Gone are the days when we used to have a limited wardrobe with only a few sets of dresses. Today, we love to have varieties in the form of formal, semi-formal, casual, active, sports, ethnic, seasonal, leisure, party wears and more. The Indian apparel industry, which was once rooted in the richness of our culture and heritage, is now experimenting with contemporary fashion and consumers are accepting it with open arms.

For the success of any industry, there are some trends or factors that drive its growth. For the Indian fashion and apparel industry also, there are some trends that have enabled this industry to shift from “tailor-made” to “ready-made” clothing. Further, the industry is continuously growing due to the entry of global retailers and fashion brands in the Indian market.

Let us study some factors that will shape the Indian apparel industry in future:

Urbanisation and Rurbanisation: These two factors have led to an increased income of Indian people, in turn bringing an attitudinal change to look better. People have started spending more on durables, apparels, and education and consumer services. The buying behaviour of people is changing from need-based to aspiration-driven. Further, India has the maximum percentage of Gen Y population, whose shopping habits and buying behaviour is highly influenced by developed countries. This generation is readily accepting the global fashion trends. The overall increase of the income and soaring aspirations of the middle-class are changing the dynamics of the Indian apparel market.

Social Upliftment of Women: Until a decade ago, the Indian apparel market was predominantly focussed on menswear and women had very limited options of saris and suits. Today, the role of Indian women in families is changing. There is an increasing acceptance of ready-to-wear garments and western casuals. Recognising this trend, the fashion and apparel market in India is evolving beyond denim with innovative fabrics and stylised silhouettes for women. Global retailers and fashion brands are introducing varieties in womenswear. Further, women’s perception of innerwear has also changed. A huge investment and growth have been witnessed in this particular segment of branded, comfortable and stylish innerwear for women.

Functionality-based Wardrobes: With the changing lifestyle, the occasions and reasons for apparel consumption are also increasing. Now consumers keep different clothing for different occasions. Consumers have started preferring clothing based on functionality and performance such as anti-stain, anti-odour, shape retention, quick dry, anti-perspiration, etc. There is another set of consumers who prefer clothing made out of sustainable textiles. All these factors have led retailers and brands to launch clothing that serve the needs of their customers, drive their sales growth and have innovative performance features.

Return of Custom-fit Clothing: The return of custom fit clothing trend in India has made premium brands such as Raymond, Louis Philippe, Armani and Versace, to offer made-to-measure services. Some other premium brands have even introduced bespoke tailoring to capture this growing trend among Indian men.

Fusion of Fashion and Technology: The integration of fashion with technology has led to the growth of apparel e-tailing. Online shopping gives consumers the access to wider range of brands, the convenience of shopping in indoor comforts and options to compare prices, products and read reviews. With the rising online apparel sales, there is a huge opportunity to build digitally-driven fashion brands in India.

Author's Bio: 

Mayank Mohindra is an author on apparel, fashion and textile industry.His articles are based on latest apparel industry news, textile news and/or analysis of the dynamics of global apparel trade, and fashion industry.