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January 2008  
Dr. Hye-Shin Kim
Dr. Hye-Shin Kim
Project Director
and Editor,
University of Delaware

Welcome to the FIBER journal! The FIBER (Fashion International Business Education Response) project is an outreach initiative led by the University of Delaware and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Our mission is to showcase fashion and apparel markets around the world, share the insights of leaders in the industry and the latest academic research on critical issues, highlight opportunities for further education, and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, connecting members of our community around the globe.

Our premier issue highlights Guatemala and features a Q&A with Carla Caballeros, manager of VESTEX, the country's apparel and textile industry commission. Bob Zane, chairman of the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA), offers his views on apparel sourcing. You'll also find research on the barriers to international trade for small businesses, Nike's and Eddie Bauer's programs on social responsibility, a variety of educational resources, and "Threads," where we invite you to share your industry experiences and tips. We're excited to have you as a reader and welcome your feedback. Contact us at fiberjournal@udel.edu!

Carlos Caballeros

Did you know that many of the brand-name blue jeans sold by U.S. retailers are produced in Guatemala? And that's not all. Guatemala is steadily emerging as a source of skilled labor for garment manufacturing.

Carla Caballeros is the manager of VESTEX, Guatemala’s apparel and textile industry commission. It is part of the Guatemalan Exporters’ Association, which promotes the competitive growth of exports to sustain the economic and social development of the country.

Here, Caballeros offers her insights on Guatemala's expanding role in the global market and opportunities for enhanced U.S. partnerships.


Around the World: Guatemala
Guatamala image
Guatamala image
Guatamala image
The name Guatemala, meaning "land of forests," is derived from a Mayan dialect. The country's motto is "Libre crezca fecundo" — "Grow free and fertile."
synthetic and polyester/cotton blended fabrics, and 100% cotton knits.

Most of the country’s textile and clothing firms are in and around Guatemala City. In 2004, clothing exports reached $1.96 million, with more than 90% going to U.S. markets.

The country’s main ports include Puerto Quetzal (Pacific), Puerto Barrios (Atlantic), and Santo Tomás de Castilla (Caribbean Sea). Cargoes take three days to reach Miami, six to eight days to Los Angeles, and ten days to New York City.

Slightly smaller than Tennessee and with a population of 12.7 million, Guatemala is the largest and most populous country in Central America.

Its narrow beaches along the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west rapidly give way to mountainous terrain punctuated by numerous volcanoes, some of which are still active.

Rich in Mayan heritage, evident in the bright colors of local dress, Guatemala is becoming an important center for clothing and textile manufacture, producing cotton thread, yarn, woven cotton fabrics,

Research Briefs
""What's holding U.S. small businesses back from foreign sourcing? This University of Delaware study reveals the perceived barriers.
Learn more
Industry Highlights
""Industry leader Bob Zane reports on the new frontier in the global apparel industry, and it's no longer quota management.
Learn more
Social Responsibility
""Learn about Nike's and Eddie Bauer's programs to improve the workplace without compromising on quality and sustainability.
Learn more

ResourcesTap into new courses and programs, and connect to Web sites vital to the fashion and apparel industry.
Learn more ""
ThreadsUniversity of Delaware student Anna Konigsburg shares her experiences as a summer intern at the AAFA.
Learn more ""