OECS Competitive Business Unit Launches New Programme to Boost Fashion Sub-sector

ROSEAU, Dominica, Friday January 25, 2019 – The OECS Competitive Business Unit (CBU) has announced plans to strengthen the value chain of the fashion sub-sector through an online training programme targeting twenty designers as part of the Unit’s competitiveness programme during this current fiscal year.

The global fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry employing millions of people and contributing significantly to global economic output.

In making the announcement, the CBU recognized the emerging opportunities and trends within the fashion and design sector of the global economy and encouraged local designers to sign up for the programme, which it hopes will have a major impact on their business enterprises.

The programme, which is set to take-off from February 4, 2019, will be delivered by Trinidad and Tobago based company Uppoint Inc.

The training will include: access to the Uppoint platform for a seven month period; four webinars with groups of five designers; a follow-up one-on-one session with each designer; and a design competition for the top ten brands – with support towards facilitating the development and sale of one sale-ready sample from each of the ten brands.

Participants will be provided with a broad range of support, including: target market profile, collection conceptualization, trend forecasting, collection title/inspirational words, mood-board/inspiration board sketches/technical flats, fabrication/sourcing, manufacturing/production and timelines/completion, buyer and brand matching/B2B and sales facilitation.

This CBU intervention is the latest in a series of events targeting the sub-sector since 2015 under the 10th EDF Regional Integration for Trade of the OECS including the commissioning of an Analytical Study on the Fashion Industry in the OECS, a one-week training programme in Guadeloupe for designers in building brand collections, grant funding for seven OECS fashion enterprises, participation at the 2017 Specialty Expo in St Lucia as well as several networking opportunities at the local and regional levels.

In this programme, the CBU is targeting emerging as well as export-ready companies involved in the design and production of apparel and accessories in OECS Member States.

The CBU said that at the end of the intervention, it hopes to help further strengthen the fashion and design value chain in the OECS and provide designers with an avenue for increased exposure of their various products and services.

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