Fashion Business Is Labour Intensive but Does Not Require Much Fixed Capital

Topics: Capital, Capital accumulation, Definition Pages: 5 (1072 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Labour Intensive Essay
Angelique Demont
Harm Grobbelaar
19 March 2012

I have read and understand the information on plagiarism outlined by the Writing Centre. I have given in-text references (for example: Jones, 2006) for all quotations (whether direct quotations, paraphrasing or summaries) and all ideas I have borrowed from others. Where I have used exact words of others (direct quotations), I have indicated this by using quotation marks. I have not allowed and will not allow anyone to plagiarise my work. I understand that the NMMU will not tolerate plagiarism and that I may not be awarded a mark for an assignment in which plagiarism is evident. Signed: Date: 19 March 2012


1. Introduction1
2. Definition of Fixed Capital1
3. Definition of Labour Intensive1
4. Production Process1
Pre-production Operations1
Cut Order Planning and Marker Making2
5. Other Production Processes3
6. Niche Market3
7. Conclusion3
Reference List5

“The fashion business is labour intensive but does not require much fixed capital.”


This essay aims to explore the validity of the above statement. Further more, it will define certain terms such as fixed capital and labour intensive in order to ascertain the exact meaning of the statement. Once the statement has been defined then this essay will explore the facts regarding the production process as well as identify what a niche market is in order to prove the above statement as valid.

Definition of Fixed Capital

Investopedia defines fixed capital (2012: ¶1) as the capital investments or assets that are used to start and conduct a business. Investopedia further explains in the article that examples of fixed capital can include factories, office buildings, computer servers, insurance policies, legal contracts and manufacturing equipment.

Definition of Labour Intensive

The Collins English Dictionary defines labour-intensive (2003: ¶1) as a term used to describe a task, industry or organisation where a high proportion of costs is spent on wages or salaries.

Production Process:
Pre-production Operations

General Sewing Data (n.d: ¶1) states that eighty percent of costs are committed at the design sampling stage. It goes on to say that the majority of pre-production operations involve predicting costs of labour, sample making and production.


Ahmad, a fashion professional, explains in the article entitled The Step-by-step Process of Garment Manufacturing (2012: 85) that grading involves the process of making a pattern larger or smaller regarding its standardised size. She also points out that grading can be done by hand or by use of computer aided design.

Cut Order Planning and Marker-Making

Cut order planning is the process of planning the cutting of the order and is part of the marker-making activity. Marker-making is the course of creating a cost effective layout on the fabric and marking its position to ensure minimal waste. Once the marker-making activity is complete then the layers of fabric are cut either by hand or with the use of sophisticated cutting apparatus such as laser cutting. (Jacobs-Blecha, Ammons, Schutte and Smith,1996:2)


Laying is the process whereby one would place layers of fabric on top of each other in order to allow the cutting of multiple garment parts to create piles which would be sorted in order of assembly. In the event of a fabric defect the material would be spliced and adjusted to be placed over the defect. (Spreading – Layering the Fabrics, 2010: ¶1)

Other Production Processes

In addition to the above...
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