BY PUJA GUPTA
As we prepare to enter the New Year, its time to reassess 2019 and the directions come out very strongly for the fashion apparel industry. Looking back, the year has witnessed a lot of positive changes in the Indian fashion industry; both retail and manufacturing.
Right from the influx of overseas fashion brands to India, expansion of both domestic and overseas apparel exporters to policy reforms and the emergence of start-ups, India has seen it all in 2019, underlines Mayank Mohindra, Director, Apparel Sourcing Week.
Mohindra takes us through the major developments that have happened in the Indian fashion industry in 2019.
1. Expansion at different levels
Relaxed FDI helps retail brands’ expansion -This year saw some of the most positive changes in India’s retail scenario with policy reforms. Indian fashion retail market values about $50 billion in 2019 and is set to grow to $115 billion by 2027.
Parfait, Under Armor, Uniqlo are some of the big overseas brands that forayed into the vibrant Indian fashion retail market in 2019. Expansion of overseas companies in manufacturing 2019 is said to be one of the finest years in recent times for the Indian apparel manufacturing industry.
The country has somehow been able to restructure itself and rose around 7 per cent in its apparel exports to the world till October.
Hong Kong-based Epic group announced $ 20 million investment in Ranchi. South Korea’s bigwig Youngone Corporation also announced to invest $ 140 million at the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park (KMTP) at Warangal, Telangana.
Another major expansion has been confirmed by one of the major Sri Lankan apparel manufacturing companies, Brandix.
2. Start-up culture grown significantly
2019 has produced over half a dozen unicorn start-ups, 8 to be precise. Homegrown ventures managed to garner $ 7.67 billion in the first 9 months of 2019. A remarkable feat, as these start-ups are attracting more and more international investors. Clovia, Zivame, Fynd, CouchFashion, CutomitNow, Styched, Vajor and Zinnga are some of the start-ups that have grown multiple times in 2019.
Bengaluru-based Styched, an affordable, fast-fashion e-commerce venture, has raised angel funding of $ 2.30 million from a clutch of angel investors. Lingerie brand Zivame has already reported that, as of September 2019, it has hit a Rs 300+ crore revenue.
3. E-commerce and M-commerce success in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities
E-commerce and M-commerce have not just remained relevant to Tier-1 cities now as rising spending capacity and the use of the Internet have made it possible for the Indian consumers in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities to go digital.
Flipkart introduced a Hindi interface for its customers in 2019 to help them understand its platform easily in rural areas pan India. Amazon claimed that around 65 per cent of its sales came from Tier-2, Tier-3 and Tier-4 towns and cities. More than 80 per cent of its new customers also came from these places and one out of every 3 customer purchased from the fashion category.
4. Textile policy reforms
Special package for the apparel industry, demonetisation, GST and change in labour laws are four major policy-level decisions of the government in recent years, which have impacted the overall economy as well as the apparel and textile industry. 2019 will be known as a renewal year for National Textile Policy. Another reform done was the introduction of Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) policy.
5. US-China trade war
Dominated trade discussion -US-China trade war was among the major issues across the global apparel and textile industry all through 2019. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) has reported that India got an overall benefit of $ 755 million and Vietnam of about $ 2,601 million from this trade war.
India’s Readymade garment (RMG) exports to USA jumped to $308.48 million from $277.29 million in October ’18. Cumulatively, India’s apparel export to the world escalated by 4.50 per cent in Jan.-Oct. ’19 period.
More than social sustainability, environmental sustainability was the highlight of 2019. This has become the buzzword now and everybody in the fashion industry is talking about 4 Rs: Reuse, Reduce, Rework and Recycle.
The first 3Rs are more of the social approach to sustainability, while the major debate is happening over ‘Recycle’ which is more of a technical approach in sustainability. Putting up ETP plants and solar plants in a factory was the thrust initially since the calculative return on investment (ROI) was easier and manageable.
Plastic used in packaging is another major thrust for which no particular sustainable alternative has yet been identified. (IANS)