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Guides for Shopping for Clothing On-Line

According to shopperTrak one of the reasons why the 2012 black Friday sales dipped as compared to previous years, was because many shoppers skipped the line and shopped on-line. A similar report showed that Cyber Monday shopping of the same year rose by 15% compared to previous years. These reports show that many shoppers are opting to shop on-line.

They are many people who are still hesitant shopping on-line especially shopping for clothing on-line. Their reason being that they would prefer to first wear the clothing item, to make sure it fits them, before they can take the dress or clothing item home. This is definitely a very good reason. In spite of all the conveniences of on-line shopping, on-line shoppers buy every product on good faith that the description of every product is “as it is”. On-line retailers especially on-line clothing store owners make a conscious effort to ensure that every on-line shopper who shops in their on-line store(s) has a very good shopping experience. They always provide very good images and detailed descriptions of every clothing item such as; colors and sizes of women’s dresses, ladies church suits, pants, women’s tops and blouses, men’s suits, men’s dress shirts, and other men’s clothing items. The same information is available for infants’ and kids’ clothing. In addition to complete description of every clothing item, on-line clothing stores give information about the material from which every clothing item is made from such as; cotton (as in cotton t-shirts, cotton dress shirts), or polymer as in (polymer sweatshirts), or leather (as in leather scooter jackets), organic materials as in (organic baby dresses or organic baby blankets) and any other information that gives good and detailed description of the clothing item in question. The detailed information provided to customers on every clothing item helps them to decide if they will buy the clothing item or not.

Use Sizing Charts to choose Clothing Sizes

Besides providing information on the available colors and sizes of every clothing type, on-line clothing retailers post sizing charts for every clothing they sell. These sizing charts guide customers on how to determine the size of clothing they want to buy.

Different fashion designers have different sizing formats. One sizing format for women’s clothing has three main size groups; petit, regular, and women. Each of these three main size groups has sub-sizes such as; petit small (S), petit medium (M), petit large (L). Similar sub-sizes are available for regular and women size groups. Other designers use sizing format such as; extra small (XS), small (S), medium (M), large (L), extra large (XL), 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, 6XL. Similar sizing formats are available for men’s clothing, infants’ and kids’ clothing. Whatever the sizing format a designer uses, the chart is always available to guide the customer on how to choose appropriate size that will fit her/him or the child without first wearing the clothing to ascertain its fitness.

On-Line Shoppers Have access to Variety of Styles and designs

One of the advantages of shopping for clothing on-line is that on-line shoppers have the “whole world as a shopping mall”. A shopper can make selections from different stores and also from a variety of designs and styles. There are many new clothing designs and styles that may not be readily available in brick and mortar stores in a person’s immediate locality, but on-line shoppers have easy access to these products from the comfort of their homes. For instance from one on-line store, a shopper can find a variety of men’s casual shirts, men’s fashion suits, or European modern style suits, Italian designed suits, denim suits, linen suits, men’s tuxedo, men’s business suits, men’s dress shoes and many other varieties of men’s clothing, including boys’ suits, and boy’s dress shirts.

On-line Shoppers Save money and Time

The most interesting part of shopping on-line besides convenience is low prices for most clothing items bought on-line. Every on-line shopper enjoys the low price they pay for almost every clothing item bought on-line as compared to prices of the same clothing item bought from brick and mortar stores. The reason for the huge price differences between clothing bought on-line and those bought from brick and mortar stores is that many small on-line retailers do not keep large inventory of the clothing they sell, nor pay store rents, nor mortgage. On-line retailers pass on the savings they make by not keeping large inventory and store rents to their on-line customers, as such making every clothing item a good bargain for their customers. Besides the low prices paid for the clothing items, on-line shoppers save money on gas that would have been used to travel to brick and mortar stores. They also save time, rather than standing on line they use a fraction of the time to search for the items they want and make payment for them in no time. These items are often delivered at their door steps at no shipping and handling cost.

On-Line Shoppers Make Informed Decision before Buying

Shopping for clothing on line is a great way to guide against “spontaneous buying” or shopping addiction. Many people who shop in brick and mortar stores often buy “spontaneously”. They gather clothing without a second thought, like asking themselves if they actually need the clothing they are taking off the shelves. This is the reason why many people make return trip to the stores in order to return the clothing items they had bought. Shopping on-line helps shoppers to guide against “shopping maniac”, as a shopper in the comfort of his/her home has enough time to go through every clothing item and decide if he/she wants the clothing item or not. It is also a good check/incentive to read the retailer’s return policy before completing any on-line transaction in that way an on-line shopper makes an informed decision to buy or not to buy the clothing item in question.

Categories: Clothing

Environmental Friendly Clothing Is necessary for You

Today the world has become very fast and everyone’s life is becoming very hectic. People all around the world are going back to basics and adopting the ancient ways of living like yoga, consuming organic food etc. In the same manner there has been a revolution in our way of dressing up too. People are nowadays opting for clothes made up of organic material. Many designers are also opting for eco friendly clothing nowadays.

The environment friendly clothing is produced of material like bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, organic wool etc. hemp clothing, bamboo clothing and organic cotton clothing is increasingly becoming the first choice of material both for men clothing and women clothing. People who are trying to live a healthy and natural lifestyle are the ones opting for environment friendly clothing. By making a choice and wearing clothes made out of organic material we are also saving the planet and environment surrounding us. Environment friendly clothing is also available in variety of designs and style that suit the need of both men’s clothing and women’s clothing.

By opting to wear clothes made up of organic material you are keeping all the harmful chemicals like urea, halogens, bromines, formaldehyde etc away from touching your body. So by wearing hemp clothing, bamboo clothing and organic cotton clothing, you are just allowing only natural fabric to come close to your skin. As chemicals are used to grow non-organic material clothes made up of that material might cause some cause of allergies or skin cancer. Hemp clothes, bamboo clothes and organic cotton clothes are ideal for toddlers. Hemp clothes are made up of fiber that is made up of ultimately light weight. It is a very strong and absorbent material. This kind of organic clothing helps in giving us relief from the ultra violet rays. They are also mold resistant.

