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Designer says quality lacking

A local t-shirt designer has poured cold water on complaints from managing director of River Bay Trading Ian Pickup that imports from the Dominican Republic were threatening the garment industry, and his Wildey, St Michael busines in particular.

Owner of  Brand Evolve clothing, Rhaj Paul, told Barbados TODAY that if the products that were being made locally were of better quality there would be no problem maintaining market share and competing successfully against imported goods, whether or not duties were paid on those items.

Paul has been putting his designs on t-shirts and selling them for the past three years. He imports plain t-shirts from the United States that he said attracted “over 100 per cent tariff”.

While the designer said he understood the need for duties to be charged on imports to help protect the local industry, he insisted that local manufacturers needed to up their game when it comes to producing quality products and marketing their goods.

“These guys [local garment manufacturers], I swear they are committed to mediocrity. I am not seeing the evidence of you trying to upgrade your product. You are just trying to stop other people from getting their thing in, so that you could maintain a monopoly? So that you can maintain a hold in the local market? I don’t think that is acceptable,” insisted the entrepreneur.

“Personally I would be very happy to be able to go up to Wildey and get my shirts to work with instead of waiting for them to come in from outside and dealing with [not being able to] get the right sizes or colours in the particular sizes and so on. I would be happy to step up and get the shirts that I want right at home . . . I wish I could say my shirts are completely Bajan but I can’t,” he added.

While he acknowledged that sales could be better, Paul said he was satisfied that he was making a name for himself through marketing his products to both locals and tourists.

Paul insisted that people are willing to pay for top quality and rather than gripe about competition, manufacturers had to bring a top product and market effectively.

He added that workers at those companies also need to be motivated in order to “put the best thing on the market, not just the fastest and cheapest thing”.


7 Responses to Designer says quality lacking

  1. Barker Antony
    Barker Antony August 29, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I’m glad someone has the balls to comment on this, getting a good quality local T-shirt is like looking for Jesus on the moon!!!!

  2. Angel Blossoms
    Angel Blossoms August 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm


  3. Emma St.John
    Emma St.John August 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Agreed, As someone that orders locally sourced polo shirts for the staff at work – the quality is usually crap, can barely last 6 months and the sizing is never right.

  4. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder August 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    So true we can do alot more for our country up up an away…

  5. Robert Foster
    Robert Foster August 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Then whay don’t the 3 of you tell the manufacturers what it is you want? You don’t think that a little discussion would be better than dumping on our local manufacturers who are trying to keep people employed, save foreign exchange and earn forex through exports????:

  6. Emma St.John
    Emma St.John August 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Robert Foster, I do and have complained and usually get a shrug and “I’ll look into it” with not much to go on. We started having uniforms made instead out of cotton so that they at least last a year or so..

  7. Tanya Layne
    Tanya Layne August 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    He hit the nail right on the head. For donkey years people bout hey mekking bare poor quality stuff and then gine turn around and complain when they get competition from outside. Yuh see them dey so, them ain’ feel nutten yet. Otherwise they would have stepped up their game ever since. This madness got to stop and I am glad somebody has said something. The wrong people in this game!


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