Brass accessories form part of international fashion wear, and the EDB and the design and apparel industries have fused a partnership with the local crafts industry to create a product to cater to the global fashion industry.
“We want to graduate from being a supplier of apparel, to that of being a supplier of fashion,” EDB’s Director General Ms. Sujatha Weerakoon told reporters on Wednesday.
“We have got down international designers and they have been working with the local crafts industry for the past 1½ months in this connection,” added Chairman Janaka Ratnayake.
Asked whether anything fruitful had come out of this partnership? Ratnayake in reply asked reporters to attend the local design and crafts festival which kicks off at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel on Thursday, and see for themselves what has taken place.
“This fusion may lead to the creation of a Sri Lanka fashion brand,” he said.
Among the other crafts included in this project are silver, jewellery and Beeralu lace.
International buyers, designers and journalists are expected to attend this festival. EDB and partner organizations have spent more than Rs. 50 million on this show, with this being the second consecutive annual designs festival to be held in the country, while the crafts festival is being held for the first time.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, which is directly connected to this festival, is the island’s single biggest export.
Of late, the industry has been buffeted after the loss of the GSP+ duty free concession in exports to the EU, due to the Government’s alleged abuse of human rights (HR) in the final days of its successful war against the LTTE last year. Observance of HR is linked to this concession.
“The way out is to cater to the niche market,” said Ratnayake.
Sri Lanka’s share of exports in the global market, has, over the years been on a declining trend.