Explore The Vast

Textiles, Apparel, Leather, & Personal Effects

The Philippine garments and textile industry started from a cottage-type industry in the early ‘50s. From then it has expanded, strongly positioning itself as the country’s second leading non-traditional export.The textile industry began as an import substituting industry. It covers fiber production and yarn, fabric, garment, and made-up textile manufacture. The industry comprises two sectors, with the first being the primary processing which includes spinning, twisting, weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing.

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Second highest foreign exchange earner

The Philippine garments and textile industry is the second highest foreign exchange earner next to the electronics sector.

Source: BOI

US$1 billion worth of exports

The industry’s exports averaged US$1.0 billion as of 2020.

Source: PSA

Over 600,000 garments and textile workers

There are more than 600,000 workers employed in the industry.

Source: Business World

The Philippine garments and textile industry started from a cottage-type industry in the early ‘50s. From then it has expanded, strongly positioning itself as the country’s second leading non-traditional export [48]. At present, 39% of the industry is composed of exporters, and 61% are subcontractors, including small contractors who cater to garment exporters, or backyard businesses [49]. The apparel retail industry had total revenues of $6.0bn in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% between 2014 and 2018. The womenswear segment was the industry's most lucrative in 2018, with total revenues of $3.1bn, equivalent to 52.3% of the industry's overall value [50].

The textile industry began as an import substituting industry. It covers fiber production and yarn, fabric, garment, and made-up textile manufacture. The industry comprises two sectors, with the first being the primary processing which includes spinning, twisting, weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing. The secondary processing sector includes garment and made-up textile goods manufacturing (e.g. rope, carpets, rugs, etc.). Production is geared principally towards the domestic market [51].

The Philippines has fantastic fabrics and textiles made from homegrown crops. Its weaving industry, in particular, showcases the richness and exuberance of its cultural heritage. Dubbed as the Queen of Philippines textiles, piña fabric is often used in making the country’s national costumes like barong and terno. It’s largely produced in Kalibo, Aklan, where communities of indigenous weavers still use traditional weaving and dyeing techniques to this day. The time-honored tradition was nominated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2018. All materials used in making piña cloth are all grown locally. Even the dyes used to color the fabrics are sourced from vegetables. Piña cloth is prized locally and internationally for its luxurious sheerness and durability. It comes in different varieties such as piña seda (woven with silk) and piña jusi (woven with abaca). Piña silk is popular among the Philippine elite as well as high fashion producers in North America and Europe [52].

Abaca cloth is produced in many regions in the Philippines. This comes from the abaca plant, also known as Manila hemp, a wild banana species native to the Philippines that doesn’t bear edible fruit but produces a strong fiber. This fabric is thicker and less transparent than piña fabric. Jusi is the lovechild of abaca and piña fibers, still sheer but made with a stronger and tighter weave. When woven along with locally grown silk threads, cotton, and rayon, jusi fibers make the iconic Hablon textile. Hablon is the fast-rising star of Philippine textiles. It is currently making waves in local and international haute couture. Though, traditionally, it is used for products such as the colorful, checkered patadyong skirt and bandanas [52].

Garment manufacturing, which is part of the textile industry, likewise started in the 1950s as a group of cottage-level enterprises that replaced the traditional home sewing, custom tailoring and dressmaking shops. The industry currently includes all items of clothing, such as men’s, women’s, children’s and infant’s wear, and the manufacture of other apparel accessories such as hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, neckwear, apparel belts, brassieres, stocking and socks, and other related apparel [53].

Opportunities and

  • There is a vast range of investment opportunities in garment production-related services such as sample making, fabric designing, pattern-making, washing, dying, printing and finishing [48].

  • There is also an opportunity for investment in the commercial production of indigenous fibers such as banana, piña, abaca, ramie and silk, which are abundant in the Philippines [48].

  • The growing Filipino middle class has played an important role in encouraging growth. Spending on apparel retail has increased as the population retains higher disposable incomes [50].

  • The Philippines and Filipino workers are capable of making garments with complicated styles and intricate embroideries and designs. There is a continuous streamlining of export and import procedures designed to improve the speed-to-market capability of manufacturers. This has led Philippine garments and textile firms to be integrated with each other. Both sectors have manufactured good denums, twills and yarns for local and global supply to exporters [48].

  • Incentives offered to investors also include income tax holidays, additional deduction for incremental labor expenses during the first five years from registration, tax and duty exemption from taxes, and duties on imported spare parts when brought in through the firms’ own bonded manufacturing warehouses, unrestricted use of consigned equipment, employment of foreign nationals, and tax credit for imported raw materials used for the exported products [48].

  • The latest draft of the Textile-Garment Industry Roadmap 2020-2029 – which has yet to be formally released – lays out the path for an integrated textile-garment industry, strong links between industry, government and the private sector, as well as a dedicated trade office. Devised by the government’s Board of Investment, the roadmap includes a request that the government combats unfair competition for local suppliers through smuggling and so-called ‘ukay-ukay’ stores. These typically involve selling secondhand apparel imported from North America and Europe for charity distribution but illegally diverted from the ports to these grey market retailers. The items are then sold at 10% to 20% of the original retail price, undermining legitimate retailers and brands [54].

  • The roadmap also calls for the provision of capital and land to increase clothing and textile production across the Philippines archipelago, encouraging the purchase of new equipment, as well as highlighting the need for fiscal incentives through reduced value-added tax and reduced power rates [54]. Free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries like the US to local garment makers can enjoy duty-free entry of wearables [55].

