Fast and affordable. Those are the two words Peru wants sourcing managers to add to the list of benefits for producing in the region. While many already recognize the country for high-quality inputs and finished garments, that reputation has also led to the perception that the factories there are the exclusive domain of high-end brands.
Not so, say Peruvian manufacturers. The country is now promoting what retailers like Costco, TJ Maxx and JC Penney have already learned, Peru is flexible, capable and competitively priced. These attributes will be the top talking points at this month’s Première Vision trade show in New York, where more than 20 Peruvian factories will be exhibiting.
There, the firms will have the opportunity to address how they are uniquely positioned to offer the fast, affordable production that’s so sought after by U.S. brands today.
The first message: No brand should feel priced out of Peru. While the factories there produce for high-end clients like Barney’s, some also produce for fast fashion retailers like Forever 21.
Though the prices may not compare to rock bottom sourcing destinations, they say, they are competitive. And the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Peru helps to keep prices in line.
Ramón Véliz, vice president of the Apparel Committee at Lima Chamber of Commerce, said the old adage is true, you get what you pay for. “Our prices are not the same as the ones you can find in countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh or Cambodia, but our quality in fabrics and CMT are not the same either,” he said.
What you also get with Peru is a quick-turn option. At a time when brands are looking for solutions that will allow them to be as agile as possible—placing smaller orders with the hope of rapid reorders if the goods sell through— location becomes a bigger factor. Peru is close and in the same time zone as the east coast of the U.S.
Luis Antonio Aspillaga, president of the same association, said this is becoming a big competitive advantage for Peruvian companies.
“I think more and more mid/mass tier clients will be looking at Peru in the near future, since the strategy of ‘cheap is smart’ is shifting to ‘fast is smart,’” said Aspillaga. “This means clients will be willing to pay a bit more to have their goods faster.”
Nowadays, some companies can deliver goods 45 days after receiving an order, and also working to trim even more time out of the schedule. Aspillaga attributes Peru’s vertical integration for making this possible. “The key is yarn,” he said. “Peru has a big spinning capacity that is working at 60 to 70% capacity not many countries in the region have yarn suppliers so close to the garment manufacturers.”
Of course, Peru is known for the durability, luster and hand of Pima cotton as well as the versatility of Alpaca, but the country is also actively producing and importing synthetics, incorporating materials with technical properties and working with recycled materials, as well.
Many factories in Peru offer the complete package including design, technical specs, patterns and artwork.
Véliz said “The company’s vertical set up allows it to control quality, work efficiently and adapt to a variety of order sizes”.
The best of Peruvian manufacturing and innovation will be on display in NYC at Premiere Vision on July 18th & 19th with thanks to Promperu and the Trade Commission of Peru in New York.
For additional information on manufacturing in Peru and to attend the show, contact: Marni Leopold of the Trade Commission of Peru in NY, firstname.lastname@example.org.