A new era within the textile and fashion industry emerges as the world emerges from a scathing economic recession just a few years ago. However, what will we look like in the future? My prediction is that our industry in 2050 will look very different from today, and be virtually unrecognisable from that of today. Successful brands and firms will be capable of rapidly adapting their physical and intellectual infrastructures to exploit changes in technology as distribution and manufacturing becomes faster, more responsive to changing global markets and closer to customers.The continued focus on sustainability and demand by our customers in the future will be a key priority for many brands and companies. Products and processes will be sustainable, with built-in reuse, remanufacturing and recycling for products reaching the end of their useful lifecycles. Closed loop systems will be used to eliminate energy and water waste and to recycle physical waste.Again, looking forward, Singapore brands and companies stand at a cross road of opportunities. The upcoming single market ASEAN integration starting from 2015 will allow us to take advantage of a larger market and make exciting inroads to new opportunities. The much discussed and widely anticipated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will allow more competitive Singapore companies to tap on a wider infrastructure of its TPP member countries to do more business with the United States.
The key message is that a business-as-usual approach will not let us realise these opportunities. As we race towards this new era, there is no easy or immediate route to success. However, action needs to start now to build on existing support, and to refocus and rebalance it for the future.
Through the Federation, we will address and work towards improving capabilities within the industry, be it via training or innovation. Internationalisation through the overseas mission trips that TaF.f organises will also be the strategy that the Federation will adopt in facilitating the expansion of businesses for our local designers. The importance of raising the profile of our designers within Singapore will also be an initiative we will drive. We want to inculcate national pride in local brands and drive the idea of ‘Buy & Wear Singapore’.
Rest assured that TaF.f will be together with you in your journey. Together with our members, we are striving to recognise and address entire system effects and work with various government agencies. We thank IE Singapore, SPRING Singapore, EDB, MICA, MOM and WDA especially for their relentless support of TaF.f and our members.
As we ride into this new era, I am confident that our members will thrive and our Singapore’s brands and companies will realise more competitive advantages to compete successfully in the international market.