June 22, Colombo: An association of Sri Lanka's garment manufacturers , rebranded and incorporated as Sri Lanka Apparel Brands Association (SLABA) was launched formally on Friday at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo under the patronage of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
Celebrating the occasion, the Association's new website was also formally launched by the Minister.
"Sri Lanka's retail apparel market today is estimated to be in the region of US$ 2 billion. 40% of this market share is contributed by Sri Lankan brands. We thus felt that the time was opportune to rebrand ourselves. We have rebranded to gain greater recognition as we assert ourselves in the industry and market place as an association which encourages branded quality products for the consumer", said SLABA's new Chairman Indradatta Dharmawardane.
SLABA has been incorporated with the vision to provide a perfect platform for all Sri Lanka Apparel and Apparel Accessory manufacturers to join forces to achieve common objectives.
The Association aims to gain both local and international recognition as the hub of Sri Lanka's apparel brands, operating as a facilitator to develop the apparel brands segment among newcomers to the industry and seek to take Sri Lankan brands to the international arena and establish them globally recognized brands.
It will provide a common forum for the diverse product portfolio of branded apparel representing casual wear, tailoring and formal wear, fashion wear, uniform and work wear, lingerie, and other products such as socks, head wear, bags etc.
"As a rejuvenated association with over 60 committed members we are confident that this is the inaugural stride in the direction towards placing Sri Lanka on the Map for World Class Apparel Brands," the SLABA Chairman said.
"We are deeply committed to the continuous development and growth of HOME GROWN apparel brands for its success both domestically and internationally. We endeavour to provide a suitable environment and a level playing field for all our members with a deep commitment to ethical considerations and sustainable challenges," he further said.
The Association plans to expand market opportunities through the introduction of International Market Places (as in Thailand, Indonesia and China) for tourists and business travelers with a variety catering to all segments. SLABA will also shape the policies that impact the apparel industry in the domestic market through dynamic lobbying with both government and non-government organizations.