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Profiles of Three Leading Singapore Clothing Companies: Ocean Sky, Sing Lun, and Unistar Goo-Way Sourcing
published in Issue 111, May-June 2004
Despite its small size, Singapore is home to several major apparel companies. But high costs have forced much of the industry offshore and exports from overseas operations are estimated to be three times the value of domestic exports. Recognising its declining cost competitiveness, the industry’s vision is to be a leading fashion business hub, supported by internationally recognised global brands and operations.
Ocean Sky International, Sing Lun Holdings, and Unistar Goo-Way Sourcing exemplify this strategy. Ocean Sky has grown by 5,000% in eight years to achieve a turnover in 2003 of S$250.3 mn (US$144 mn). It has 9,000 employees and is capable of making 700,000 lb of fabric a month and 72 mn garments a year, mainly cut and sew knits. 90% of output goes to the USA. Sing Lun Holdings makes cut and sew and fully fashioned knitwear and has 3,000 employees. It has facilities in Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, and has plans to expand into India. In addition, its sourcing arm buys from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Pakistan. 55% of output goes to the USA, 35% to Europe and most of the rest to Japan. Taiwanese owned Unistar Goo-Way Sourcing was established to make clothing in Lesotho and benefit from the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). It also plans to manufacture apparel in Vietnam. But a mill to make fabric in Lesotho has been put on hold after the recent extension of the AGOA third country fabric provision.
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