Patwa Apparel was one of 23 Cariforum companies, operating within the creative industries, to benefit from a recent study tour in Europe.
The company, which designs and manufactures clothes showcasing the popular Jamaican dialect, patois, was represented by founder Heneka Watkis-Porter.
The Cariforum-European Union study tour — jointly funded by CEDA, BizClim and ACP — took place from June, 30 - July 11, 2012. Under the study, the group of regional fashion designers, musicians, film producers, annimators et al visited European cities Manchester, Berlin and Paris with a view to understanding how the creative industry operates on the continent and an objective of having a market presence there.
"How many times have you heard the non-sensical argument that arrangements such as Caricom, Cariforum, EPA, etc are not working for us and that it would do better if we just sever ties? I can safely say that they will work for us only if we allow them to," said an appreciative Watkis-Porter.
Some of the other representatives from the Caribbean's fashion sector were Trinidad & Tobago's Meiling, Haiti's David Andre, Barbados' Andrea King, Antigua's Jean-Marie Thomas and St Vincent and the Grenadines' Tamiko Browne.
Some companies signed on the spot deals while others were given much needed market intelligence in order to get their products 'EU market-ready', said Watkis-Porter.
As a finale to the study tour, the participants have been funded to attended the 2nd Cariforum-EU Business Forum to be held in London August 8-9.