The National Cultural Foundation
St. James, Barbados
Forty-nine designers across the Caribbean including eighteen (18) from Barbados will benefit from a Fashion Production Cluster thanks to a partnership with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and Caribbean Market Center’s (CMC) EDGE – The Fashion Accelerator with funding provided by the Caribbean Export Development Agency and by extension the European Union.
While researching participation in international trade activities several trade five (5) key areas in need of continuous and short-term development were observed with Barbadian and Caribbean fashion brands. A deficiency in the knowledge of trends; packaging and brand development; deficiency in prototypes; high price points due to challenges in manufacturing and access to raw materials and a lack of finishing which affected the salability of products.
CEO of the NCF, Carol Roberts-Reifer said she felt strongly that a strategic approach to solving these existing issues, which occur at the end of the ecosystem of the fashion production line would transform the sector in a major way.
She added: “This would impact on the critical mass required to see more designers generating revenue from their products, and affecting the entire fashion sector. It is crucial that at the end point of design, that production within the local market is of a quality to ensure competitive brands for global distribution.”
This initiative was tailor-made to create an opportunity to regional designers who have good products and aspirations of international distribution. Participants will receive guidance from industry experts here and abroad in critical areas such as Design, Finishing, Packaging and Distribution. Representatives of the NCF and CMC with the assistance of the Caribbean Export Development Agency are also working to provide designers additional exposure via a LIVE television show as well as on NCF’s digital platforms at the end of the programme.
Last year, the fashion industry was reported as a 2.5 trillion global industry and in an era of increasing interest in the Caribbean lifestyle and the rapid growth of the fashion industry, the Foundation saw it necessary to offer the fashion ecosystem support to ensure global competitiveness.
Written by: ncf_boss