25 Feb 2004
Buckles(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2004)
Vol 2, 2004
Among the products produced by Grand Metal Works Ltd are these adjustable waist buckles with nylon tracks
Hong Kong manufacturers offer buckles in a kaleidoscope of shapes and sizes to match the latest fashion trends. For Wa Tai Garment & Jewellery Accessories Co Ltd, offering up-to-the-minute fashion buckles is an important factor in attracting customers from far and wide.
"We have a 10-person design team which conducts in-depth research on international fashion trends, and each month we create more than 100 different styles for garments, shoes and bags," says manager Maggie Ng.
Among the product range are diamante buckles popular in Europe, metal buckles with PV straps that add a cool touch, and plastic buckles with a nostalgic accent.
Wa Tai sells to importers, agents and manufacturers in the US, the UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Asia.
"We also have a reputation for quality and service, and a competitive price tag too," adds Ng.
Wa Tai has a monthly production capacity of 200,000 pieces of buckles at a 500-square-metre, 100-worker factory in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland. Minimum order value is US$1,000 and delivery time is 15 days after order confirmation.
Established in 1984, Winner Button Co Ltd manufactures OEM and ODM orders for a wide range of garment accessories including plastic buckles, buttons, toggles and iron-on motifs.
"We specialise in plastic buckles for coats and jackets," says merchandiser Bonnie Wong. "Our buyers are mostly agents and factories in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland that eventually export finished apparel to the US."
Wong predicts this year that imitation tortoiseshell buckles will be popular items, in designs such as flowers, stars and squares.
She believes that Winner Button's fine quality and prompt delivery service lead many international brands to place OEM orders with the firm. "We have very stringent quality control, and shipment is just 7-10 days after order confirmation," says Wong.
Winner Button has a 30,000-square-foot, 200-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland. The ISO 9000-certified facility manufactures up to 20,000 buckles a month.
Minimum order quantities vary. "It depends on the complexity of design and size, especially if it is a custom-made product," says Wong.
Over at Kei Cheong Co, sales executive C.F. Wong agrees that imitation tortoiseshell buckles in plastic will be in demand.
"With the current trend for retro styles, these designs are well-received among our customers," says Wong.
About 80% of customers provide their own specifications, while the rest select from Kei Cheong's range of sample cards, offering more than 300 styles created by the company's design team.
"We have had our own factory in Shenzhen ever since our incorporation in Hong Kong in 1990," says Wong. "We have recently set up a new factory there, and altogether we have more than 100 skilled workers."
Polyester resin from Taiwan is the major raw material used in its buckles and buttons, but Kei Cheong also produces metal buttons and horn toggles.
Kei Cheong has a monthly production capacity of 30,000 buckles. The company requires a minimum order size of 1,000 pieces and delivery is 14 days after order confirmation.
A relative newcomer to the buckles sector, Wellfit Products Co Ltd finds ready markets for its buttons and buckles with brand name customers in the US, Europe, Australia and the mainland.
"We create very upbeat products, including insert buckles, hook-and-eye buckles and bar-and-hook designs. They are very fashionable items that further enhance the image of our branded customers," says sales manager Sonia Tsui.
It has two mainland factories, in Dongguan and Shenzhen, with a combined area of 100,000 square feet and a workforce of 200 that make Oeko-Tex Standard 100 products.
Tsui is especially proud of the firm's export department, which takes a pro-active approach to customer service, regularly sending out new product catalogues to overseas buyers.
"They work closely with clients to develop an item through every stage until a final prototype is finished," says Tsui.
Once a prototype is approved, it is assigned an article number, to streamline the production process for its clients, who often use garment factories in developing nations like Indonesia, India and Pakistan for manufacturing. An article number enables these factories to easily source the right buckle for a finished product and order it direct from Wellfit.
"This strategy has brought great convenience to our buyers, as many of their factories are not familiar with new developments in buckles and related production techniques. With our expertise in this field, we know exactly what they need," explains Tsui.
Wellfit can produce up to 50,000 dozen buckles a month. Minimum order quantity is 50 dozen plastic buckles or 100 dozen metal buckles. Delivery is 7-14 days after order confirmation.
So it seems it's time to buckle up when you're in Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Wa Tai Garment
& Jewellery Accessories Co Ltd
Flat D, 13/F
Wei Yin Centre
123 Tung Chau St
Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon
7/F, Blk F, Phase 1
Superluck Ind Centre
45-53 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
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