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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Niromi Seram, Julian Nanayakkara and Gamini Lanarolle

The suppliers are recognized as important external sources who can significantly contribute by working together with the buyer during the innovation process. Operational…

Abstract

Purpose

The suppliers are recognized as important external sources who can significantly contribute by working together with the buyer during the innovation process. Operational capabilities of suppliers can be one of the considerable factors when selecting them to participate in the activities at the front-end of innovation. However, proper understanding of the influence of operational capabilities of suppliers on front-end decision-making in apparel product innovation is still very limited particularly in the context of the Sri Lankan apparel industry. Therefore, this study aims to explore the influence of operational capabilities of suppliers on the front-end decision making in apparel product innovation in Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

Both semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey were used as data collection techniques. Six senior managers for the interviews and 60 participants for the questionnaire were randomly selected. All those who participated in interviews and the questionnaire respondents have been involved in the front-end of innovation in different apparel manufacturing organizations in Sri Lanka.

Findings

The results indicated that the operational capabilities of suppliers had a direct positive influence on front-end decision-making, and the suppliers’ production flexibility was found to be the most influential. Further, the results highlighted that 27.3% of the front-end decisions associated with apparel product innovation in Sri Lanka were influenced by the factors governing operational capabilities of suppliers.

Originality/value

The findings of the research will be beneficial for both academia and industry. The findings will be useful to extend the current understanding and make a noteworthy contribution to this topic and to provide useful and practical guidance to material suppliers and supporting industries who work with Sri Lankan apparel manufacturing.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2021

Niromi Seram, Rivini Mataraarachchi and Thanuri Jayaneththi

Exercising is a key approach adopted by muscular dystrophy patients to halt the weakening of muscles as it can eventually lead to serious immobility issues. Though it is…

Abstract

Purpose

Exercising is a key approach adopted by muscular dystrophy patients to halt the weakening of muscles as it can eventually lead to serious immobility issues. Though it is essential to exercise on a daily basis for healthy living, there is no mention of any research effort in the current literature regarding the development of an apparel product for these mobility-affected patients that might assist them both in meeting their exercising needs and providing them some comfort in their daily living. Thus, this paper aims to focus on identifying the specific needs of muscular dystrophy victims and proposing special adaptive clothing solutions to support their daily exercise and mobility needs.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the objectives of this study, attention was focused on the muscular dystrophy afflicted women in Sri Lanka. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the female victims of muscular dystrophy and their lifestyles were observed carefully; additional data were gathered by holding semi-structured interviews with their physiotherapists. Further, interviews were conducted with both garment technologists and fabric technologists too. Data gathered through these methods were analyzed qualitatively using the principles of thematic analysis and then aggregate conclusions were drawn.

Findings

It was observed that the patients were engaged in special activities such as exercising three times a day besides following their normal day-to-day activities to maintain and develop muscle strength. It soon became evident that these women found it difficult to perform their daily exercise routines with their regular clothing and were looking for custom made clothing they could wear all day long in comfort and avoid the problems that arose while exercising. The study specifies the requirements that must be met to satisfy both generic and specific needs. Considering all these aspects some adaptive clothing solutions were proposed to support daily exercising activity with respect to comfort, convenience, health and safety, as well as socio-cultural and psychological needs.

Originality/value

The area of fusing generic and specific features to support the daily exercising needs of muscular dystrophy victims is an untouched field of experimentation and being a need of the disabled, the present study marks a milestone on the way to a novel area of apparel design, besides exploring a new field of research.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Niromi Seram and Kethmini Kumarasiri

Plus size clothing is becoming a fashion trend worldwide due to the body positivity movement sparked off by the growing obesity rates and fat shaming incidents reported…

Abstract

Purpose

Plus size clothing is becoming a fashion trend worldwide due to the body positivity movement sparked off by the growing obesity rates and fat shaming incidents reported around the world. Although the problems relating to plus size clothing in the global context have been addressed, thereby establishing certain norms in the market, none of this work has proved helpful in assessing the level of customer satisfaction in the Sri Lankan plus size market. In view of this lacuna, this paper aims to probe customer preferences and identify the problems currently prevailing in the plus size women’s wear fashion market in Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered through both qualitative and quantitative methods. For this purpose, visits were made to several fashion outlets in the Colombo area offering plus size clothing to observe the available product categories, size ranges, fabrics, finishing methods and designs at each outlet. A closed-ended questionnaire survey was conducted to identify the perception of the customers on the current plus size fashion market. Semi-structured interviews with designers working at selected Sri Lankan fashion brands that catered to the plus size market were carried out to acquire an understanding of the current plus size fashion industry from the garment manufacturer’s perspective and to learn about the current construction techniques in the industry.

