India is a country well known for its culture, values, and designs. India is ranked second to China when it comes to garment production globally. India’s textile industry has been in existence since the Vedic period and it’s one of the oldest industries and the largest contributor to India’s exports.Garment industry markets and market changes
The garment industry makes more than 100 different types of clothing for women, men, and children. These are suits, dresses, skirts, shirt, t-shirts, jackets, overcoats, jerseys, baby clothes, handkerchiefs, shawls, gloves, and many more. Most of these clothes are sold in India’s departmental stores, discount stores, and specialty stores spread all over the country. Shopping malls have sprung up in the metros which have affected the land prices.
The government policies on liberalizing the economy have seen the working class earn more income, an increase in the population’s disposable income, and encouraged women entrepreneurs which have seen a rise in family incomes with more purchasing power. India exports its garments and fashion accessories to all corners of the world. The garment industry is a labour oriented industry; as such India and China are the leading suppliers as well as markets for garments.
Other countries in Asia have also joined this lucrative industry like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. This cut-throat completion has to supply quality and variety has brought down prices. India has had to come up with innovative ways to upgrade the quality of their product in order to sustain her marker share in the global market.
The recent recession in the US economy and the appreciation of the Indian Rupee to the US dollar has negatively affected Indian garment exports. However, the industry has slowly come to terms with the changes and the exports have now increased.The tailoring sector
Most of India’s population was brought up with tailored clothes which restricted the garment industry to small-scale manufacturing of ready-to-stitch clothes. The expansion of the domestic clothing brands and the entry of international fashion brands in the early 90s have increased the demand of the ready-to-wear apparel that has been growing ever since.
The tailoring industry is segmented into three. First, there is a local tailor who has limited exposure to fashion trends or technology working in a traditional market to cater to the local community. This segment has 80% of the market share.
Secondly, there are clothing brands that have tailoring services in their fabric retail shops. They have highly trained tailors who are trained to handle delicate fabric. This segment comprises 15% of the market.
Thirdly, there are fashion designers who cater to high-class society who are fashion conscious. They make sure that the tailored apparel fits the client’s social status, personality, and occasion. This segment takes 5% of the market.
In the last few years, exports in India’s garment industry have grown rapidly due to an increase in orders from global buyers and willing investors in the sector. The garment industry is an important sector and a major contributor to the Indian economy. Most households depend on this sector directly or indirectly to earn a living. Many global retailers come to India because of the low production costs, low labour costs, and easy availability of fabric.The garment sector
The garment industry consists of wholesalers, suppliers, designers, manufacturers, exporters, and stockists. It has carved a niche in the global market and has earned a reputation due to its garment’s beauty, quality, and durability. Today, the consumer preference has changed which has created investment opportunities in India. These changes include an increase in branded apparel, fashion accessories, people are shopping more in discount and departmental stores, a rise in disposable income, growth in the textile industry, etc.
Men have become very fashion conscious and the demand for menswear apparel has increased. In the Indian clothing market, the men’s branded clothing segment consists of 45% of the total apparel market and increasing fast.
Just like in other industries, growth in the fashion industry also means growth in the garment industry which in turn creates employment opportunities. A highly fashion conscious market has created the need for highly skilled, productive, efficient, and creative people. A large majority of consumers still prefer ready-to-stitch or semi-stitched garments that are available at stylecaret like the kurtas, salwar kameez, and shirts etc. that have design variations and are custom-fit.Cheap labour and types of workers
Poor working conditions, high production targets, and poor employer-employee relationship are some of the factors affecting the garment industry. Labour is a critical part in the garment industry and factors like worker’s skill level, domestic labour laws, productivity, industry’s ability to maintain quality workers, and workers living conditions, are some of the factors that investors in the industry have to consider in a changing economic environment.
Majority of workers in this industry are women and girls. Majority of them are either illiterate or semi-illiterate, migrated from the rural areas to look for work, they live with their families in rented flats, and they have outstanding household debts. These factors prevent them from looking for better jobs that have a higher income.
They are either employed in large factories as contract workers or subcontracted home workers. There are also the self-employed who cater to the local market. Women form the majority of home workers who cut and stitch garments meant for the global apparel market.
India’s textile industry is linked to agriculture and the traditions and ancient culture of the country makes the Indian textile industry unique compared to other countries. This industry has the capacity to produce different varieties of products for different market segments for the domestic and international markets.Conclusion
The garment and tailoring industries in India have gone through drastic changes in the past few years. The Indian market has seen rapid growth thanks to an increase in domestic consumption, increase in disposable income, entry of international investors, and a rise in export demand. India has also seen local fashion designers coming up to compete in the international market with their recognized fashion brands.