“Under the current economic situation, fashion is less of a driver for garment sales. Consumers want to buy something of better quality that can last a bit longer,” said Ricky Yee (余斯伟), director at Eastco Industries Ltd.
Today’s consumers want good quality clothing that lasts longer, but that doesn’t mean that visual appeal is no longer important. Instead, “if you want to persuade the customer to buy something, it has to be something special. People don’t want something that is only fashionable for one or two seasons, but they also don’t want something they already have in their closets,” said Aka Chan, business general manger at Rico China Limited 益勤中国有限公司, commenting on the continual demand for newness.
Make It Fast!
Today speed to market is the key. In a changing market, full of uncertainties, brands understand that the profits often lie in the ability to implement agile inventory management. This of course hinges upon finding agile suppliers.
Eastco Industries Ltd. (东勤实业有限公司) is one of the few mills that can offer good quality at affordable prices, while achieving quick response. The Hong Kong-based company has an annual turnover of US$30 million and an 8 million meter per month fabric finishing capacity.
Fabric suppliers play an increasingly pivotal role in the apparel supply. More brands are trying to implement a fast fashion model, however, only a few suppliers meet the short lead times, while also maintaining the quality.
Quick response is exactly where Eastco is exceeding expectations. Eastco has sewing and washing facility in its Hong Kong office, which enables the company to make the samples and sends them to customers within a day.
“We have people in our office to do the sewing. We have ten machines here to do the finishing. Our warehouse is just down the corridor. We also have a warehouse on Castle Peak road to stock all the fabrics. If a customer wants something we can deliver within a day. We sew it here, do the wash and send out to our customer via courier,” said Mr. Yee.
For Eastco, quick sampling is just a part of the quick response. Quick response is being a step faster on a chain of actions. Mr. Yee explained how Eastco differentiate itself with other players: “We provide inspirations. Work with designer to make sure the ideas turn into sellable products. Help our customer to make the samples, and delivery it to customers quickly. There are few people in the market can to what we do.”
Faster – and Smarter
Having accurate market intelligence plays a key role making better business decisions. “We’ve subscribed to Inside Fashion for over 10 years. It’s a valuable source of accurate market information on sourcing, what brands are doing and what’s happening on the supplier-side of the market,” said Mr. Yee.
“Nowadays, we counting time by hours instead of days,” said Ms. Chan, “We have the advantage that we can service the buyer faster than other mills. Customer can buy from Eastco before other mills even has their samples ready.”
Eastco was established in 1987. The Hong Kong-based company’s core business is fancy/novelty fabrics with special weaves and coatings. Eastco has an 8 million meter monthly capacity for fabric finishing.
Better quality at Affordable Prices
It is a tough market to conquer, but with decades of experience and strong technical know-how, Eastco manages to achieve the perfect balance between price, quality and innovation. “Our strategy is to make good quality fabrics at reasonable prices, then develop new patterns or prints that add value to the fabric,” said Mr. Yee, noting that Eastco attracts customers by “adding value to our products.”