Peru's Textile and Apparel Industry
Peru found much economic success in the textile and apparel industries during the early nineties, mainly because of its climate and abundant natural resources, like Pima and Tanguis Cotton. By 2000 these two non-traditional Peruvian industries employed 180,000 with approximately 900 exporting companies.
Because Peruvian Pima Cotton, the finer or the two, is picked by hand there are no impurities left on the cotton and with a fiber length of 1 3/8” it’s classified as a luxury. This has enabled many brand names like, Ralph Lauren, L.L. Bean, Nautica, Lands End, and Liz Claiborne Inc. to have their clothing made by Peruvian apparel businesses. Denim is also widely produced by companies like Textil Nuovo Mondo.
Lima,a port city, is an excellent place to set up a manufacturing facility to produce high quality apparel at a low cost to high end brands. Peruvian companies like Creditex have taken advantage of the skilled Peruvian workers to combine weaving and knitting to become a multimillion dollar company by exporting quality garments. They have also taken advantage of the need of textiles around the world to export yarn and other spun goods. Near Machu Picchu, many poor indigenous Peruvians rely on tourist to purchase handmade apparel, which varies from blankets and ponchos to gloves. These poor Peruvians have helped bring attention to the benefits of alpaca and llama fiber made clothing. This has helped Peru to produce 90 percent of the world’s alpaca fiber. With the internet Peruvian companies are being established to sell these specialty types of garments and fibers to people anywhere in the world.
Peru’s export of textile and apparel is largely due to the Andean Trade Preference Act set up between Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia and the Andean Trade and Drug Eradication Act set up with the United States to help these countries end their dependence on illegal drugs for income. Peru exported $857 million in textile and apparel to the United States for the year ended September 30 2007 and imported $24 million worth of fabrics and yarns from the United States. Peru also exports and imports from the European Union with 117 million dollars U.S. in 1999 for imports.