The Garment Industry vs. the Fashion Industry

A few weeks ago I published my first post on the state of the Fashion Industry in Guyana. In the post I mentioned Guyana’s garment manufacturing industry that is making around 12 million USD** annually.

To people who are well versed in the topic, a fashion industry and garment industry go hand in hand — but though similar, they are not the same. To anyone unfamiliar, I thought it may be necessary to talk about the differences and similarities.

To put it simply, I wanted to compare it to a website. Think about Facebook — when a user logs into Facebook they see the front end, the really nice homepage, that is highly user friendly and allows you to click through you’re easily directed to where you’re trying to go. It is aesthetically pleasing, and seems effortless. This front-end of Facebook is what we know as the Fashion Industry.

There is also a back end of Facebook where all the code lies. This part looks like it took 10,000 geniuses and a truck load of red-bull, 20 years to complete. This is what gives the front end of Facebook the functionality it needs to become the behemoth that it is. This back end is the garment manufacturing industry.

One side is glitzy and glamorous and what 98% of the people who are trying to get into fashion are aiming for.

The other side, is what the fashion industry is built on.

I am fortunate enough to have experienced both sides of it. From 14 years old, I spent my summers working for my father at his garment factory in Guyana. When I moved to Toronto at 19 to study nutrition, a series of events landed me at my first fashion internship at Rent Frock Repeat, and then to studying Fashion Business Management at Seneca College.

All of this has prepared me to take over my family’s company; where I intend to marry and highlight the garment manufacturing AND the fashion industry here in Guyana, extending it to the Caribbean & South America and then globally.

Join me on my journey.

** These are the most up to date numbers I could find — they are from 2007. You can read more here.