NamYang diversifies to stay in vogue
With a portfolio of global brands from the United States and Europe, garment production and export company NamYang International is extending its reach to the mainland. The company will start production for mainland sports clothing brand 361 in November, and hopes that this partnership will pave the way for collaborations with other mainland and regional brands.
"We are interested in expanding our customer market to the mainland through the help of distributors and store chains," says Hong Jin-soo, NamYang International president.
As an original design and equipment manufacturer, NamYang produces women's, men's and children's wear for brands such as H&M, The Limited, Kohl's and Talbots. These well-known brands rely on NamYang's unwavering quality, service and technical design.
With the impact of the economic turmoil in the United States and Europe, NamYang is bullish that Asia can sustain the company's growth momentum. "Market diversification is very important to grow safely. It is how we can stabilise our situation," Hong says.
Bolstering its manufacturing capacity goes hand-in-hand with developing partnerships with more clothing brands. Besides investing in the expansion of existing facilities in Vietnam, the company is eyeing Myanmar and Bangladesh as promising manufacturing hubs to boost its global competitiveness.
The possibility of trade between Myanmar and the US and the trade links between Europe and Bangladesh pushed NamYang to tap the two Asian countries for their abundant labour forces.
NamYang sources 50 per cent of its raw materials from the mainland and the rest from Asia, Europe and the Americas. The materials are sent to NamYang's manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and the Philippines for processing. NamYang has 11 facilities and a total of 120 production lines. While NamYang manufactures garments in different countries, the company keeps a close eye on every step of the production process to ensure quality.
South Korea's textile industry is a leader globally and continues to grow amid labour shortages and rising costs. NamYang's strategy to manufacture overseas demonstrates Hong's sound business acumen - an ability that is instrumental in securing the company's future.
With fashion, culture and technological trends developing in the country, people are looking to South Korea for new trends. "We use South Korea as a base to design and develop garments," Hong says. "Having strong roots locally and having globalised and diversified production help us maintain competitiveness."
As a player in the rapidly evolving fashion industry, NamYang invests significantly in research and development. The company keeps a close watch on local and international trends by season to retain its leading position.
NamYang explores the use of different fabrics and weaving techniques to create innovative clothing styles in its design and development centres in South Korea and Vietnam. The company has traditionally specialised in tailored garments. To keep up with the latest industry trends, NamYang has diversified to produce soft-woven garments and casual and functional apparel.
"Seoul is a great place to develop new trends," Hong says. "Many garment manufacturers have development centres here because the South Korean society is dynamic. It is this dynamism that drives growth."
Close collaboration with partners also helps in determining future trends. "Customers visit South Korea and ask us for input," Hong says. "We exchange design ideas and discuss trends globally, such as in Tokyo."
NamYang owes its success of 27 years to its dedicated employees. Hong says NamYang employees constantly work towards making the company competitive for the present and the future.
"Our workforce imbibes a creative and active attitude," Hong says. "They are passionate about their jobs. We are all focused on achieving one goal and that is to be the world's best supplier in the apparel business."