All these qualities make them a perfect choice to wear outdoors. Not only is this organic material made up of such excellent fiber that makes it so easy for them to be blended with other kind of clothing material to make different kinds of garments for men, women and children. There are any hardly any growth requirements for producing these eco- friendly organic clothing. Hence it’s less expensive and cost friendly for farmers as well as for end consumers. Not only this it also requires less water for cultivation. Suppose if a child is wearing clothes made up of non- organic material and wets it then the harmful toxic chemicals may enter their skin through the process of osmosis. So it is advisable to buy clothes made up of organic material. Apart from being good for our skin clothes made up of organic material are very durable and lasts long. Not only clothes but all kinds of stuff like towels, handkerchief, bed sheet, bedspread etc can be made out of organic material.

About some years ago cotton growing was done in an eco- friendly manner but unfortunately today many farmers are actively using pesticides to grow cotton. The use of harmful chemicals not only causes a threat to us but also to planet, animals, soil and human kind. These chemicals pose danger to serious disease like cancer etc. organic clothing is less expensive too. If you buy cotton clothing then just after some washes it starts breaking drown but this is not a case with organic material. By growing organic clothing one is contributing towards sustainable farming and all the techniques of farming leave small carbon trail.

The most important part is that the clothes made up of organic material are available at a much cheaper rate. It is our responsibility to act accountable and take care of our children as well as planet. All the kinds of clothing and dress material made up of environment friendly organic material like hemp, bamboo, organic clothing etc is widely purchased by people of all the age group and can be easily purchased from a store nearby or also can be bought from online stores. There are many environment friendly websites that give you special discount if you are purchasing organic clothing material to promote them. Choose from any kind of clothing that suits your style.

Categories: Clothing

The secret Life of a Clothing Shopaholic

Yes, I am a recovering clothing shopaholic. Perhaps you think clothing shopaholics are just women who can’t control their urge to spend money on clothes. But that really isn’t what the addiction is all about. There is a big misconception about clothes shopping addiction. So I am going to let you in on the truth about it and tell you all about the secret fantasy life of the women who have it. You see, all female clothing shopaholics have one thing in common:

WE CRAVE FLATTERY, ENVY, AND COMPLIMENTS ON OUR APPEARANCE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIFE.

When we get a compliment or an admiring stare on the way we look, we feel great. And here is another truth about our addiction: we all have a “female appraiser”. A “female appraiser” is the female in our life that we always imagine envying us and complimenting us when we try on new clothes. She is the one we always wear new outfits in front of to get appraisal and compliments about how we look. She is the one who notices every new pair of shoes, every new piece of jewelry, whether our hair looks particularly healthy and attractive that day, and every new item of clothing we are wearing to the minutest degree. She dissects us physically; she is our lifeblood to feeling we exist; by noticing us, envying us and complimenting us; she makes us feel alive.

And we are her female appraiser as well. We notice every new item she wears and we comment about how good she looks as well. We often envy her appearance and new outfits. Our relationship is the mutual symbiotic feeding of our ego envy. Usually our female appraiser is our female mother, sister, friend or coworker who we subconsciously compete and look to get approval from about our appearance. We always try to upstage her in appearance and make her feel envious of us; we always think about whether what we buy will make her envy how we look before we buy it and when she sees a new outfit on us and we feel her envy (of course the ultimate high is when she asks us where we bought it) we have our ultimate addictive fix. We even watch how many people notice us more than her when the two of us walk together in public, to know that we are getting more attention than she is. Yes, it’s an “envy/dislike/need of approval dynamic” we have with our female appraiser (or multiple female appraisers) on a complicated physical and emotional level.

When i was a clothing shopaholic, I lived for clothes, they were my life passion. I still love clothes. But I am less in need of the power they give me to be noticed, admired, and envied. The need to shop for clothes and imagine wearing them and getting compliments from women when i wear them has taken less of a hold on me. But there was a time when shopping for clothes was an essential part of my daily life because I lived for the attention and praise those new outfits gave me. I would fantasize as i tried them on in the store and imagine being envied by my female appraiser when i wore them. And once I bought them, wearing them always made me feel special and alive when i got that attention, envy and praise from my “female appraiser”. I always needed to wear something new to be noticed and that is why the money was spent; to continually have new clothes to wear so i would continually get compliments and be noticed. When i wore that outfit a second time, it wasn’t new anymore and no compliments were given because they’d already been given when i wore it the first time. So that outfit did not serve its purpose any more for my addiction unless I wore it in front of a different female appraiser who never saw it before (sometimes I had 3 or more female appraisers in my life). On the days I wore an outfit that i received no attention about, I actually felt invisible and depressed. Sometimes just thinking about another new outfit I would wear the next day and how good I’d look and how envied I’d be was all I thought about on those depressing days. It was the only thing that kept me going; imaging that outfit in my closet and the power it would give me to be noticed and complimented.. I’d fantasize about the shoes I’d wear with the outfit and how I’d match my eye shadow to it and the admiration I’d be getting. Because I always knew exactly what to buy and wear that would make my female appraiser envious and wish she had my clothes and got the attention I was geting. And what a euphoric high that would give me; even thinking about that happening.

Clothing shopaholics have an odd addiction because when you take away the women you feel competitive with, the addiction loses its hold on you. That’s because the addiction is about fantasizing about being envied for how you look in clothes. But take away the female appraiser, and you don’t have the envy and you lose the need to fantasize or shop for clothes. Of course, eliminating female appraisers in your life isn’t easy. As long as you have a mother or work in a corporate office, or have a female sibling you see, you will have a woman in your life assessing your appearance. Even when babysitting my friend’s 10 year old daughter, she assessed my appearance by informing me my pants didn’t match my top; “the colors were off” she told me. And here I thought I was free of that kind of appraisal from children and could just “throw on sweats and any old top. ” After all, why care what a 10 year old girl thinks about how I look when I’m babysitting her? But yes, her comment did bother me, although I stood my ground and refused to change my clothes. Needless to say, she is a budding clothing shopaholic in the making.

