June 22, 2024

Indian Apparel Factories Need To Be Fast Fashion Compliant

India’s textiles and apparel overseas shipments have dropped over the past five years by 7.6 percent to $34.24 billion in 2023 as against $37.16 billion in 2018.

A report titled ‘Regaining Textile Glory’ by Global Trade and Research Initiative added that in the same five year period, India’s textile and garment imports grew 25.46 percent to $9.18 billion in 2023 compared to $7.32 billion in 2018.

“On the other hand, China, Bangladesh and Vietnam dominate global garments trade,” the report observed

India’s garment exports touched just $14.5 billion in 2023 compared to China with a massive $114 billion, and Bangladesh with $43.8 billion.

According to the report, between 2013 and 2023, Bangladesh’s clothing exports rose 69.6 percent, Vietnam 81.6 percent, but that of India only increased by just 4.6 percent.

Increasing export of synthetic apparels, strengthening weaving and fabric processing sectors and simplifying fabric supplies/imports could help improve competitiveness of Indian textiles and garments.

Other steps also include, negotiating non-tariff barriers in FTAs, and making more factories fast fashion industry (FFI) compliant.

Apparels made from synthetic fibres or blends are in demand, but its share in Indian exports was less than 40 percent.

“This is the primary reason for India’s weak apparel overseas shipments as most formal, sports and fashion wear use synthetic fabrics,” the report observed.

Diversifying into synthetics will allow Indian garment makers to run their factories for all 12 months as there would be demand for synthetic clothing during autumn and winter.

The report noted that Indian exporters also need to keep up with the fast-paced demands of fast fashion brands like H&M, GAP, etc.

The report also suggested negotiating zero duty on apparel exports in proposed FTAs with the UK and EU, while also relaxing labour laws to encourage companies to set up large factories.

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