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Mark One Apparel Ltd’s Products chosen to carry the Fiji Made Label

Just weeks ago, Mark One Apparel Ltd was one of the six companies chosen to tag their products with the Fiji Made Label.  These were the first group of companies that satisfied all the requirements made by the Government to have their products certified as such.  The company was handed a certificate stating that products from their company is officially licensed to carry the label.

Mark One Apparels export Fiji sewn garments to Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom.  These products are world class and compete not only with the quality that it serves but also the price and the time span taken for delivery.  The license granted works on a yearly basis with companies having to reapply once it has expired.

“When the Fiji Government promoted Fiji made as a means to bring to our attention the fact that our locally produced products are as good as or better than imported goods and services, we fully supported this initiative.   We had to go through rigorous processes to match the certain criteria from the Government”, mentioned Mr. Halabe the owner of Mark One Apparel Ltd.

In an interview by the press, Mr. Sayed- Khaiyum mentioned that all producers of Fiji Made goods would be able to include benefits with their products to ensure that local and tourists would purchase Fiji Made, thus this becoming a healthy initiative for our local producers and products.

Mark One will continue to export 99% of their production but at the same time will source local products as inputs. With more local products for export and with less importation of goods the balance of payments will be more favorable to the Fiji economy.

With this in mind, Mark One is the proud owners of the label ‘SEWN IN FIJI’ logo on their products and hope that in the days coming ahead, this logo will be looked for as a guarantee of excellence not just in Fiji but around the World.


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Posted on: March 15 at 9:10 am
 
Mark Halabe Interviewed by Fashion Source

Acting as a spokesman on behalf of the TCF Council of Fiji, Board member Mark Halabe was interviewed on the current state of Fiji’s garment manufacturing industry as well probed for some insightful dialogue as to the opportunity that currently is availed to Fiji’s dedicated manufacturers.

Mr. Halabe spoke of the small runs specialty of Fiji and of some of the consistent problems that many Australian importers are facing with Chinese sources. It’s very swaying and it clearly bodes well for Fiji to take advantage of some exceptionally prominent niches where service and quality clearly override cost savings on bulk purchases.

He also delved into the harmonious nature of the TCF Council and that the diversity and common agendas have helped develop a unified consortium where the sharing of information is the operative modality. The article and his interview can can be read in its entirety here.


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Posted on: December 20 at 7:33 pm
 
Mark One Creating Goodwill

Always remaining committed to the community is a core principle of Mr. Mark Halabe, director of Mark One Apparel. With a strong focus on driving forward projects that resonate down to individuals; Mark One is lending its considerable clout to numerous goodwill projects. One such project is replacing the roof of the P.J.Towmey Hospital in Tamavua. Another project is their hosting one of the biggest morning teas for cancer and yet another is hosting a Blood Drive every six months, as Fiji is perennially short on donor blood.

The P.J. Towmey hospital treats various skin diseases, something that is highly prevalent in our tropical climate. With a dilapidated roof, Mark One Apparel decided to help get things moving for the sake of the many sick and unfortunate. This successful goodwill project was accomplished in February this year with a resounding and hardy thanks emanating from the Hospital administration.

The ‘Biggest Morning Tea’ for cancer research and patient support is a very important even in Fiji. The hosts take this very serious and it brings the nation together. Hosted in Fiji in July, there were many participants for this event. Mark One stepped up to be one of the larger hosts of the ‘Biggest’ event. Mark One has served as a host for this event for the past 3 years with each year resulting in more funds raised and more participation. Mr. Halabe mentioned that one small idea which happened to germinate into a big donor funds was where the management, administration and team leaders of Mark One provided a dish to sell during the tea and lunch breaks and with each dollar raised, the company matched that amount. In Fiji we call this Double Up!

Lastly Mark One Apparel also hosts blood drive events every six months, where the management, the administration and the staff donate blood for the major hospitals around Fiji. With such major shortages in Fiji, every drop of blood can truly mean the difference of a life saved.

Mr. Halabe urges all the members of the public to regularly take part in this event and support it.


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Posted on: November 2 at 9:15 am
 
Fashion Designing; a Future Pathway for Fiji

Currently, there is limited fashion designing and fashion–based manufacturing in Fiji. If Mark Halabe, owners of Mark One Apparel has his way, this will change dramatically over the next decade. Mark One Apparel manufactures predominantly corporate attire. For Mr. Halabe, who sees the fashion industry as a vibrant and growing opportunity where he feels Mark One and other Fiji clothing manufacturers are uniquely positioned to support, it’s an opportunity worth investing in.

