Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Selling a garment they can’t put together

If we can't see a future we are doomed

In St. James, Trinidad and Tobago, a small narrow room is filled with old Singer sewing machines. At the front, an older gentlemen sits next to a open door that separates the room from a electronic shop next to it. Busy away on his heavy Singer sewing machine, he is adding a few patterned stitches on a pair of light green corduroy jeans. A measuring tape hangs from his neck and a mobile phone is attached to his wrist. Nicked named Drake from Andrew, the tailor has been in the business for thirty seven years. Back than, to make a pair of trousers cost $4.00 tt, a blouse could run for $3.00.

But today, Drake is concerned with the industry, and a factor that bitterly upsets him. The motive from businesses to make as much money as possible in return for less desirable goods. By this, he means the cloth stores that import ready-made clothes, all mass-produced in China. This has cut into the small independent businesses that relay on customers who now shop else where for their suits. Sadly, it is the American mentality (Fast- Food) that exists in Trinidad and Tobago and people say they just have no time for a proper tailored fitting. it is more convenient to buy a ready-made outfit no matter the cost. Bet your money down, their fancy new suit eh go last. What clients may be unaware of is the inferior quality in which these garments are produced and China is becoming the new sweat house for local Fashion Houses (loosely termed) who may seek to cut costs of production.

Occasionally, tailors and seamstresses are commissioned to sew for a few designers, yet Drake snickers at the prospect of the Brand Names owners who can’t put together a garment that they sell. The dollars you make or save adversity affects the tailoring industry and Drake is doubtful if it can recover. If you look around, only older people operated these shops, young people are just not interested.

One of the reasons he stresses is that the Now-Generation motive is make money quickly. Qualified people like mechanics and electricians are bidding for guns instead to somehow counter act the economic imbalance.
Even Levi Strauss gets punished for changing the fashion style in Trinidad and Tobago, the casual ready to wear dungaree trampled the industry as it changed the sense of tropical clothing West Indians once had.

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