Demand from Western markets helped Indian Textile sector stay afloat

During the lockdown, the apparel industry witnessed a steady demand as clothes are one of the basic needs of human existence.

One of the biggest contributors to the national economy and a large employment generator is the Textile Sector. India’s textile sector is unique with it being one of the finest in the world producing around 15 per cent of total industrial production and contributing around 30 per cent to exports.

There were a lot of challenges faced by the textile sector last year, as the retail went on pause during summer and export orders dried. Despite this, the industry stayed afloat, especially post the first wave, when the export orders from western countries started flowing in. The year 2020 had an export-driven recovery.

According to a recent report by the Indian Ratings and Research agency (Ind-Ra), that short term impact might be caused due to the unavailability of raw material, but it is unlikely to impact the Indian textile sector in any major way.

The sector has also received promising support from the government through innovative schemes such as planned mega textile parks. 

The pandemic also put a spotlight on the immaculate textile potential of the South Asian region. Countries like India, Bangladesh, Indonesia have gotten a great opportunity to become a potential global centre for textile and clothing exports. These countries have the availability of an abundance of cheap labour, and a plethora of raw material supplies.

Pandemic has given rise to a more conscious consumer. A significant change in consumer attitude like cost consciousness, preference for local products, evaluating the impact of their purchases; and these changes are likely to stay post-pandemic.

Interestingly due to the pandemic, fibre features such as microbial resistance became a key focus for the textile manufacturers and brands. Masks are now a staple product in every brand’s product list. Increased demand for non-woven textiles has been noticed significantly. These are key ingredients in creating masks, wipes and PPE kits.

Technology is reviving, rejuvenating, and reinvigorating the Indian textile industry. Now consumers are keen to know about the origin and journey of their products. The demand for the traceability of the product has increased by brands and consumers alike, which is further driving the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence in the sector.