Africa is becoming strong for apparel sourcing as US clothing manufacturers getting attraction to Africa. Though Bangladesh and China remain top sourcing destinations for clothing production, China is facing wage pressures and rising production costs and Bangladeshi garment factories are facing safety issues.
American clothing giant Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, which owns the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands, sources five to six per cent of its global production from Africa. Over the next five years it hopes to make that 25 per cent. However, buyers need to evaluate the region as a true strategic option rather than just a testing ground. H&M started sourcing from Ethiopian garment producers in 2013. Since labor is cheap in Africa compared to ever increasing wages in Asia, more companies will be looking to move operations to Africa. Ethiopia and Kenya benefit from duty free access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Both could compete globally in apparel manufacturing.