The clothing industry is big business, and Tobagonians must be prepared to expand into the global market.
That’s the view of Secretary of the Division Community Development and Culture Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, who encouraged Tobago’s entrepreneurs to think big.
The Division held a Buyer’s Meeting last week (October 22-26) at the Hampden/Lowlands Multi-purpose Facility. The meeting was a part of the Fashion Vanguard project, which is a public/private sector partnership between the THA, through the Division, and Vice Versa Fashion Company.
“The Division recognises that if we are to truly be a part of the diversification of and economic thrusts of the Tobago economy and have meaningful contributions to the gross domestic product, it means we must be willing to leave our shores and find placement of our goods and services beyond our borders,” Tsoiafatt-Angus said.
According to Tsoiafatt-Angus, Vice Versa Fashion now has the opportunity to be the sole agent for the Caribbean region at Fashion World Tokyo. In addition, they will be using the Buyer’s Market in Tobago as a template for launching a Caribbean Buyer’s Market.
Fifteen buyers representing store locations such as New York, Atlanta, Guadeloupe, London and more, attended the event.
The national contingent featured 12 designers. In all, 170 pieces were ordered on the day of the buyer’s meeting. The Secretary said the Division is expecting more orders. It was the first initiative that brought international buyers from multiple locations to meet with designers for the purpose of commerce.
Every Tobago designer received orders for their work to be placed in international stores.
Last month, in its efforts to showcase Tobago’s diverse artistic talent, the Division supported four Tobago designers, which allowed them to attend Fashion World Tokyo, the largest fashion trade show in that country that featured fashion from countries across the globe.