This type of move could result in massive changes to the industry. It could mean an opportunity to promote entire lines of fashionable clothes from Fiji and more importantly, local fashion designers. In order to make this change the company is in the process of retooling and re-engineering some production lines to be even more ‘Fashion-friendly’. Mr. Halabe has joined in alliance with Ellen Whippy, overseer of the successful Fiji Fashion Week and with Mr. Rob Cromb, a fashion designer from Australia, to initiate the production of trendy women’s fashion from his company as well.

Mr. Halabe also thinks that sourcing qualified lecturers to teach and train local fashion designers here in Fiji will be a major mile stone and is working towards this goal. This will provide locals with high-skilled career option here in Fiji and additionally will serve as a launch pad of recognition for these people both here in Fiji and internationally. The major support will come through programmes offered in conjunction with the Fiji National University and the Training Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF).

The ‘future’ of ‘fashion’ in ‘Fiji’ looks to be ‘Fiji Fantastic’!!!


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Posted on: October 27 at 3:36 am
 
Fiji Plays David to China’s Goliath

We talked with Fiji’s former Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) council president, Mr. Mark Halabe, along with the current TCF council president, Mr. Kalpesh Solanki , about how Fiji is working together to take on the big boys of the manufacturing industry.

Mr. Mark Halabe elaborated at great length on the ‘small volume’ niche that Fiji has in supplying garments to the Australia and New Zealand markets. He went on to demonstrate how his company has successfully re-engineered for shorter runs and more custom orders. He has also constantly strived to improve logistics to deliver the goods in a competitive time frame.

Mr. Solanki echoed Mr. Halabe’s comments and went further to emphasize the entire manufacture base of Fiji needs to optimally gear up and promote itself for overseas niches. With Australia’s minimal wage nearly eighteen times higher then Fiji’s, he feels they could deliver high quality goods into Australia far more competitively then those manufactured locally.

Mr. Solanki then noted that the TCF Council Fiji was recently audited and showed that they have some of the highest scores in worker conditions.

“It’s important to remember that our cost of living is significantly lower then Australia’s, and it’s a great opportunity for the Australian distributors and retailers to take advantage of this”.

Mr. Halabe also elaborated on the EPA (European Partnership Agreement) implications and how they offer access to not just Australia but to a huge number of other international markets and more than hundreds of millions of new end-users. He mentioned about his own company’s shift in local productions that continues to focus on smaller and smaller runs, on maximizing production efficiencies and on increasing its presence in the fashion industry.

All in all, Fiji has uniquely positioned itself in a time where retail stores constantly are looking to carry less and less inventory, while continuing to be a quality provider of cost competitive clothing. For Fiji, when wholesalers and retailers worldwide are seeking cost effective, small order purchases, it’s the perfect storm of economic opportunity for our resilient, innovative and experienced manufacturers.


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Posted on: September 25 at 9:40 am
 
Blood Drive points to and confirms deeper issues

Two of the major clothing manufacturers in Fiji, Mark One Apparel and Lyndhurst Limited recently held blood donation drives in their factories to support Fiji’s call for greater reserves. The response of the workers was indeed magnanimous as a high percentage of the workers offered to donate… however their goodwill gesture unveiled a deeper and more serious problem.

At Mark One, of the 200 workers screened, only 45 were deemed healthy enough to give blood. That is a remarkably low percentage but sadly this falls in line with some recently published Fiji health statistics.

Fiji Village reported on 7th October

Only 16% live to 50 years

“Following the recent health symposium, the Health ministry is addressing lifestyle disease mortality rates through prevention strategies and increasing awareness at community levels.

This is after revelations that only 16 per cent of the country’s population live to 50 years of age while only 8 percent live beyond 60 years of age and that diabetes affects 18 per cent of both major ethnic populations in the country.

Those are some frightening statistics!

The health checks conducted at Mark One and Lyndhurst identified a wide range of problems including high blood pressure and this only served to confirm the already documented poor health standard amongst many Fijians. While the TCF Council of Fiji takes pride in its ethical treatment of our working staff, we still recognize that an even bigger picture includes a strengthened alliance with the government’s health ministry to educate people on proper diet.

We’re all for it… we get to perform some genuine goodwill along with the added bonus that a healthier worker is one factor in helping to foster happier workers and happier workers are more likely to be productive workers… a classic win/win.

And let’s not forget, here’s a shout out to Mark One and Lyndhurst for assisting with Fiji’s blood drive. Cheers to them.


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Posted on: November 1 at 7:32 pm
 

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