29 Aug 2007
Cool Numbers(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 09,2007)
Beachwear & Accessories
Zhejiang Tongyuan Garments Holdings Co Ltd of the Chinese mainland decorates its bikinis with colourfully printed patterns, sequins and beads
The hip and trendy determined to turn up at the beach in style will be hard put to resist the temptation to splash out on the dazzling variety of beach fashions on offer from Hong Kong
Women's beachwear needs are not neglected at Zhejiang Tongyuan Garments Holdings Co Ltd. The Zhejiang Province firm supplies a range of bikinis, including a predominantly orange version available with printed patterns, sequins and beads (CHB154).
"This model also comes with a wrap," says senior merchandiser Jack Chen. "The fabric is anti-UV and comprises 20% nylon and 80% spandex. The unit price is US$7.50 FOB Shanghai."
The company operates two factories with a combined 3,000 square metres of floor space and more than 500 workers. "Both plants are ISO 9000-certified," Chen stresses, adding that, with a monthly production capacity of one million items, the minimum order is 2,000 units per colour per item, for delivery two months after order confirmation.
"Most products are customers' designs," Chen says. "Clients include Target of Australia, Wal-Mart of the US and Basler of Germany." The 1996-established company also makes down jackets and T-shirts, and derives 60% of sales from the US, 30% from Europe and the rest from markets such as Brazil and Peru.
Eye-catching designs characterise many beachwear items, such as the men's beach shorts from Shanghai Landsea Int'l Trade Co Ltd. "They are made from microfibre, which feels comfortable," says Richard Fan, merchandiser at the 2000-established firm.
Among best sellers, a red pair (LSH2J185) features floral patterns bearing the words 'surf' and 'wave'. "The colours are bright and attractive," says Fan, adding that another popular pair (LSH2J127) has a dark blue front with a white leaf motif, and a white back.
"These two models are among our newer items," he adds. "They were launched in March and reaction from Germany has been good."
Most of this company's beach shorts, made from materials sourced on the mainland, sell for US$4-5 per pair FOB Shanghai. "Our monthly capacity for beach shorts is 100,000 pairs, and the minimum order is 1,000 pairs for delivery about two months after order confirmation."
Production takes place at an 8,000-square-metre, 700-worker factory in Jiangsu Province. Major markets are the US, Germany and Poland.
Apart from shorts, ladies' beach hats are also in-demand - especially those as pretty as the ones offered by Ningbo A & J Co Ltd. A dark red model (27248) is made of paper and polyester and sells at a unit price of US$3.30 FOB Ningbo/Shanghai.
"Equally hot is a straw-coloured hat decked out with a yellowish ribbon (R161-10S)," says general manager Alan Cui. "This is made of natural straw from Madagascar." The unit price is US$6.
In darker hues is a polyester model (8376-3/OS). "This has a tweed look, with a mix of colours, dark and light brown and beige. There's a suede string ending in seashells for decoration," adds Cui, saying that the unit price is US$3.
The paper and polyester used are sourced from the mainland, while designs are provided mainly by customers. The company subcontracts manufacturing to factories on the mainland, mostly in Ningbo, and requests minimum orders of 500 units per colour per style with a lead time of 50-60 days.
Sharp colours also grace the collection of men's beach shorts from Samia Garments (Pvt) Ltd of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prominent are a yellow pair with an orange floral print, and a red pair with a grey, leafy pattern on the sides.
"These are new this year, and made from microfibre sourced from the mainland. The price is US$2.45 per pair FOB Dhaka," notes senior merchandiser Rabiul Islam.
The 2000-established firm produces an average of 100,000 pairs of shorts a month. The minimum order is 3,000 pairs per style, with a lead time of 90 days. The US accounts for 80% of the company's sales, with Canada and Europe each taking up 10%. The Dhaka facilities employ 400 workers and occupy 20,000 square feet of floor space.
Beach bags are among the specialities of Silktex Exports of India, with a pink model (SECB 30110) among its hottest items. "This large, cotton canvas beach tote with cotton handles has an all-over print called Jacaranda, featuring flowers and leaves in pink, brown, ecru and white," says owner Prashant Tibrawalla.
"The look is very summery and it's lined with LDPE, which gives the bag a lot of shape and strength. There is also a zippered inside pocket," he adds, noting that the firm recently obtained an order for 20,000 bags from a buyer in Spain. The unit price is US$3.95 FOB Kolkata.
Also popular is a pastel blue model (SECB 37164). "This large cotton canvas tote also has the Jacaranda print, LDPE lining and inside pocket. But it has PU handles and a silk scarf that can be removed and worn," Tibrawalla explains, adding the unit price is US$6.50.
There is also a striped bag (SECB 30125). "Colours include blue and brown with a hint of yellow-beige. It's a very classic design with summery stripes," Tibrawalla notes. The unit price is US$3.95.
A matching beach towel in the same pattern (SETT 35140) is 76x152cm in size. It weighs 500 grams and sells for US$3.95 each. The materials come from India. "All items are designed in-house and new this year," Tibrawalla says.
The 1995-established company has two factories in Kolkata and Mumbai, with a combined area of 20,000 square feet and 200 workers. The monthly capacity is 50,000 units per item, and the minimum order value is US$5,000 for delivery within 45-60 days of order confirmation. Major markets are the US, UK, Scandinavia, Italy, Spain and France.
Confirming that beach fashion is not only about clothes, Hong Kong-based New Hanacess Co offers a series of three brown beach bags in a similar design and three sizes.
"These bags are handmade," says proprietor Aileen Sze. "The dark brown colour is in vogue this year, and the material is natural banana leaves from the Philippines. They darken with age, so we use a combination of older and younger leaves for a mix of shades. No dyeing is done."
Each bag features a slightly different cluster of hanging decorations made from sea shells, coconut shells, seaweed, wood and other materials. "They are attractive and natural, and give a real beach feel."
The largest bag (07BG1162) measures 14.5x13x6 inches, the medium-sized model (07BG1163) 13.5x11x5.5 inches, and the smallest (07BG1164) 12x9.5x4 inches. FOB Hong Kong unit prices are US$8.50, US$7.50 and US$6.30 respectively.
"We launched these in March. They've been well-received in Asia, including Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, and they sell well in Hong Kong and the mainland. We supply some major accessory brands in our main markets of the US and Europe, including Italy, France and Spain."
The 15-year-old manufacturer operates a 3,800-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province. "There are about 100 workers, and we can outsource orders to other small factories," Sze says, adding that the firm can produce up to 50,000 units a month and requires a minimum order of 50 units per item per colour for delivery 21-45 days after order confirmation.
Such an exciting range of beach fashion looks set to turn up the heat in consumer markets, promising a sizzling hot bonanza for the trade.
TEXT BY CARRIE LEE
New Hanacess Co
Shop 3, G/F, Nam Cheong Centre
81-95 Nam Cheong St
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Ningbo A & J Co Ltd
Rms 810-811, 12 Nianjiu Lane
West Zhongshan Rd
Samia Garments (PVT) Ltd
House No.121, Rd No.5
New D.O.H.S Mohakhali
Shanghai Landsea Int'l Trade Co Ltd
Rms A1-2, 23/F, Yu Xin Bldg
345 South Rui Jin Rd
Shanghai 200023, China