Colombia Moda 2013: In-sourcing and Re-shoring

Handicapped accessible machinery for clothing construction allows disabled Colombians to return to the workforce

Handicapped accessible machinery for clothing construction allows disabled Colombians to return to the workforce

Colombia Moda is the Colombian version of fashion week.  While it escapes the notice of most North Americans; it shouldn’t.  Colombia Moda is more than just runways, lovey models and concept collections.  Colombia Moda is an event that gives context to many of the Latin American beauty ideals.  This week, while attending Colombia Moda, we will be talking about emerging plastic surgery trends and their relationship to fashion, but as part of a series of articles, we will also be discussing other reasons why Americans should pay attention to a “fashion show” in Medellin, Colombia.

Beyond pretty clothes, ColombiaModa is also a meeting of the biggest minds in fashion and textiles.   The show itself brings in 137.7 million dollars to Colombia, which has the fourth largest economy in Latin America (behind population giants like Brazil and Mexico).  More importantly, it brings industry leaders, in design, clothing manufacturing and textiles from around the world.


Clothing construction and textiles are the heart of this conference, and what Americans should really take notice of.  Other Americans have, like the founder of American Apparel, who is speaking here later this week.  It’s about “reshoring” as it was called during a lecture by a professor of FIT.


Reshoring is the fashion industry’s term for moving clothing production back to the Americas; both north and south. It’s an idea that is gaining ground in the textile industry in the aftermath of several disastrous fires in Bangladeshi clothing factories that have highlighted the poor working conditions, as well as increasing bureaucratic restrictions and rising minimal wages in these countries.  China alone accounts for 38% of all clothing purchased in the United States.

Delays and long production timelines due to shipping and production issues also favor continental garment fabrication. This along with a transition to more frequent fashion lines, called “short lines” with new fashions being released seven or more times a year, instead of the traditional 2 to 4, heralds increased economic opportunities for companies willing to ‘re-shore’ their production lines from India, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh or other overseas areas to the Americas. But where?

Colombia appears poised to take the market, but the United States shouldn’t sit back and just watch. It’s an opportunity to bring jobs back to the Americas – all of the Americas, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

In the next article, we will present several Colombia companies that have done just that.

One thought on “Colombia Moda 2013: In-sourcing and Re-shoring

  1. Pingback: Street of Dreams – Calle 49 | Guide to Surgery in Latin America

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