Here are some more truths about this secret clothing shopaholic life: I would go into my favorite clothes stores every day to return clothes (which i loved to do because it gave me an excuse to shop again) and always walk out buying something else, usually something I knew I would probably return. Walking into a store filled with clothes and breathing in the smell of new clothes gave me a euphoric high. Trying some new outfit on and imaging my female appraiser noticing it and complimenting me on it and asking me where I bought it; just imaging that happening as i tried on the clothes in a store gave me an adrenaline rush. This is what my clothing shopaholic addiction was about. Most women who are clothing shopaholics are clueless about what the core of their addiction is about. They think it’s about an addictive need to spend money, but it really isn’t about that. Yes, you do need to spend money to buy new clothes to feed your “attention fix”, because without buying something new, you don’t wear something new; and without wearing something new, you don’t get your “fix”. And you have to go to a store to try on something so you can experience the fantasy in your head of getting the attention, which is the first stage of the addiction.

So this is why spending money becomes a problem. And mistakenly becomes what everyone thinks the addiction is about: the inability to stop the urge to spend money on clothes. But teaching someone to resist spending money does not curb or cure the addiction. The only way to curb or “cure” it is to remove the need for a “female appraiser” in your life. But that is another article for another time. The money spent by clothing shopaholics becomes the casualty of the addiction, but it is not the addictive need to spend money that causes the addiction. I would venture to say that alcoholics get an addictive fix sitting in a bar and breathing in the smell of alcohol and seeing other men who are alcoholics around them. Yes, the need to drink alcohol plays a role in the alcoholic’s addiction, but so does the need to be in the environment. It’s the same with clothes shopping addicts, we need to be around clothes, smell the smells, and try on clothes. It is a comforting experience that calms our nerves and gives us an inner peace. But, why? It has taken me a very long time to understand my addiction to buying clothes; why I shop for clothes and why I need the attention, flattery and criticism about my appearance. I realize it all started when i was a child growing up in my mother’s clothing shopaholic world. So let me share my childhood story with you:

I was born a beautiful little girl full of life and love. I received a tremendous amount of attention from my grandparents, father, aunts and cousins. It seemed as if everyone wanted to be with me, hold me, walk with me and give me endless praise about how cute I was. Well, almost everyone. My mother envied the praise and attention I received. She found it difficult to praise me or give me physical affection. She rarely stayed in the same room with me unless she had to tend to me needs. This went by unnoticed by others, because my mother did interact with me on the surface; she picked me up; fed me; dressed me; bathed me; she did all those “interactive” things a mother has to do to raise her daughter. But there was one very important thing she did not do and that was to LOVE ME UNCONDITIONALLY.

She never hugged or kissed me, she never told me how much she loved me, and she never expressed true appreciation of anything about me to me. Yes, she told others what she appreciated about me, but she could never say those words to me. My mother was unable to give me the emotional connection of unconditional love because she did not feel good about herself as a person. She envied me for the attention and love I received. She envied me for having so many qualities she felt she didn’t have, because her own mother raised her with the same kind or resentment and envy. She found it very difficult to be in the same room with me, or to have a picture taken with me, especially when i got attention, just as her mother had found it difficult to do the those things with her.

As I grew up, my mother’s interaction with me became one of constant “assessments” about my appearance and “monitoring” of everything I did to an extreme. She criticized me endlessly about my appearance; justifying her criticism by saying “I tell you this because I’m your mother and I love you”. She always justified her comments by telling me she had my “best interest at heart”. This seemingly good intention justified her commenting on my appearance every day: whether it was leaving the house with the wrong coat, wearing the wrong outfit, not standing up with proper posture, not wearing my hair the right way, not eating or liking the right foods which made me too thin; her interaction with me was a constant barrage of comments about something that was wrong with my appearance. This constant criticism eroded my self worth to the point that I could barely make friends, and had intense insecurities and shyness around everyone growing up. She used her control over my appearance to control my self confidence. When she took me shopping to buy me clothes, she ridiculed and criticized me about how I looked as i tried on clothes with her in the dressing room. She never liked anything I liked on myself. I was always too thin, my posture was too slouched over, and according to her, I looked awful in everything except the one garment I didn’t like. And that was the one she bought. My mother made me feel ugly inside and out. She controlled my ability to be make independent choices about my appearance and to feel that my self worth was only based on looking physically good.

As a child, I believed I deserved to be treated this way because I felt there was something innately wrong with me. I did not realize I was being verbally abused. How could I? My own father, although adoring me in every way, ignored her cold, critical behavior towards me. I never understood that her behavior towards me was based on envy. To me, she was so incredibly beautiful and well dressed, that is seemed ridiculous to think that she envied me. As an adult, I now can see that her interaction with me was her way of dealing with her own low sense of self esteem. But as a child, I just felt physically flawed and inferior to everyone around me. I fixated on my appearance, my hair, my skin, my posture, and I always felt unattractive, physically flawed and inadequate. I only saw women as worthy of existing and having friends and being liked if they were attractive. My mother was a clothing shopaholic. She shopped endlessly spending money on clothes for herself every day and often returning ½ the clothes she bought the next day. She took me shopping with her wherever she went. When my mother bought herself clothes, I enjoyed the experience tremendously, because it was the only time she was happy and loving towards me. When I helped her find her favorite Kimberly® designer dress; it was one of the few times we bonded as mother and daughter. I felt such pleasure watching my mother look at the clothes she tried on in the mirror. It was the only time she seemed to like being with me. And seeking those good feelings became the root cause of my own shopping addiction as an adult..

