The Denim Story in India



The denim fabric industry in India is growing at a rapid pace and has been one of the fastest-recovering markets after the pandemic outbreak. This might be due to increasing demand as well as factors such as rising disposable income levels among consumers who want higher-quality clothing items at affordable prices. Here’s a rundown of ‘The Denim Story, In India’…

It is a known fact that around 15 billion meters of denim fabric is manufactured globally every year, and out of that over 50% is produced in Asia with India being the second largest producer.

Therefore, it is not surprising that India is one of the largest markets for denim fabric in the world and is growing day by day.

Cumulatively, the market is growing nationally as well as internationally, aiding the rising employment rates in the innovation, design, manufacturing, and logistics genres. India lags close behind China (the global leader in denim) in having installation capacities in the world.

 

Signs and Signals of the Denim Influence

Denim is a versatile fabric that can be worn in many ways (formal, casual or even sporty) and it’s durable enough to use for multiple purposes such as shirts, jackets or jeans. It has become a “fashion essential” for both men and women. It’s available in different fits and styles, making it easy to find something that suits your body type. It is one of the few fabrics that has overcome the challenges of age and generational preference. Moreover it is an affordable fabric that comes in various price ranges, leading to a surge in demand.

Easy availability of Cotton, an increase in spinning capacity, a healthily skilled workforce, better logistical planning, a simple and significant growth in demand, and design innovations are a few of the pressing reasons behind the rise of denim in India.

 

The Denim Infrastructure in India

India has an annual installed capacity of around 1,600 million metres for denim fabrics which is the second largest in the world after China. Out of this, approximately 850-900 million metres of denim fabric is consumed domestically, while the rest is exported to over 88 countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Colombia and many more. According to Statista Report, India exported denim fabrics worth US $ 355 million in 2021 (third highest after China and Pakistan).

In recent times, however, the exclusively-denim fabric mills are up by 60 per cent which is more than the statistics of a decade ago. The mills are increasing their capacities for denim production. The bigger, more established companies as well as startups in the textile industry are looking to expand their manufacturing plans to include denim manufacturing in them.

 

Optimistic Growth of the industry in India

The emergence of sustainable denim, wash techniques that reduce water consumption, and sustainable fibres is further springing the denim influence in the country as it is proving to not only be stylish and cost-effective but also better for the environment. A growing number of social media influencers and upcoming brands are recycling and reusing denim fabrics in their portfolio to spread awareness of textile sustainability. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, denim finds maximum proximity to sustainable fashion.

India is observing a fast penetration of denim in the bottom level of the consumption pyramid which is the Tier-3, 4 and 5 places in India. An apparent ‘evergreen’ demand for this fabric is generating employment and revenue more than any other fabric currently.

 

Innovations & Disruptions

Most companies today are proud of their tradition of innovation and sustainability with technologies such as Neo, some washing techniques that minimise water consumption, and the use of sustainable fibres and place them as responsible and trusted textile producers in Indian and around the globe.

Some small players are making a mark by trying different colours other than indigo in denim. Most to mention they are using laser technology in substantiating their efforts in fabric innovation. The market demand, they mention, is shifting towards having softer, more stretchable and anti-shrink denim suitable in slow-fashion sedentary communities. 3×1 weave patterns in denim which were earlier handpicked for export-only purposes are now finding demand in the domestic market as well and Indian manufacturers are finding a way into the market by making large margins with it.

So with many challenges and dependencies, the Indian market is bullish on finding inroads to quality and diverse denim demand. The policies, market, and tech are all favouring an expansion in the denim industry.

 

A Roadmap for the Future

The demand is increasing, and with the advent of social media, the Indian audience is actively looking for International quality, style and even fundamental weave quality. A certain degree of backward integration to reduce logistical costs, heighten smart design and distribution, and in-house digital modelling of records would be imperative to have Indian manufacturers place themselves on the international market. Indian companies that faced a mild expansion are also seen taking the plunge. Some of the many emerging well established names in Indian denim manufacturing are Nandan Denim Ltd, Arvind Ltd, KG Denim, Hans’ Denim, Siddhi Denim, Ashima Denim, Vinod Denim, Venus Denim, Oswal Denim, Jindal Denim and the list goes on.

Denim today is one of the most promising categories in the Indian apparel market. The industry which once occupied a single-digit share of 5% by the end of the last decade has now expanded to occupy 15% of the share. In India, especially, the denim industry has shown persistent, continual growth through the years, and will surely continue to grow in the times to come.

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