Sri Lanka eco-friendly apparel making gives edge: Marks & Spencer

Oct 01, 2010 (LBO) – Eco-friendly, energy and material-efficient apparel manufacture is giving Sri Lanka an edge over competition despite the loss of European trade concessions, Marks & Spencer, a UK-based retailer said.

M&S sells about 4.0 billion Sterling pounds of clothes a year and 21 percent of its products were bought from Sri Lanka, which was the second largest supplier after China.

Venu Nair, who heads the retailer’s South Asia regional office said orders to Sri Lanka had “plateaued” but were steady despite a global downturn and the loss of trade concessions.

“We have not seen a massive impact in terms of sourcing,” Nair said. “The last forecast, after (the loss of) GSP+, showed a marginal increase from the business we do here.”

“Because of the very high standards the factories that they have, they will continue to be important.”

Hundal said M & S had a strategy of giving value to customers rather than simply competing on price. “As far as we are concerned Sri Lanka continues to be a very important source for us and that will continue,” Krishan Hundal, head of sourcing offices and technology at M&S said.

“The standards in Sri Lanka is so good and so high; there is a huge amount of e