My mother’s focus was not just on my appearance, she was obsessed about her own appearance as well. I can recall many times she walked up the 2nd set of stairs into my bedroom, gave me a comment like, “it’s warm in here, you should open a window” and then proceeded to open one of the closets in my room which she took over as her own closet for her Kimberly® collection (after all I didn’t need a closet for clothes, since i had so few of them) and sort through her wardrobe for hours. That’s right, she wasn’t coming upstairs to see me, she was coming upstairs to look at her Kimberlys®, put away her dry-cleaned ones, check that the moth balls were working and none of them (they were all made of wool) were getting moth eaten (god help our family if that ever happened, she would moan unhappily for an eternity). My mother spent more time bonding with the Kimberlys® in her closet over the years then she spent talking and bonding with me.

But the rest of the world was another story. My mother talked about how beautiful other women looked on TV and in magazines with admiration. To her, beauty was what gave someone my mother’s approval. And these models and actresses often got her approval. I longed for that kind of approval from her, but I never got it growing up. Perhaps that’s why I drew countless drawings of women wearing clothes that looked like my mother, just to get her approval, even if it was just about a drawing I did. As a blossoming teenager, when the rest of the world started noticing me again and I was able to buy my own clothes, I realized that getting compliments on my appearance felt intoxicatingly good. I was finally getting the approval my mother could never give me. I grew up needing to hear how I looked, needing attention from guys just to feel okay with being alive. I needed to hear comments about my appearance every day just to feel I was normal. I knew nothing better.

As a teenager, my mother fixated more and more on my appearance, telling me how to wear my hair, make up and what to wear. If i didn’t follow her directives, and defended myself angrily by insisting she stop criticizing me, she would get angry at me to the point of behaving like a child who was throwing a temper tantrum. I had no right to feel good about myself and no right to defend myself against her critical attacks Unlike my mother, my father related to me about my appearance by hugging me, taking pictures and making me feel cute, pretty, and attractive(which only added to my mother’s envy of me). He gave me much attention when i blossomed into a teenager; as fathers often do with their daughters. But he worked all the time and found it easier to never be around the home. This way he didn’t have to witness how my mother was raising me and hear her critical comments towards me. He just didn’t have the emotional capacity to battle with his wife about the way she spoke to me. He accepted her behavior and chose not to deal with it but staying at work and golfing most of his life.

So this was my childhood. It is not unique. Many young girls are only given “conditional acceptance” by their mother based on their behavior and appearance. This lack of unconditional love has its price. It sets you up as a female adult to be completely dependent on others for attention and criticism in your life and to easily fall prey to addictions like clothes shopping and an addictive need for attention. The life you had with your mother and the value she put on your appearance will set you up to value yourself only when others give you approval about your appearance as well. You will crave the need to be around clothes because it is a comforting childhood experience. You will crave fantasizing about getting a female appraiser’s approval and envy on how you look in clothes, because it will bring back the relationship dynamic you had with your mother. Your appearance will define your feeling of self worth and how good you look in clothes will be what you value as the ultimate definition of being worthwhile as a person. This is what your mother taught you and this is the mindset of the clothing shopaholic. The dynamic of your relationship with your mother never leaves you, it transfers over onto other women who have the same need. It also sets you up to be very dependent on men who only value you physically and sexually. It’s so important for women to understand this addiction and how it impacts every aspect of their adult life. It’s important to see the obsessive world of clothes shopping in its naked true reality. Only then can you start to live your life with more appreciation of the things that really matter, like unconditional love, and have gratitude for those things in life that mean so much more than any new piece of clothing.

Categories: Clothing

Hong Kong Clothing Industry

Overview

Textile quotas were eliminated among WTO members at the first day of 2005 in accordance with the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). However, resistance to quota removal spread in the us and EU. Subsequently, China reached agreements with the EU and the US in June and November 2005 respectively. The China-US agreement, effective from January 2006, governs the exports of a total of 21 groups involving 34 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing products to the US during 2006-2008. The China-EU agreement, effective from June 2005, covers 10 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing exports to the EU during 2005-2007.

On the other hand, the mainland and Hong Kong agreed in October 2005 to further liberalise the mainland market for Hong Kong companies under the third phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA III). Along with other products of Hong Kong origin, the mainland agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including clothing items, tariff-free treatment starting from 1 January 2006. According to the stipulated procedures, products which have no existing CEPA rules of origin, will enjoy tariff-free treatment upon applications by local manufacturers and upon the CEPA rule of origins being agreed and met.

Hong Kong clothing companies are reputable for ODM and OEM production. They are able to deliver quality clothing articles in short lead time, as foreign importers and retailers request clothing suppliers to tighten up supply chain management to ensure the ordered merchandise reaching the store floor at the right time. Increasingly, Hong Kong clothing companies, the established ones in particular, have shown enthusiasm for brand promotion.

Hong Kong’s total exports of clothing rose year-on-year by 9% in the first 11 months of 2005. While Hong Kong’s re-exports of clothing rose by 20%, domestic exports fell by 14%. In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to the US and EU rose by 11% and 18% respectively. While Hong Kong’s clothing exports to Japan levelled off, those to the Chinese mainland declined by 11%.

Industry Features

The clothing industry is a major manufacturing sector of Hong Kong. Its gross output is one of the highest among all manufacturing sectors, amounting to HK$35. 9 billion in 2003. It is the largest manufacturing employer in Hong Kong, with 1, 673 establishments hiring 28, 752 workers as of June 2005. It is also the leading earner in terms of domestic exports, taking up 40% of the total in the first 11 months of 2005.

Hong Kong’s geographic boundary has never constrained the development of the forward-looking clothing industry. The majority of clothing manufacturers have set up offshore production facilities in an attempt to reduce operation costs. Relocation of production facilities offshore has however resulted in a steady decline in the number of clothing manufacturers in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is not only a leading production centre but also a hub for clothing sourcing globally. Companies doing garment trade in Hong Kong are experienced in fabrics procurement, sales and marketing, quality control, logistic arrangements, clothing designs and international and national rules and regulations. The professionalism that they command and the combined services offered are not easily matched elsewhere. With a total of 15, 190 establishments hiring 95, 889 workers, they form the largest group involved in import-export trade in Hong Kong.

