Kenya’s textile and garment industry
Existing textile and apparel firms in the country produce a large variety of products. Spinning firms produce yarn (including industrial) and sewing thread while integrated mills produce a wide variety of products including yarn, fabrics (knitted and woven), canvas, school and traveling bags, blankets, sweaters, shawls, uniforms, towels, baby nappies and knitted garments. Garment manufacturers on the other hand, produce various types of garments both for the local market and for export. About 46 percent of the garment manufacturers produce men’s wear while the others produce woven chemise and robes, pants, Kaunda suits (for men), knitted and woven garments.
Investments in growing and ginning of cotton, spinning and weaving operations, in addition to those in production of apparel and other products are assured of ready local, regional and international markets. Attractive investment incentives and production advantages are found in Kenya.
Kenya has 52 textile mills, of which only 15 are currently operational and they operate at less than 45 percent of total capacity. Thousands of apparel companies operate in Kenya. Approximately 170 are medium and large, while upwards of 74,000 are small and micro companies. Twenty-one companies operate in the Export Processing Zones, employing an average of 1,800 people per company.