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Nilesh Jamnadas Interviewed by Radio Australia

Brian Abbot of Radio Australia took time to sit with Nilesh Jamnadas, Vice President of the TCF Council of Fiji to take an insightful look into the current state and health of Fiji’s garment industry right on the heels of the announced renewal of SPARTECA, the preferential trade agreement between Australia and NZ with the Pacific Island Nations. The article is entitled ‘Australian Agreement Will Keep Fiji Garment Industry Alive’ and while it might be disputed that the lack of an agreement would predicate the complete death knell of an entire industry, it would not be disputed that the renewed agreement will surely create a major sigh of relief to the many Fiji firms that deliver the majority of their production to the Aus/NZ markets.

Through the course of the interview, Nilesh Jamnadas offers both statistical and anecdotal evidence as to the progress being made and the cultural importance of the garment industry in alleviating poverty and social and gender empowerment.

Things in Fiji have improved dramatically following Australia’s generous aid program that helped provide the TCF industry with a necessary infusion of quality assurance, production efficiencies and ethical treatment agendas. The results are both impressive and predictive of a future boom as Fiji sets it sights on market niches that play right into the hands of its natural strengths of flexible, shorter runs, tight timelines and premier quality assurance. The outlook is strong and the TCF Council of Fiji has considerable confidence in its position, its markets and its allies.


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Posted on: February 20 at 7:28 pm
 
Dahia Launches its Summer Collection for 2012 and 2013

Dahia Shoes had just recently launched their very first Fiji-Made Tapa Range of shoes which will be known as the ‘Dahia South Pacific Range’. With all the National focus on the ‘Buy Fiji Made’ products, they’re anticipating that as soon as these shoes hits the shelves, ladies looking to make a bold fashion statement will be going ‘shoe crazy’.

This range is now being showcased at the Australian Shoe Fair in Sydney. The Tapa Range of shoes are made from traditional Fijian clothing material (known as Tapa), coconut shells and magimagi (pronounced ‘Mangi Mangi’) which is coconut fiber that has been blended with traditional shoe making leathers. With this unique fusion, the team at Dahia have combined distinct art forms from two cultures; hand-made artifacts from the Pacific that date back to ancient Fijian times and hand-made shoe making, a trade that has been passed from generation to generation in India.

“We started by visiting the handicraft markets in Suva to locate various artists we could work with. For our first range, we have worked with two masi artists, a carver, a coconut button manufacturer and a supplier of magimagi”, said Mr. Dahia

He also mentioned that like all fashion houses, his company will be releasing a new range every six months. The Tapa Range of footwear took over six months of research and ideas to evolve into a collection of smart casual wear products. It offers trendy and unique styles with Pacific Island flavor not found anywhere else.

At the Dahia Shoe factory, a dedicated research and sampling team develop all the new ideas, then sample and test every line before they are released into the market. Mr. Dahia assured the quality of their products revealing that the masi is treated with a special sealer to prevent “weathering”.

Dahia Shoes hopes to showcase their new lines in America and Europe later this year, with future plans to move into Asia. As many nationalists and naturalists like to say “Culture is more than a footnote” and for the Dahia family and their team of seasoned workers, this means innovation and ideas that will take them on the footpath to greater success.


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Posted on: February 14 at 11:16 pm
 
Fiji Fashion Raises $300,000 for Charity

Style Fiji 2011 organised an extremely success fashion show on Saturday, 3 December 2011 at the Sofitel Resort & Spa, Denarau, Nadi, Fiji. The three hundred thousand dollars that were raised from the event will be directed to the Nadi Hospital for equipment and repairs to the facility.

The event once again gave great merit and validation the fashion demand in Fiji and acted as yet another showcase of Fiji’s developing and considerable talents in this area. Fiji has a rapidly growing and rabid support base to develop a complete infrastructure for fashion from designing to production to supporting overseas retailers and distributors with a premium manufacturing base. Training and education has been the rally cry of these fashion supporters and there are many proposed programs close to approval that will help Fiji someday soon see this type new demographic as a significant share of the TCF output.

For more on the fashion show and the Nadi Hospital charitable cause, click here.


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Posted on: February 10 at 7:30 pm
 

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