Regional seamstresses under heavy threat from online shopping
(Searchlight) A preference for online shopping is threatening to make the Caribbean seamstress extinct.
That concern from Saint Lucia’s 2018 Seamstress of the Year, Lisa Barton–Volney.
Speaking ahead of Bridal Couture, the Caribbean Expo of fashion designers which took place on Saturday, January 26 in Barbados, Volney said regional shoppers are opting for clothing which is cheaper both in quality and cost.
According to the Business 2 Customer or B2C report e-commerce volume in the Caribbean for 2005 – 2011, the annual, overall e-commerce sales in the Caribbean in 2011 amounted to US$2.75B, up from US$1.9B in 2010. Those figures are estimated to be higher eight years on.
The owner of the De Kloze Line and De Zip Code said it is extremely difficult for designers and seamstresses to compete.
“Customers don’t want to adequately compensate us for our workmanship, even though they are fully aware that raw materials are mostly sourced from outside and that costs are incurred when trying to satisfy our customers,” she said.
Barton-Volney, who received the best seamstress award from the Business 2 Customernoted, “It is the only industry that you cannot leave home without yet still there is no respect for garment producers in the Caribbean.”
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