Performance of Hong Kong’s Exports of Clothing

Hong Kong’s total exports of clothing rose year-on-year by 9% in the first 11 months of 2005. While Hong Kong’s re-exports of clothing rose by 20%, domestic exports fell by 14%. The contrasting performance of Hong Kong’s re-exports and domestic exports was basically ascribed to the increasing relocation of garment manufacturing to the Chinese mainland, resulting from the removal of quotas under WTO’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). But the declining trend of domestic exports has been reversed somewhat in recent months, due to the re-imposition of quantitative restraints on mainland-made textiles and clothing by the US and EU.

Retail sales in the us held firm in the first 11 months of 2005, rising by nearly 6% from the same period in the previous year. In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to the US rose year-on-year by 11%.

In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong’s total clothing exports to the EU surged year-on-year by 18%. Clothing exports to major EU markets like France, Germany and Italy recorded growth rates in excess of 20%.

On the other hand, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to Japan levelled off in the first 11 months of 2005 partly due to the trend of direct shipment. On the back of the rising income however, Japanese consumers tend to resume their spending spree on premium clothing items. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to the Chinese mainland dropped by 11% in the first 11 months of 2005, compared with the same period last year.

Product-wise, Hong Kong’s exports of woven wear rose by 12% in the first 11 months of 2005. While woven wear for women/girls grew by 13%, those for men/boys recorded a growth of 8% from the same period in the previous year. Knitted wear grew by 2%, with women/girls and men/boys rising by 1% and 6% respectively. While clothing accessories declined by 3%, other apparel articles, for their part, increased by 13%.

Sales Channels

Hong Kong’s clothing manufacturers have forged strong relationships with their customers. They are able to understand and cater for the preferences of very broad customer bases. Exporters also have good knowledge of international and national rules and regulations governing clothing exports, such as rules of origin, quota restrictions, tariff rates and documentation requirements. Cut, make and trim (CMT) arrangements are common although many Hong Kong manufacturers have moved to higher value-added activities such as design and brand development, quality control, logistics and material sourcing.

A few well-established local manufacturers have entered into the retailing business, either locally or in overseas markets. Many of them have retail networks in major cities around the world including Beijing, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo. Some well-known manufacturing retailers include Baleno, Bossini, Crocodile, Episode, Esprit, G-2000, Giordano, JEANSWEST, Moiselle and U-2.

As a global sourcing hub in Asia, Hong Kong attracts a number of international trading houses and major retailers. Buyers sourcing from Hong Kong include American and European department stores (e. g. Macy’s, JCPenney, Federated, Karstadt Quelle, C & A), discount stores (e. g., Sears, Target and Carrefour), specialty chains (e. g., The Gap, The Limited) and mail order houses (e. g. Otto and Great Universal Stores). Many international premium designer labels — such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Yves Saint Laurent — source clothes in Hong Kong through their buying offices or other intermediaries.

Hong Kong’s fashion designers have been gaining worldwide reputation for their professional expertise, sensitivity to current trends and ability to blend commercialism with innovation. Medium to high-priced fashion clothing bearing Hong Kong designer labels is being sold/have been sold in renowned department
stores overseas such as Bloomingdale’s, C & A, Harrod’s, Isetan, Macy’s, Marui, Mitsukoshi, Nieman Marcus and Seibu.

Trade fairs and exhibitions remain common places for buyers and suppliers of clothing to congregate. To establish connections and explore market opportunities, Hong Kong manufacturers and traders have involved themselves actively in international shows led by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), including the ones in Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris and Tokyo. ‘Hong Kong Fashion Week’ is organised twice a year and attracts international suppliers and buyers to participate in the exhibition. Organised by TDC, ‘World Boutique, Hong Kong’ is the first independent event in Hong Kong dedicated to promoting designers’ collection and brands from around the world.

Industry Trends

Changes in retail landscape: In the us and EU, large-scale retailers are undergoing drastic restructuring and consolidation, in particular, the growing prominence of hypermarkets such as Wal-Mart. To strengthen competitiveness, Sears and Kmart have merged to form the third largest retail group in the us.

Growing importance of private labels: Private labels, in essence, have become an increasingly effective marketing tool among garment retailers. In order to differentiate as well as upgrade the image of their products, major retailers have started to put a stronger emphasis on their own labels. According to Cotton Incorporated, private labels accounted for 45% of total US apparel sales in 2003, up from 39% in 2001. In some adult apparel categories, such as skirts, private labels accounted for as high as 76% of the total sales. It is also estimated that 45% of products sold in the EU are sold under private labels. Renowned retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Orsay, Palmers, Pimkie, Springfield and Kookai have owned their private labels. As consumers desire to have private labels on everyday garments like jeans, accessories and T-shirts, the doors are also open to the supply of these clothing items to private label owners.

Growing interest in China’s domestic market: The rapid expansion of mainland’s economy has attracted great interest of Hong Kong clothing companies to explore its clothing market. A TDC survey on mainland’s garment shoppers indicates that Hong Kong brands are ranked number one by the respondents in the mid-range segment. While international brands are most preferred in the high-end segment, mainland brands dominate the low-end. In addition, the same survey finds out that in the eyes of mainland consumers, Hong Kong companies are very strong in casual wear, as they are generally of good design and quality. In essence, many mainland consumers have developed a stronger awareness of Hong Kong brands through tour to and shopping in Hong Kong. Therefore, Hong Kong’s casual wear has successfully projected a positive image to mainland consumers.

CEPA

On 18 October 2005, the mainland and Hong Kong agreed to further liberalise the mainland market for Hong Kong companies under the third phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA III). Along with other products of Hong Kong origin, the mainland agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including clothing items, tariff-free treatment starting from 1 January 2006. According to the stipulated procedures, products which have no existing CEPA rules of origin, will enjoy tariff-free treatment upon applications by local manufacturers and upon the CEPA rule of origins being agreed and met. But non-Hong Kong made clothing products will remain subject to tariff rates of 10-25% when entering the mainland.

