Cheap Asian fabric killing PNG designers

Following the latest trend, using eye-catching, sophisticated designs, how easy must life be for PNG designers?

“We don’t really have a market anymore,” says Natasha Tamanabae, an emerging designer in the local scene.

Tamanbae’s Baiwa brand started off with her popular shoe range and has successfully matured into a fashion line including outfits.

But describing it from the designers view, the struggle is real.

Tamanabae says fabric is one of the most difficult things to find here in PNG.

“Major factor affecting our growth is because we cannot find the right material to use for our dresses so we have to order it overseas,” she says.

But the more imminent factor is the cheap printed fabric from Asia that floods the market.

“I hope the government help us. Stop importing printed fabric from Asia and allow us to print our own stuff and bring in quality fabric and materials that we will need to grow this industry

“If government set up policies for duty rate, and then maybe stop all these imported materials, then it will give us that market and that opportunity to reaching out into that market and becoming big in that industry. But right now, it’s difficult to sell when we have to compete with very cheap materials,” she said.

Gloria Bauai