The Vietnamese fashion market has seen more international brands such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo appear. There are currently more than 200 foreign fashion brands from mid-range to high-end that have official stores in Vietnam.
“I am burning to create Vietnamese branded products, made by Vietnamese people,” said Cao Tien Thanh, president of MELYA Fashion Joint Stock Company.
Joining the fashion industry two years ago, Thanh says he was pained to see Vietnam mainly outsourcing for foreign brands, even though his design ability and skills are not inferior to those of companies. foreign.
Many domestic fashion companies are willing to import fashion products from China and then only attach the brand name to these products before selling them to customers.
For this young entrepreneur, this situation is “quite painful” because it does not really bring much added value to the country.
Thanh’s concerns are similar to the assessment made by the Vietnam Industry Research and Consulting Joint Stock Company (VIRAC) in a recent report on the domestic fashion industry.
According to VIRAC, for a long time, many Vietnamese fashion companies have lost their competitive advantage over international brands in the domestic market. Reasons include poor design and small-scale production. Although there have been many improvements over the years, the activities of Vietnamese fashion companies are still mostly outsourced.
The Vietnamese fashion market has seen more international brands such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo appear. VIRAC said there are currently more than 200 foreign mid-range to high-end fashion brands that have official stores in Vietnam.
This landing led to a contraction of the domestic fashion industry, which holds only a small market share. Some national brands considered to have a foothold in the market, such as Viet Tien, Nha Be, An Phuoc and Garment 10, focus solely on the office wear segment.
When establishing the MELYA fashion brand, Cao Tien Thanh wanted Vietnamese fashion products made in Vietnam for Vietnamese consumers and export.
But it is an arduous road because mastering design, production, distribution and sales requires considerable resources and effort.
“When I chose this path, from the very beginning I saw the difficulties I had to face. By researching the fashion industry, I see that Vietnamese people are very good in skills, technology and can do processing for famous foreign brands. This means Vietnamese can fully produce products that meet American, French, etc. standards. So why not think about producing these products here and then exporting them,” Thanh said.
Another young businessman shared the same opinion on making Vietnamese branded products. He started making leather bags about 3 years ago because he wanted to buy a cheap genuine leather bag. Le Trung Dung, president of Leka Company, built the brand himself. Like Thanh, Dung wants to master the stages from design to final products.
“Leather bags are a promising industry. We want to provide high quality affordable products to Vietnamese customers. If you import goods from China to sell, this goal is not achievable because I surveyed the Chinese market and found that the price is equal to the quality, so the only way is to produce good products yourself at a low price,” Dung said.
Leka was chosen to manufacture 2,000 leather briefcases for delegates to the recent National Party Congress.
To change of way
According to VIRAC, Vietnamese companies process many top fashion brands in the world, so the quality of their products is actually not too different from the products of many foreign brands. However, as they focus on processing and exporting products under foreign brands, the Vietnamese fashion market is still unknown on the global fashion map even in the region.
Having more Vietnamese brands like those from young entrepreneurs like Cao Tien Thanh and Le Trung Dung will help strengthen the position of Vietnamese fashion brands.
However, the road for entrepreneurs like Thanh and Dung will be arduous. They both realize that when the quantity is not enough to meet the market coverage, the cost of production will be high and the supply chain unsustainable. But they believe that daily efforts will help the position of Vietnamese brands to gradually change. Supply chains will be formed and advanced machinery will be invested to produce products of the same quality as foreign brands at a lower cost.
The leader of MELYA said that in the immediate term, the price of goods made in Vietnam will be higher than that of imported goods because raw materials will always be imported. Everything must start with the first step.
“We are determined to cooperate in product distribution only with companies that manufacture in Vietnam. When there is a large quantity of orders, they will invest more in supply, machinery and labor, which which will lead to the development of the supply chain. This is the path of sustainable development for the fashion industry in Vietnam, as well as for the country,” Thanh said.
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