Production of apparel: What will change, what remain?
What are the most important production countries for the German apparel industry? And what role does Texprocess play for the sector? We asked Thomas Rasch of the association GermanFashion.
1) How important is Texprocess for the apparel industry?
As you know, the production of the German apparel industry takes place almost solely outside the country. State-of-the-art machinery is essential to ensure the high standards of quality demanded. Therefore, together with engineers from these foreign production sites, our member companies use Texprocess to find out about the latest technology and discuss the investments that will be required in the future. As at all fairs, Texprocess also provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions and to discover the latest trends.
2) What are the most important production countries for the German apparel industry? Why is the cooperation with these countries so successful?
China continues to be the most important import nation, well ahead of Bangladesh and Turkey. Although China is beginning to decline in significance, it continues to stand for very large quantities and has the great advantage of a complete textile chain. In other words, it is not necessary to important intermediate goods because they can be obtained there. In addition to the wage level, which is still competitive, China is distinguished by very well equipped factories, extensive production expertise and highly reliable suppliers.
3) Could Germany become more important again when it comes to the production of particularly ‘difficult’ materials or extremely high-tech garments?
In view of our high wage level and the fact that garment production is very labour intensive, I see no trend towards shifting production back to Germany. Instead, I see shifts within the most important production countries in the Far East. ‘Difficult’ materials meeting high standards of quality can be made all around the world. Hence, I only see Germany as a production site for niche articles that are capable of generating big margins on the market. The situation is different when it comes to technical textiles. In this case, many German companies with production facilities in this country are world-market leaders in many fields.