam is an up-and-comer in the apparel production industry. The Vietnamese Department of Trade and Industry strongly supports this initiative and others that strive to build sustainable, safe, and value-adding supply chain relationships in Vietnam. To Australian wool suppliers, Vietnam represents a fresh start and a great opportunity to build profitable manufacturing relationships before the country becomes overly commoditized as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, and others have.
As apparel manufacturing constantly shifts around the world, who will be the next powerhouse?