The promulgated rules of origin for clothing items to benefit from CEPA’s tariff preference are basically similar to the existing rules governing Hong Kong’s exports of these products. Generally speaking, the principal manufacturing process of cut-and-sewn garment is sewing of parts into garments. If linking and/or stitching is/are required, such process/processes must also be done in Hong Kong. For piece-knitted garment, if it is manufactured from yarn, the principal process is knitting of yarn into knit-to-shape panel.

If the piece-knitted garment is manufactured from knit-to-shape-panels, the principal process is linking of knit-to-shape panels into garment. If stitching is required, it must also be done in Hong Kong.

Trade Measures Affecting Exports of Clothing

According to the ATC, textile quotas were eliminated among WTO members at the first day of 2005. However, resistance to quota removal spread in the us and EU. Particularly in the us, China-specific safeguards on 10 categories of clothing items from China were invoked. Against this background, China reached agreements with the EU and the US in June and November 2005 respectively.

The China-US agreement, effective from January 2006, governs the exports of a total of 21 groups involving 34 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing products to the US during 2006-2008. It allows an annual growth of 10-15% in 2006, 12. 5-16% in 2007 and 15-17% in 2008. The China-EU agreement, effective from June 2005, provides for an annual growth of 8-12. 5% in 10 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing exports to the EU during 2005-2007. In addition, both EU and US agreed to exercise restraint in invoking China-specific safeguard against Chinese textiles and clothing that are not covered in the agreements.

Product Trends

Formal Dressing: While casual wear accounts for the bulk of clothing sales, a general trend towards stricter corporate dress codes has led to a rising demand for formal dressing, particularly suits. According to a survey by Cotton Incorporated in late 2004/early 2005, 38. 5% of respondents believe that people dressed too casually at work. This is a 6. 5 percentage point increase over the same year-ago.

Teenager: One of the major driving forces of clothing market appears to be the teenagers in the coming years. The number of teenagers in the us expects to increase from 31. 6 million in 2001 to 34. 1 million in 2010. A recent survey by Teenage Research Unlimited found that teens are saving money by value shopping. While JCPenney is their favourite department store, Target and Wal-mart are their favourite hypermarkets. In addition, Old Navy is their choices among specialty apparel stores.

Silver Market: Ageing population becomes a common phenomenon in many developed countries in Europe as well as Japan and the US. Elderly people constitute a major market segment called ‘silver market’. Supported by savings, social security benefits and pensions, many elderly people have rather strong spending power. It is estimated that the age group of 65 year and above accounted for about 21% of Japan’s consumption expenditure in 2000. A survey conducted by the Japanese government also shows that people who are 60 years old and above possess almost three times the financial assets of those in the 40-50 age group. In the us, those aged at or above 65 amounted to 18. 1 million in 2001, and the number is expected to swell to 26 million in 2015.

Plus-size Market: The plus-size market has been an area of growth for many years, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming future. It is estimated that 65 million women in the us wear size 14 or above. This group represents one-half of the US female population. It is reported that some renowned brands have already responded to the trend by offering merchandise of larger size; these companies include Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

Easy-care Clothes: Clothes made of stain-resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are well received in the market. It is estimated that about a quarter of apparel is now made of easy-care fabrics, and its popularity is expected to continue in the next few years. While major apparel brands like Dockers and Liz Claiborne have already marketed extensively easy-care clothes, major hypermarkets, like Wal-Mart, also offer more merchandise of such quality.

Categories: Clothing

Paper Wings Clothing – The latest Trend in Kids Fashion

All children are unique and they need kids clothing to fit their personality. If you are searching for the best clothing for your kids, come into the world of Paper Wings clothing. The Australian brand mixes past, present and future ideals for fashionable and creative children’s fashion design. Paper Wings clothing is influenced by eclectic fashion, traditional crafts, old-school design and vintage patterns, new fashion trends and contemporary style. From bold patterns and colors, stripes and artistic prints, they create beautiful outfits for babies and kids, for girls and boys.

Jason Gibaud and Michelle Fallon are the lead designers and owners of this unique kids designer clothing label. They find inspiration in their own children – Vevette, Esther and Kitty. When designing Paper Wings clothing and Little Wings fashion for kids, they decided to focus on what their kids would want to wear. That is why this brand is practical, comfortable and fun! This boutique kids clothing line celebrates the freedom of being children, dressing like children and feeling like children.

The essence of Paper Wings clothing comes from Jason and Michelle’s experience and success in costume design, film production and architecture/interior design. Jason and Michelle both have a professional background designing costumes for Moulin Rouge, Star Wars and Peter Pan. As a result, Paper Wings offers beautiful, casual wear for kids that looks like a work of art. Jason and Michelle develop all of their ideas for kids clothing in their design studio in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Every piece of stylish clothing for kids is designed to be worn every day, over and over again. The clothes are long-lasting and popular with kids and their parents. All Paper Wings outfits are individually made and hand-finished to the last detail. Many cute outfits for girls feature adorable little touches like drawstrings, puff sleeves, bustles, ruffles and bright, zany prints. This popular brand of boutique kids clothing is committed to create premium clothing products with durable, natural fibers like 100% organic cotton.

In 2014, this boutique clothing brand partnered with graphic artist Katie Daisy to feature a collection of designs with shabby chic illustrations. Katie Daisy works primarily in watercolor and acrylic paint and mixed media. She find her inspiration in simple & sweet country pleasures. Katie grew up in rural Lindenwood, Illinois, which is true inspiration for her free-roaming, passion-filled life and a beautiful portfolio of her artwork. Katie Daisy became famous through her illustrations, inspirational quotes and artwork for sale on Etsy. Paper Wings clothing and Katie Daisy both stand for the freedom and joy. That’s why the partnership was an excellent choice for childrens clothing. The illustrations give a one-of-a-kind look to an already stylish brand of clothing and dresses for kids.