  • As proposed in the BOI roadmap, the textile sector will be pushing for increased investment in R&D for product development and marketing, incorporating loom weaving into the curriculum to create awareness, and establishing regional and localised ecosystems of backwardly linked supply chains. With regard to the garment industry, short-term strategies include enhancing access to export markets by taking advantage of free trade agreements and negotiating for more liberal rules of origin requirements with the Philippines’ trading partners [54].

  • Under the latest textile and garment industry roadmap, the Philippines aims to be among the top 10 garment exporters in the world by 2026 to 2029 [56].

New Product Opportunities

Tire cord fabric

HS Code
5902 HS4

Textile fabrics impregnated with plastics

HS Code
5903 HS4

Artificial filament tow

HS Code
5502 HS4

Featured Companies

  • Apparelhaus Company Inc. The Apparelhaus Company Inc. is a dynamic and innovative company owned and operated by industry specialists who have an in-depth knowledge of the apparel sector built from over 35 years experience in the garment business. The company is located in San Isidro, Taytay, Rizal, with highly trained professionals and experts in manufacturing techniques, quality assurance and timely deliveries. Having worked in overseeing the production of garments of the highest quality from design to sample making and fabrication to shipment, the company has experience in management and operation of an export oriented garment factory which at its productive peak generated annual sales of $12 million US dollars and employed a staff of 5,000 workers and subcontractors. The owners have worked with major US and UK retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Harrod’s, Macy’s, Bloomingdales just to name a few. The company is now focused on domestic high-end retailers such as K & Company, Vania Romoff, John Hererra and Elin to name a few. Aside from that, the company also manufactures uniforms for hospitals, schools, and restaurants; as mentioned on their site [57].

  • Tenthouse Garments Tenthouse Garments, Inc. is a Philippine-based garments manufacturing corporation engaged in the production of local and export of men, women and children’s wear. The company is located in Baliwag, Bulacan. It produces garments for international markets like the U.S, Europe and Japan. The operation includes conceptualising design, fabric sourcing, cutting, printing, sewing, packing and delivery. The company is owned by Mr. & Mrs. Salvador. They initially tapped the domestic market, distributing garments to Metro Manila’s leading department stores like Rustan’s, Robinsons and SM. Their export business is a spin-off from their domestic venture in producing t-shirts locally that started in 1978. The company received the Golden Shell Award for excelling in garments export in 1990. Today, they continue to produce and partner with world-renowned brands like Nike, Disney, Gap, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, Sears, Gymboree, Arrow, FCUK, Van Heusen, Talbots, JC Penny and Fila to name a few [58].

  • ANTHILL Fabric Gallery Based in Cebu, ANTHILL Fabric Gallery is one of the earliest pioneers of the indigenous textile movement in the Philippines. ANTHILL stands for Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers. Founded by Anya Lim, which opened shop in 2010, it advocates hand loomed fabrics and highlights their use in 21st century fashion and lifestyle. As an ethical fashion and cultural enterprise, the company creates contemporary fashion that respects Filipino heritage, indigenous weavers, and the environment. ANTHILL’s unique model not only employs artisans, but also trains them in financial literacy and cultural appreciation, teaching weavers how to use their unique talents to create profitable businesses. By creating sustainable livelihood and demand for traditional woven pieces, ANTHILL has helped pave the way for future generations of weavers, allowing them to stay within their communities rather than migrating to cities for precarious employment [59].

  • Indo Phil Textile Mills Indo Phil Textile Mills, an Aditya Birla Group company, is a fabrics mill engaged in producing apparel and textile products in the Philippines. At the time of its incorporation in 1975, the undertaking was hailed as the first Indian-Filipino joint venture. It is located at Barangay. Lambakin, Marilao, Bulacan. Starting with a production capacity of about 3,000 TPA and 500 employees, it began producing fabrics with single-knit, interlock, lacoste, honeycombed, and ribbed designs. Today, Indo Phil has grown to be the largest textile mill in the Philippines with a production capacity of 25,560 TPA, has a worsted spinning capability, its own power plant of 24.8 MW and employs nearly 1,500 people. The business has won numerous awards including the Philippine Quality Award for commitment to quality, and is the first textile company in the Philippines to receive several management certification systems including ISO 9001:2008; ISO 14001:2004; OHSAS 18001:2007 and Oeko Tex 100. Almost 30 percent of its products are directly exported to quality-sensitive customers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Europe, South America, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Kenya, Malaysia and other global locations [60].


[49] Philippine Board of Investments. (2018, August 23). PH garments and textile industry gears up to jumpstart resurgence.


[50] Market Research. (2020). Apparel Retail in Philippines [E-book]. Market Research.


[51] Philippine Institute for Development Studies. (n.d). Industry Structure and Competitiveness: TEXTILE MANUFACTURING.


[52] Discovering Cebu. (2019, October 8). Philippine textiles and fabrics that are more sustainable than cotton.


[53] Hampel-Milagrosa, A. (2014). Micro and Small Enterprise Upgrading in the Philippines. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.

[54] JUST STYLE. (2020, March 4). Philippines prepares for textile-garment industry roadmap.


[55] Desiderio, L. (2020, May 3). Exporters eye revival of garments, textile sector. Philstar.


[56] Desiderio, L. (2019, December 6). Philippines aims to be among top 10 garments exporters by 2026. Philstar.


[57] Apparelhaus. (n.d.). About. Apparelhaus Company.


[58] aiHitdata. (n.d.). Tenthouse Garments - Overview | aiHit. aiHit Ltd.


[59] Everything Cebu. (n.d.). ANTHILL Fabric Gallery.


[60] Aditya Birla Group. (n.d.). Indo Phil Textile Mills - Our businesses - Aditya Birla Group. Abg.Com.