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Building sustainable brands: How Sri Lanka’s apparel industry can boost its economy

The apparel industry is important to Sri Lanka’s economy. According to data, Sri Lanka generates an average of $6B per annum from apparel exports. The following figure represent the Average FOB (free on board) price per Export Product.

but the final selling price of the products to consumers is typically almost double the FOB price. As we mostly import fabric, Sri Lanka only receives 30% of the “cut and make price” from the FOB. Therefore, the actual revenue that contributes to Sri Lanka’s national GDP would be around 30% of the aforementioned amount.

To address these challenges, we propose a sustainable solution: building our own universal brands. By doing so, we can address the country’s foreign exchange shortages and boost our national GDP.


  1. Sri Lanka’s apparel industry:

    • We export a lot of clothes and make a lot of money, but we only get a small part of the final selling price.

    • This is because we mostly import fabric and only do the cutting and sewing in Sri Lanka.

  2. Building our own universal brands:

    • We can create our own brands that are unique and different from other clothes on the market.

    • This would mean we could charge more for our clothes and get more of the final selling price.

    • This would also help us reduce our reliance on imported fabric and keep more of the value of the clothes we produce in Sri Lanka.

  3. Benefits of building our own brands:

    • We could increase our net revenue and contribute more to the national economy.

    • We could reduce our foreign exchange shortages and improve our balance of trade.

    • We could create more jobs and help our local communities.