Be sure to check out Paper Wings Clothing on your next shopping trip for kids clothing online. You will find stylish outfits for kids ages up to 14 years (girls and boys) as well as cute baby clothes with sizes starting at newborn. This designer kids clothing collection offers t-shirts, dresses, leggings and skirts featuring simple designs and adorable motifs such as mermaids, fish, cats and horses. And guess what… there are swimsuits, too! Paper Wings clothing has beautiful boutique kids clothes fit for any occasion and everyday wear. You will love it forever!

Categories: Clothing

Women Love And Prefer Online Shopping To Men!

Ever seen a man shopping for an exquisite item of furniture for his neighbor’s grandmother? The answer would mostly favor a ‘No’. One finds more women in a shopping mall than Men. Shopping and Women go hand in hand. Online shopping has become popular and widespread than ever before, thanks to women loving the concept of shopping. Shopping online is a fantastic experience for any woman. It maximizes her shopping experience totally. It is a time when she dedicates it to herself rather than her husband or her family.

It’s the inevitable battle of the sexes again. Men shop for gadgets and gizmos online while women prefer shopping for clothing, trinkets, shoes, handbags, delicate gifts, furniture, kids stuff and how could one forget, their favorite grooming products! The growing number of online sites selling these products has made women to do more online shopping than ever.

Gone are the days when women wanted to go to stores and purchase their favorite products. Online shopping is easier and quicker! It also offers the latest in women’s fashion. Today the era of online shopping has takes women’s shopping to a new fascinating level. There are so many things a woman can do when she goes shopping online. She could go for an online makeover, by selecting the color of hair, change the clothes she wears and apply makeup in a virtual her.

Now let’s look at the reasons why the female gender today loves shopping online. Ever wondered how many thieves there would be when you buy an expensive gift? Online shopping is easier and safer because there are no thieves around, you could do it at the comfort of your sweet home. Women can order their favorite items, food and grocery too, without kids interfering when compared to offline shopping. This acts a huge plus with most women. Another reason why women prefer online shopping to men is because it provides them with a high level of anonymity. Imagine buying lingerie in stores. It could get intimidating if front of other customers but online shopping gives them the freedom to choose, select & instantly place an order.

They also take a lot of time and interest in researching on a product more than men do. Online shopping gives them the opportunity to research on a product before purchasing. Most online retailers offer sale on women’s products. The incentives and the special offers on most products is another reason why they love and prefer shopping online to men!

Categories: Online Shopping

The Joy of Online Shopping

Have you ever tried shopping with a screaming baby, a tantrum-ing toddler or in the rain? Don’t have a car? Don’t have the energy to try to tackle an overcrowded or understaffed shop? Tired of running to the shops every day for a couple of items or having to schlep bags and bags of groceries in from the car? Online shopping could be the answer to all your worries.

Online shopping involves purchasing products or services over the internet. Online shopping is done through an online shop, e-shop, e-store, virtual store, webshop, Internet shop or online store. All the products in online stores are described through text, with photos and with multimedia files. Many online stores will provide links for extra information about their products. They often make available, safety procedures, instructions, manufacture specification and demonstrations. Some will provide advice or how-to guides. As you are already on the internet, you can search for product reviews that other consumers may have posted. Some online stores have place for these reviews on their own sites. Many allow users to rate their products. Advice such as this from other consumers, about a product, would be unavailable in a conventional store.

There are many advantages involved with online shopping, the most obvious of which is convenience. As long as you have a computer, online shopping can be done from home or from work. There is no need to take the time to travel to a conventional store. Also, online shops typically operate 24 hours a day so you don’t need to rush to get there during business hours. Particularly if you have a broadband Internet connection, browsing online can be done very quickly – in fact, it can be quicker than browsing up and down the aisles of a physical shop.

With online shopping, there is no need to wait in queues at the check-out once you have your items. You are not required to lift any heavy or awkward-sized and shaped packages. Your shopping is collected with the click of a button and “deposited” into your shopping trolley by no physical effort on your part.

You will often be given a choice as to how to receive the merchandise you have bought – either it can be delivered to you or you can go to the store to collect it. This flexibility can be very useful depending on how soon you need the item or when you will be home.

Search engines and online price comparison services are useful for finding sellers of a specific product. You can also, very quickly, find good deals on various items. Some items will generally be cheaper if bought over the internet due to the smaller size of the “brick-and-mortar” store, reduced stocking costs for the seller and significantly lower staffing overhead. On large orders (as determined by the retailer), shipping costs may be waved. There are also many websites that compile information on coupons and discounts.

With the takeover of the market by big retail chain; variety of specialised items continue to diminish; goes with that is also the choices from a consumer perspective. However, Internet shops have taken over this niche as many are operated by small retailers who understand this need. This means you can search on the internet and it is very likely that someone is selling that specialised item that you have been looking and more importantly without the need to run around the town or ring anyone.

Online shopping is becoming more and more widespread and accepted due to these many conveniences.

Categories: Online Shopping

Online Shopping Is perfect for The Busy Brit

Are you tired of struggling through the over crowded streets and narrow aisles of your local shops? With people pushing and shoving, whilst trying to grab the last discounted item on the shelf. You need to start shopping with style, class and no hassles. You can save yourself loads of time and help the environment by not using your vehicle. Online shopping is the way of the future it is there to make your life safe, convenient and stress free.

Parking

Everyone seems to have a car now days and they all want to park close to the shops so they don’t have to carry their purchases too far. That doesn’t help when you are one of those people fighting for a car parking space and getting stressed before you start your days shopping. Shopping online alleviates this problem and you can visit all of the stores from the comfort of your own home. The goods you purchase are then delivered by the postman, a courier or the online store that you have purchased the items from. Travelling time from store to store is reduced to a matter of seconds as you open a new browser window. By shopping online you can also be in a number of shops at one time to compare prices. This is something you cannot do in the brick and mortar stores.

