Functional clothing - New target of Indian exporters
The phrase, 'Necessity brings forth new initiatives' could not have been truer for the Indian clothing exporting sector which was flying high, due to the stupendous growth achieved by the industry in the period from 2000-2007, but received a rude jolt when the economic crisis unveiled in September 2008.
Although the order position of many clothing exporters has improved in the last 3-4 months, they still do not want to take chances and a few of them are now exploring other value-added segments like industrial clothing, uniform clothing and medical clothing.
Industrial wear is a big opportunity globally and is dominated by countries like the US, Taiwan, China and Korea. However Indian exporters have a marginal share in the global market share, apart from a few domestic manufacturers.
A few of the experts are of the opinion that, there is a lot of scope in exports of hospital wear and technical clothing and other functional textiles and garments like, fire-retardant clothing and filter fabrics for the automotive industry.
The Union Textile Minister, Mr Maran has on several occasions advised the textiles sector to diversify and explore the segment of technical textiles, since it is one of the segments from within the industry which has immense potential in the future.
While speaking exclusively to Fibre2fashion, Mr DK Nair, Secretary-General, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry said, “In my opinion, the question is not why garment exporters are turning to industrial wear and smart garments now. The question is why they did not do so earlier!
“A narrow product range is a significant limitation for our export growth in garments. In fact, six products account for around 55 percent of our total garment exports. The narrow product range also limits our export destinations to markets which have demand for these products. Product diversification should be the core of our export promotion efforts and it will also assist in market diversification.”
When asked if exporters could achieve success in this segment, he replied by saying, “We do have constraints such as limited availability of fabrics for industrial wear and also we will need to do some work in technology and skill development, but I am confident that all this can be done, if some of the large garment manufacturers and exporters focus on getting into these product lines.
“After all, most of them started with very little expertise in garment making or exports and achieved the present level of business on the strength of sheer entrepreneurial skills and hard work. This can surely be replicated in the new product lines also.”
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India