Findings

The results indicated that 55.6% of the plus size women who participated in the survey were either dissatisfied or only moderately satisfied with the current products available in the Sri Lankan market. The major cause for the dissatisfaction was the inability to find well-fitting clothes to suit their body proportions and the unavailability of trendy, fashionable clothes. Ideally, they preferred fashionable, comfortable, well-fitting and good quality garments. Unavailability of standardized sizing methods and lack of up-to-date information on the female body were identified as the main issues in the Sri Lankan plus size women’s wear market. Therefore, the necessity for a standardized size chart for plus size women based on Sri Lankan anthropometric data was emphasized by designers.

Originality/value

The findings will be useful for the Sri Lankan apparel producers as well as retailers as they will have a better understanding of not only the fit and aesthetic preferences but also the overall shopping preferences of plus size women. This will help them to develop marketing strategies to cater to this Sri Lankan niche market segment, as currently there is no documented information on plus size Sri Lankan women’s clothing preferences.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2019

Niromi Seram, Julian Nanayakkara and Gamini Lanarolle

Organization’s core competencies are acknowledged as most valuable assets and skills which contribute to enhance the ability of innovation, the competitive advantage and…

Abstract

Purpose

Organization’s core competencies are acknowledged as most valuable assets and skills which contribute to enhance the ability of innovation, the competitive advantage and commercial success of the business. Although several researchers have studied the effects of core competencies on the success of an organization, no enough work has been carried out to investigate the effect of core competencies onfront-end decision-making. Apparel-specific studies in the area of core competencies relating to front-end decision-making are rarely found. Therefore, this paper aims to determine the impact of organizational core competencies on front-end decision-making in the apparel innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework was developed focusing four groups of competencies; technological/ technical, customer, network/ partnership and financial competences and hypothesis were derived. Sixty participants in different companies across Sri Lanka were randomly selected based on their involvement in the front-end of the apparel innovation for questionnaire survey. The data were analyzed using the SPSS version 20 statistical software package. Spearman's rho correlation and Linear regression analysis were used to quantify the impact of the competencies on front-end decisions.

Findings

The factors of network competencies are found to be the most influentialon effective front-end decision-making in apparel innovation in Sri Lanka. These results strongly suggests strengthening companies’ ability to interact with partners who possess raw materials, machineries and technology know-how to facilitate efficient front-end decision-making. The next most influential are the factors of technological competencies. It highlights the importance of strengthening the companies’ own technical/ technological competencies to facilitate effective front- end decision-making in apparel innovation.

Originality/value

The findings of this research are of main interest to extend the current understanding on how different factors of organization’s core competencies influence on effective front-end decision-making in apparel innovation. Particularly, apparel domain practitioners will be motivated in implementing and nurturing these important/ and most influential competencies within their firms to facilitate front-end decision-making to achieve better results consistently.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2014

Niromi Seram and Darron Cabon

Fashion is something beyond a normal approach with no limits to the permutations that one can think in terms of designing. Fashion, which represents the innovations of…

Abstract

Fashion is something beyond a normal approach with no limits to the permutations that one can think in terms of designing. Fashion, which represents the innovations of designers, brings forth revolution to the fashion world. The development of new technologies that are then applied to fashion offer opportunities for the industry to adapt to the multiple and ever changing lifestyles that redefine how we think about a design, and the manufacture and consumption of fashion. In the fashion world, not only designers but also scientists are experimenting and exploring with new ways to replace the traditional methods of garment construction with the use of sewing machines, and needle and thread. This paper will produce strong evidence to support the use of ultrasonic technology as an alternative for seaming.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Niromi Seram and Darron Cabon

Ultrasonic seaming: the pertained technology for this research is identified as one of the alternatives which offers many advantages over traditional sewing. Ultrasonic…

Abstract

Purpose

Ultrasonic seaming: the pertained technology for this research is identified as one of the alternatives which offers many advantages over traditional sewing. Ultrasonic technology was initially used for plastic welding. It has been utilized in automotive, electronics and electrical appliances, filtration, packaging, aerospace and apparel industries. However, the use of sewing machine, needle and threads still remains as the most popular method of joining fabrics together. The aim of this research is to investigate the possibility of constructing different types of seams for clothing using ultrasonic technology which is an existing technology that is not fully utilized and not fully realized the advantages associated with it in the apparel industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental reflective practice' was used as the main method for practical investigation. The basis for analysis was formed by reflections made during and after the experimentations.

Findings

Though the construction of the seams are possible, due to thickness of the layers, LSc and LSe seam types were not successful in terms of quality. The bound seam type and the flat seams are possible using ultrasonic technology without the blade, the quality is not satisfactory when comparing to the conventional sewing technique. However, ornamental stitching (OS) and edge finishing (EF) with ultrasonic are possible and successful.

Originality/value

The results of this study will shed more light on ways of using ultrasonic technology in the apparel industry.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

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