030 – Marni Leopold, Lucia Palacios, and Mary Marino – Peru, Guatemala, and Africa

Material and textile matchmaking in other countries…

Marni Leopold (Luxury Sales & Management – ‎Trade Commission of Peru), Lucia Palacios (Marketing and Promotion Director of Vestex, Apparel and Textile Association of Guatemala), and Mary Marino (Trade Linkage Consultant, USAID Contractor at East Africa Trade and Investment Hub), join Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes on location at Sourcing at Coterie. Powered by Sennheiser.

Peru

Marni Leopold (Luxury Sales & Management – ‎Trade Commission of Peru) discusses her role as a matchmaker, making introductions between USA designers and brands with Peruvian manufacturers, materials and market. How the attraction to Peru starts with quality, some of the best raw materials in the world, fibers, fabrics, and Peru has a free trade agreement, so materials are duty free. Promoting manufacturing, a trade show, how Leopold became involved, a focus on Hema Cotton and Alpaca, and a love of ceviche.

Guatemala

Lucia Palacios (Marketing and Promotion Director of Vestex, Apparel and Textile Association of Guatemala) shares how her organization represents textile mills, apparel manufacturers, and services and trimmings, making a fully integrated supply chain for the apparel industry. For the last 8 years the leading export industry in Guatemala has been apparel, as 50% of the value of exports. How the country is competitive in knit tops, synthetic tops has been growing, fabric mills from spinning to delivery, innovating culture, and how the country has been thought narrowly but is not just offering artisanal or handcrafted products. Palacios comments on the challenges in moving supply chain and growing, competition in Haiti, Asia, and Central America — and eating outside of Peru.

East Africa

Mary Marino (Trade Linkage Consultant, USAID Contractor at East Africa Trade and Investment Hub) touches on how her non-profit is a facilitator based in Nairobi, Kenya, to educate on the US and East African sides about AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act), about duty free opportunities into the US, and how component parts can be imported and originated anywhere in the world. How her work is a matchmaking process, how East Africa offers very unusual techniques unique to that area, how much of the world incorrectly assumes language barriers, and misconceptions about AGOA such as not needing to source fabrics and trims from Africa to benefit. And how pricing is strategic in relationships and opportunities for duty free access offers advantages. Plus — Florence Italy as a second home.

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