In a market that craves newness and individuality, Lucky Print offers global trends with a dash of Indonesian culture.
When we think of the textile producers, China, India, Pakistan, and Thailand usually come to mind first. Few think of Indonesia, and yet the nation is home to a growing number of high quality mills.
One of the leaders is PT Lucky Print Abadi, a weaving and finishing mill located in Jakarta. Lucky, along with its sister company yarn spinner PT Benang Citra Indonesia, offers a stable and growing resource for cotton fabrics.
“Our mill is vertically integrated, so we can offer faster delivery. We can deliver three weeks after the design is approved,” said Lily Tamin, President and CEO.
Lucky Print finishes 2 million meters of printed and dyed fabric each month. That will increase to 3 million meters per month by 2020. It’s weaving capacity is 1 million meters per month, and will increase to 3 million meters per month by 2020.
About 65 percent of fabric that Lucky Print makes is 100% cotton, and is bought by brands including Uniqlo, GU, H&M, JC Penny, Tom Tailor, and others.
“People like cotton – both the international brands and our domestic brands. However most mills in Indonesia make polyester or rayon fabrics because we have no domestic supply of cotton,” said Ms. Tamin.
Importing cotton has the risk of price fluctuations. It takes three to four months to receive the delivery during which time the price could have changed a lot.
“Mills are always concerned about the price risk,” said Ms. Tamin. If cotton prices fall, customers expect fabric prices to be reduced as well. However, the mill might have actually paid a higher price when it ordered the cotton several months earlier.
Being willing to take a risk on importing cotton has created both a challenge and an opportunity for Lucky Print. While they must find a way to cope with the price risk, they have the advantage of being one of the few suppliers of cotton fabric in Indonesia.
The demand for cotton fabric is strong throughout Southeast Asia. Most of the nations within the region have big sewing industries but they have insufficient domestic supply of raw materials. While most rely on importing fabrics from China, an increasing number are looking to Indonesia as well.
The Difference is in the Materials
Even with strong demand, fabric and yarn are still very competitive industries. Survival often comes down to product differentiation – in terms of quality and innovation.
“We prefer US cotton. There’s less problems when spinning it because the quality is very consistent. This also comes through in the weaving process as well,” said Ms. Tamin.
“Buyers like to see that we are using US cotton. It has a good image and identifies us as using high quality materials in our yarns and fabrics,” she said.
“As a COTTON USA licensee, Cotton Council International provides us with a lot of support. They give us good market information and help us to meet potential buyers. They really help us to sell our products better,” she explained.
“Cotton will always be our main product. We are fortunate to have been able to work with COTTON USA since 1988. They guide us to think of the future and assist us with product development ideas and techniques. This has supported us in becoming a forward thinking textile manufacturer.
“Our consumers’ fabric preference is always cotton, and we like to use COTTON USA as our main material because it has less problems, and the quality is more consistent comparatively,” she said.
Ms. Tamin hopes that at some point there will be a cotton warehouse in Indonesia so mills could have better access and purchase more US cotton.
The concept has been on the table for a few years. A cotton warehouse was established several years ago, however few merchants or growers were willing to send their cotton to the warehouse. Growing demand in Southeast Asia might change this soon.
Eye on Emerging Trends
Lucky started in 1970 and is now a medium-size family-owned business. Over the years Its earned a reputation as one of the most reputable textile suppliers in Indonesia.
“We enjoy making high quality fasion products, and we continue to challenge our team to always look ahead and spot emerging new ideas in fashion. We want to be creative and innovative in developing new products that will support our global customers,” said Ms. Tamin.
Lucky Print’s designers do extensive global research on emerging fabric trends and work with the company’s Production R&D to create the "Lucky Trend Book" twice a year. The company also collaborates with local designers and fashion schools to organise a Spring - Summer Fashion show.
“We introduce our view on the emerging fashion trends, receive a lot of feedback, and this motivates our team to create increasingly better products,” said Ms. Tamin.