|Creativity meets new connections, techniques for small-scale Peruvian clothiers|
A momentous event took place on March 15 in Lima, Peru, where AVSI facilitated local business-owners to coordinate “Textimoda y Negocios 2012”, planned to be the first of a new kind of annual trade show for the textile and apparel industry. Set in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho, the event brought together more than 100 entrepreneurs.
The aim was to facilitate an encounter between businesses of all sizes, ranging from micro enterprises to large corporations and local supporting agencies, and to help smaller entities to connect with new customers. Activities included individual consultation "Business Roundtables", by far the key moment according to participants, as well as exhibition booths and larger conferences featuring representatives from major Peruvian and international clothing labels. The characteristic trait of each segment was the clear enthusiasm of the participants, eager to learn new ways to build their businesses. The grand finale of the event was a fashion show put on by 8 designers (7 of them from Lima) who, through their latest collections, put on a colorful display to the audience of their passion and ability to compete with a national and international market.
AVSI has been working since 2008 to advise the market positioning of many micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the textile industry on the eastern outskirts of Lima who were hit hard by the 2008 economic crisis and the arrival of new mass producing companies from abroad.
During the trade show, many smaller entrepreneurs showed their excitement at the opportunity to give their dynamic contribution to the field in such a large-scale event, held in the district that is the center of the textile industry in Lima. This combination of participation of small producers alongside the large corporations and exporters made Textimoda y Negocios unique among trade shows that may be larger or better known in the same industry.
It was a chance for participants to see their own capacity to adapt to new market conditions, not only producing standard articles for mass distribution, but innovative items capitalizing on unique locally-produced materials. AVSI has supported the formation of a network of local micro-producers, linking with medium to large exporters. One member of this network is John Vargas, of Varchi SAC and representative of the brand ChiquiCottons, who commented on the trade show:
“In this exhibition hall we have found things that we didn’t even know were produced around here. Now we understand that we can make different types of clothing, using intermediate materials and decorative elements that we didn’t know were available.”