Over the last decade Argentina’s textile and apparel sector has shrunk roughly 50 per cent. Argentina is Latin America’s third largest economy. The textile and apparel industry employed up to 1.5 million people compared to 7,00,000 currently. Revenues are roughly 50 per cent below a decade ago.
Plans to help shore up the sector include credits or loans to boost flagging production, efforts to stabilize the currency to rally exports and tax cuts for small businesses. Taxes for small and midsize businesses are expected to drop to 20 per cent from 30 per cent. If all goes as planned, the industry should grow to make 157 million pieces in 2020, up five per cent against this year. But lifting the country from its deep economic downturn will take time. A key way to bolster the sector’s fortunes will come from resurrecting past export stars such as high-end pullovers or hoodies, premium wool sweaters or leather jackets, which once sold strongly overseas.
Part of that effort should also include helping battered labels regain their footing. Gaucho-Buenos Aires, a high-end leather goods and ready-to-wear label, just launched online in the US. The brand is using Argentina’s cowboy culture to make leather products with a contemporary twist.