India’s Fashion Industry

What comes to your mind when you first hear the term “Fashion” ? Let me take a wild guess Ramp walks, Models, Designers, Flashy Paparazzi or worst – the 2008 film Fashion? I’ll just go ahead and pop that bubble of yours, it’s only the tip of the iceberg actually. There is a whole gamut of other roles in the Industry that make up what we see on the runways and in the malls. The industry is also about Fashion Photography, Pattern Making, Garment Construction, Accessory Designing, Make-up Artists, Modelling, Fabric Weaving, Textile Research and Development, Fashion Journalism and Manufacturing to name a few – a few! Pheww…!

In India other sectors like Manufacturing Fabric, Importing and Exporting, Textiles Embroidery and Dyeing make up a much bigger proportion of the whole industry.

While the coming topic can seem very number driven and statistically loaded, I’ll try and do my best to simplify it for you. So, let’s talk some numbers. The pandemic has obviously slackened the worldwide economy but before that McKinsey and Company predicted that India’s GDP would grow at 8 percent a year, outpacing China, Mexico, and Brazil. India’s apparel market will be worth 59.3 billion US dollars by 2022. Making it the sixth largest in the world comparable to the UK which is 65 billion USD and Germany which is 63.1 billion USD. I am not the one saying all this, it’s all data from McKenzie’s FashionScope. The pandemic will definitely affect and dampen this forecast but for an industry which is as old as our civilization itself that should be much of a fret.

But talking about all of this seems very vague if we do not talk about the real driving force of the fashion industry. The garment manufacturing units, believe it or not – It is a trillion dollar industry. Almost 33% of it is knitwear production and about 20% is woven garment production, both by volume. And this is the data for only the organised market, the unorganised constituent of it cannot even be fathomed. This Mammoth of an industry manufactures over hundred different types of garments for women, men, and children every day and it does it with ease.

Not only does the domestic textiles and apparel industry contribute to India’s GDP in a very significant way but it also is the second largest employer in the country providing direct employment to 45 million people and 60 million people in the allied industries. But how does this seemingly forsaken industry stand so tall and so strong? It has it’s strength across the entire value chain from Fibre, Yarn, Fabric to Apparel. It is highly diversified with a wide range of segments ranging from products of traditional handloom and handicrafts, wool and Silk. So to speak plainly, abundance of raw material is the key here! Well…that’s what enticed the British East India Company as well.

In conclusion, I’ll only say that our country’s fashion industry is cast-iron and will continue to stay so because of the people behind it. I really hope you took something you already didn’t know from this read, keep learning, keep sharing. Ciao!

Vansh Dhama

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