Prices

The price of items online, are much cheaper than their physical store counter parts. This is largely due to the lower over head costs of running a website compared to running a traditional bricks and mortar store. As websites do not need as much physical space and many of the functions like the cashier are automated the business has less operating costs. Online shopping websites can operate out of a large warehouse and do not need to be concerned with presenting an expensive and showy store front for their customers. With this reduction in overhead costs, online shopping websites can afford to sell the same item for a lower price. You may need to pay for postage and packaging but this can sometimes be only a few pounds and the overall cost of the item is still a lot cheaper.

Convenience
Online shopping is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you want to shop, there are online shopping websites ready to sell you nearly any item you can think of. What could be better for a busy brit than organising the stores operating times around your busy schedule. If you want to have a lie in, you don’t need to worry that the shopping centres or high streets will be packed with tired and angry shoppers. With online shopping you are in control of the shopping expedition and so you can choose when and where to shop with a simple click of the mouse.

Traipsing around the shops, wearing out your shoe leather and killing your calf muscles is a thing of the past. Staggering down the street carrying heavy bags full of shopping is no longer necessary. Whether you want to shop for designer clothes and handbags or your weekly groceries, online shopping is the way to go. Online shopping is safe and secure and offers online payment systems which utilise your credit card for transaction purposes.

Categories: Online Shopping

Online Shopping Carts – Preventing Customer Frustration Online

There are millions of retail websites on the internet that use online shopping carts to enable customers to order products or services online. If you’ve ever shopped online, however, you know that all online shopping carts are not created equal. Some are confusing to use, don’t allow you to make changes as you progress through the ordering process or are limited in terms of payment options and other features.

Having a shopping cart system that doesn’t work well or is limited in functionality is often a mistake new websites make. They lavish lots of time and money on making the site appealing, showing off their products or services in the best possible light and even adding cool flash add-ons and other extras, but cut corners on the shopping cart because they see it as a mundane, boring feature that is strictly utilitarian. The problem that arises from that attitude is that shoppers can quickly lose their enthusiasm for purchasing a product or products if they become frustrated when going through the online checkout.

Online shopping carts should be customer friendly. People make mistakes; it’s a fact of life. If your website’s online shopping cart system is well-designed, it will allow for errors by having links on each page for going back and making corrections or enabling the shopper to change his mind on one item without losing his entire order in the process.

Internet shopping is only as convenient as the payment options for most people. If a retail website offers wonderful gifts, clothing or furniture but doesn’t accept credit cards, it will lose a hefty proportion of its customers. Conversely, if a variety of options such as major credit cards, PayPal and e-checks are available; shoppers will be more inclined to make purchases.

Shopping carts must also have back end flexibility. Of course, offering lots of different options and services through your online shopping cart system is great for your customers, but if it isn’t easy to use and adapt to your own company’s needs from the back end as well, it won’t help. If you have a flexible, intuitive back end design, however, you’ll find that a more complex shopping cart system can actually make your work easier.

There are many companies today who offer custom designed online shopping carts as well as companies that offer several different software packages that you can tailor to fit your specific needs at a reasonable cost. Using these specialists to help you implement an online shopping cart experience for your website can improve everything from your customer service to your bookkeeping, since you can use these systems for not only placing orders, but for tracking inventory and assessing sales trends.

When researching online shopping cart options for your website, ask some serious questions about what the provider can offer you. Considerations on whether the software package will include the source code so that you can customize your online shopping cart as your needs change should be an option. Find out if there is technical support available if and when you need it. Research what types of payment options can be set up with the shopping cart program. And learn if the system is a dynamic one that can evolve and change, as shopper’s needs change.

Be sure when you’re looking for the right online shopping cart service or package that you really know what you’ll need. Whether you offer customized gifts or require drop-down menus for color, size and style choices, your decision will be based on your needs. Also, find out what the return policies are for the particular product you are interested in. Knowing as much as possible about what you want will ensure that you don’t fall short when you invest in your website’s online shopping cart system.

Categories: Online Shopping

Online Shopping In the 21st Century

Online Shopping is the fastest growing multi billion-dollar business in the world. Online shopping is popular mainly because of its speed and ease of use. Online shopping is when a consumer purchases products or services through the internet. Online shopping is really remarkably easy whether you’re looking for the latest fashions in women’s clothing or trying to keep up with the latest electrical gadgets and wizardry.

Online Shopping

Online Shopping is all about comparing prices and finding the best deal possible. This can easily be done by visiting a large number of online shopping stores quickly and easily, without having to leave the comfort of your house. Shopping for an intimate item such as lingerie can be intimidating for many people. Online Shopping provides a high level of anonymity as there is no face to face interaction with humans. Online Shopping has become a fun and safe experience due to the increase in online security technology. Online Shopping is already the fourth most-popular Web activity, surpassed only by e-mail, search and news.

Purchases

There are many that would rather go to the local shopping mall to make their purchases. When they decide what they want, they can go home and make their purchase online. Without even leaving your home you can compare products, make purchases, and have gifts sent to your home or directly to your recipients anywhere in the world, fully wrapped and professionally packaged. There is no mistaking the convenience factor of online shopping and the ability it has to save you money on your purchases. The wonders of the internet let us properly research a major purchase before we make it, or buy small goods on a whim.

Products

You have access to thousands of products through hundreds of high street and non high street stores nearly all of which offer a considerable online saving. Online shopping offers a broad range of products from electronics and technology, bedding, furniture, health, beauty, to fashion and accessories. There are also dedicated review sites that host user reviews for different products. There are ratings and prices comparison for various products. Leading Online Shopping sites only publish respected and professional online shopping stores. These sites are a virtual Online Shopping Centre showcasing online shopping stores that offer nearly every product available online.

Online Shopping is on a steep trajectory today in terms of both traffic and sales volume. Shopping on the web is also likely to expand as online services deliver better solutions, including better data and tools for comparison, more comprehensive product category selections, broader merchant listings (both online and offline), better “electronic wallet” technologies and so forth. Online shopping is safe, secure, fun and easy to use. Online shopping is a vital part of online commerce and will continue to expand as the worlds population continues to get more access to computers and broadband.

Categories: General