What is exporting in the fashion industry?

What does exporting mean in fashion industry

What does export mean?

Exporting means sending goods and items from one country to another country. In the fashion exporting business, fashion items like apparel, shoes, home textiles, and fashion accessories, are manufactured in one country and shipped to other countries. The imported fashion items are later sold to the end consumers in the destination country.

Import and export are part of the global fashion supply chain. Export manufacturers get FOB orders from the buying countries. Then they procure the raw material and manufacture the ordered items in their factories and export to the destination countries.

Some apparel manufacturing companies made garments for 100% export purposes. They are known as garment exporters. It is considered that there are good profits in the apparel and fashion export business. You may be aware of Bangladesh which is known in the world for exporting millions of garments every year. In India, we also do a lot of exporting of garments and other fashion items to the USA, UK, and other European countries.

For facilitating export business there are promotion councils in the origin countries. Like in India, we have AEPC (Apparel export promotion council).

Who is an exporter?

An exporter is a company that manufactures fashion items and ship those manufactured fashion items outside of the manufacturing country.

Let’s say Shahi Exports, an Indian apparel manufacturer, makes dresses for the brand GAP, and GAP sells those imported dresses in their stores in the USA. Here Shahi Exports is an exporting company (exporter). Garments export is done from India. The origin of dresses is in India. On the other hand, GAP is an importer (buyer), and the USA is a garment importing county.

A company can also export apparel items without manufacturing them by itself. They take orders by their name from the other countries; they get the garments manufactured by garment factories through job work and then export to buyers.

Related article: List of garment manufacturers and exporters in India

Why do other countries import fashion items from exporting countries?

There are many reasons behind this. Here is a shortlist for your understanding.
  • Like in every business, fashion retailers and brands aim to increase their profit margin. So, they need their items made at the least price. For this, they source garments and fashion items from other counties where labor cost is cheaper. When they go outside of their border for souring, they need to import fashion items.
  • To keep the manufacturing cost low, garments should be made in volume. For that, manufacturers need to set up big factories. Setting up big factories and running them is difficult in many countries. So, the easy way to get apparel in bulk quantities at a lower price is by importing them.
  • Every country has some special skills of making fashion items. So, fashion designers and brands or even retailers prefer to import the best and unique products from the counties where they get them. India is known for exporting high fashion apparel items.
  • Source of raw material -
  • Facilitating developing countries for improving their economic growth and employment by sourcing millions of garments from developing countries.

Why do some countries prefer exporting fashion items?

  • Earning foreign currency is one motivating factor for setting up the manufacturing sector and exporting fashion goods to importing countries.
  • The fashion manufacturing industry is a labor-intensive industry. So, in some countries their Govt. consider the apparel manufacturing industry for generating employment for its population. They even provide incentives in many ways to motivate investors for setting garment export businesses.
  • For many aspirants who like to start their own business and have a passion for doing business in fashion items, they can fulfill their dream and follow the opportunity. They choose to manufacture fashion items. For selling their products they go for exporting business.
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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