Automation and deskill are very helpful for apparel manufacturing, but robotics could be the next step in the industry, as per the head of Lever Style, a leading supplier of apparel. He added that artificial intelligence (AI) is getting more application into different levels of business, while internet of things (IoT) is getting popular in retail industry.

Technology will lead the change in this conventional industry through digitalisation in the near future, said Eddie Chan, CEO of Lever Style. “Polarisation in the industry may result on further consolidation of the companies, horizontal and vertical integration and merger & acquisition activities may reduce the total number of suppliers in the supply market that may help change the current supply over demand phenomenon.”

Lever Style, based in Hong Kong, is an apparel manufacturer and supplier, specialising in a wide range of garments including shirts, blouses, suits, pants, outerwear, cut-and-sew knitwear and denim. Talking about the challenges faced by the fashion industry in Hong Kong, Chan said, “The size of the Hong Kong market is small, and therefore, fashion could mostly come up from international brands instead of domestic ones. If a Hong Kong designer gets popular in the international market, it might create a halo effect for the local fashion businesses.” The company plans to expand its business in product categories and have new customer acquisitions in the near future.