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Trinidad and Tobago’s New Garment Standards Increase Competitiveness

New quality standards for garment construction with expanded coverage of apparel not previously included in the official standards requirements has been drafted by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS).

The public has been invited to comment on the new criteria.

Designated as TTS 625:20XX, the requirements are imposed on certain construction aspects, finishing and presentation of both outerwear and innerwear apparel.

Drafted by a technical committee of fashion industry representatives, academic institutions, ministries and state agencies, business organizations and independent garment construction consultants, the new standards cover: coats, jackets, jac-suits tops, bush jackets, dresses, sleepwear, shirts, skirts, pants and shorts.

Foundation garments — panties, bras, briefs and lingerie — were also covered in the standards requirements, along with active wear and swimwear.  New standards for school uniforms will also soon be drafted.

The purpose of the new standards is to make garments manufactured in Trinidad & Tobago more attractive to foreign brands and retailers by improving construction and helping manufacturers develop quality control.

The garment industry in Trinidad & Tobago is small compared to giant manufacturing countries such as China and Bangladesh.  Bangladesh, for example, has an estimated 5,000 garment factories.  A Trinidad & Tobago directory of garment factories lists 68.

But there are advantages to sourcing in Trinidad & Tobago, according to at least one manufacturer of t-shirts which advertised the following:

Shipping rates are 50 to 60 percent cheaper than Far Eastern rates.

Shipping time to the US, Canada and Europe is about 7 to 19 days.

Delivery from time of order is approximately 30 days.

The production capacity tops 200,000 dozen per month.

Shipments are insured and carry a Quality Control Inspection Certificate.  Inspections are conducted by an independent inspection house in the US.

With the benefits cited above, including the new quality standards, Trinidad & Tobago seems likely to attract new business to its garment manufacturing facilities.