SRI LANKAN CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IS WHAT THE WORLD WEARS
Technology and innovation remain the most exciting sectors in the apparel industry and Sri Lanka despite its many challenges continues to be an innovation hub for the world of apparel. Having a clear vision with a diverse workforce whilst focusing on productivity improvements and being frugal in all our activities is what leads us to sustain such a successful industry. Driven by a clear purpose to care about who our products interact with and the impact it makes on our environment, the apparel industry drives technology and innovation in ways that are changing how the fashion industry works. With this rise of high-tech companies in the region many Sri Lankan textile manufacturers run their own IT subsidiaries and are equipped for change. It can be noted that with the industrial expansion we advocate Industry 4.0 whilst preparing for the next evolution which is industry 5.0, in order to be truly sustainable factories of the future. As a growing industry we maintain a strong bond with Government institutes and Universities to advocate the growth of the industry within the country. It is due to maintaining positive ties with Suppliers, Customers and constantly evolving our business models that it has enabled Sri Lanka to propel itself as the most preferred destination in Global Apparel Manufacturing.
AFFILIATIONS WITH LOCAL AND OVERSEAS TECHNICAL INSTITUTES
There is a commitment within the apparel industry to nurture people, their passion and their ideas and forming strategic partnerships especially with educational institutions. By equipping students with the tools and expectations of the corporate sector it has led to empowering learners across the nation through a number of verticals. As an ever-expanding industry, working with University students both locally and overseas whilst providing them with many avenues for delivery of expertise to the community and regularly employing graduates has led to creating professionals who can understand the dynamics of global business environment for Textile & Apparel Industry. This ongoing relationship between the two parties has helped students with their technical capabilities, competencies and professional work experience through competency building workshops and mentoring programmes. By working with the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology in the University of Moratuwa, The University of Peredeniya, and having institutes such as SLITA (Sri Lanka Institute of textile and apparel) and AOD hosting programmes such as “Innovation Island” , it advocates facilitating sustainable development whilst upskilling the potential, capabilities of the outcome into the fashion industry.
TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCT BREAKTHROUGHS
It takes collaboration, creativity and the ability to conquer challenges to deliver the promise of a vision in an innovative community. The Sri Lankan Textile and Apparel manufacturers have succeeded in achieving this goal by creating a unique niche through ethical practices in labour and environment management. With a combination of local resources and global technologies producing wearable electronics, e-textiles and smart clothing for the global apparel market whilst using environment friendly fabric treatment and colour processing ingredients in the production cycle, has established Sri Lanka as an innovative manufacturer of novel clothing and fashion solutions in the global market. This collaborative effort of the industry has led to the creation of next-to-skin washable illumination technology that can be integrated into any gear, controllable heating technology that can be seamlessly integrated into one’s clothing, reusable underwear along with anti-flush reducing clothing and even revolutionary 3D printed apparel delivering an exceptional celebration of design.
COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS FROM GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR
Industrial collaborations with institutes such as SLINTEC (Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology), it has further enhanced and led to an improvement to develop products produced in meeting the demands of the international marketsusing nanotechnology and other advanced technological solutions. By acquiring such intellectual property, conceptualization to create fabric through a high-tech functional coating has led to explore new areas in the technological manufacturing space.