Impact of the Pandemic on Indian Artisans & Handicrafts and the Revival Strategies
Impact of the Pandemic on Indian Artisans & Handicrafts and the Revival Strategies

The handloom and handicrafts sector generates employment upwards of 20 million people in India making it the second biggest sector after agriculture. India is also the world's second-largest textile exporter and 90 percent of the world’s handloom is made in India. Yet, it was one of the worst-hit sectors during the Covid -19 pandemic. Handcrafts, while beautiful, are non-essential discretionary items, hence, were first to get impacted. Millions went out of jobs almost immediately and for a sector that has majority daily wage earners and almost negligible social and medical cover, the damage was colossal.

But then, as they say, there is opportunity in adversity. There are several steps that can be taken to resurrect the weakening sector:

Policy and Financing

‘Atmanirbharta’ is the cornerstone of India and the easy availability of microloans for master weavers and craftsmen will make artisans enterprising and independent. The government must formulate policy that incentivizes seasoned craftsmen who generate employment within communities.

Overall, 80 percent of the sector is propelled by MSME’s and they need to be aided and incentivized to formalize the employment of artisans and weavers. This will ensure job security and offer social and medical cover.

Craft Intervention and Innovation

To make handcrafts more relevant to the modern world, artisans need support, education and in many cases skill upliftment to make newer modern products. Subsequently, also mediums to reach the right target audience. The premier design schools should introduce greater craft design engagement initiatives.

The sector lacks trailblazers who can take advantage of technology and the e-commerce boom because the younger generation is not too enthusiastic to carry further the legacy of generational art forms in lieu of better prospects. Greater digital access at the panchayat level especially for handcrafts is needed to bridge the gap between talent and the target audience. This will also help in nurturing collaborative and creative energy between budding designers and artisans and minimize exploitation by middlemen.

An international showcase of craft by sending artisans to international conferences, trade shows, etc will lead to greater credibility for the crafts.

No Art Without Artisans

For decades artisans have worked in anonymity with no recognition from designers and brands. The need of the hour is a shift in mindset from ‘artisans working for you to working with you’. Designers and brands must take a lead in changing the rules of this partnership. This will fortify trust and send out a bigger message to the younger generation to carry on with the crafts.

Educate, Collaborate and Build

Present-day customer is more involved in their buying decisions. Brands must seize this opportunity to educate customers about the heritage Indian crafts, the process, and the value they add to the merchandise. Only when made in India is perceived as a desirable tag, will artisans get their due in recognition and pay.

At Pinklay, we are fortunate to be building a responsible business that keeps artisans central to our brand narrative. From 2 to 400 artisans, our made in India sustainable business is committed to preserve and promote the arts and artisans of India. Because, they are precious, feature unmatched talent, and are heirloom-worthy.

 

- This article is penned by Daisy Tanwani, Founder and CEO, Pinklay.

 
Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox
D2C Brands Unveil New Collections for Seasonal Delights
D2C Brands Unveil New Collections for Seasonal Delights
 

As the winter frost descends, safeguarding your skin becomes paramount. It's not just about updating your wardrobe; your skincare routine demands attention too. In the face of biting winds and plummeting temperatures, your skin's natural moisture is at risk, potentially leaving it parched and tight. Fear not, for the solution lies in a thoughtful adjustment to your winter skincare regimen.

The Indian cosmetics industry, witnessing consistent growth, boasts impressive figures. According to market reports, the Indian cosmetics market soared to a valuation of nearly $11.16 billion in 2017, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.91 percent projected during the 2017-2025 forecast period.

Navigating the winter months necessitates a slight tweaking of your skincare routine, considering the harsh conditions that challenge our skin's protective barrier. The elements – cold air, whipping winds, and reflective snow – expose our skin to extremes, exacerbated by the common low humidity in colder climates, sapping moisture relentlessly. In this context, a well-curated winter skincare routine becomes not just a luxury but a necessity. Here are the products you need to weather the winter and keep your skin radiant:

1. Fuschia Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating and Plumping Facial Serum

Fuschia

As the winter chill sets in, fortify your skin with Fuschia's Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Packed with antioxidants, this serum provides a robust defense against free radicals and UV rays. The infusion of vitamin C and E not only safeguards your skin but also contributes to a radiant complexion, maintaining the much-needed elasticity.

 

2. mCaffeine Green Tea Face Serum with Vitamin C 15 percent

Mcaffeine

In the battle against winter's harsh elements, arm yourself with mCaffeine's Green Tea Face Serum. While this serum may not contain SPF, it seamlessly complements your sunscreen. Layering with SPF is essential during the day to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. The lightweight texture ensures quick absorption, allowing for a smooth makeup application. Address specific morning skincare concerns with Meolaa's targeted serums, be it dark spots or redness.

 

3. Just Herbs Plant-based Retinol Anti-aging Day and Night Face Serum

just herbs

Combat winter dryness effectively with Just Herbs' Plant-based Retinol Serum. Even if you already use a night cream, this serum goes the extra mile in providing essential moisturization. Packed with ingredients like shea butter, squalane, and niacinamide, it ensures your skin receives a hydration boost while addressing specific concerns. Explore Meolaa's night serums tailored to acne, hyperpigmentation, or sensitive skin, catering to your unique nighttime skincare needs.

 

4. mCaffeine Green Tea Face Serum with Niacinamide 10 percent

mcaffeiene

Prepare your skin for the night with mCaffeine's Green Tea Face Serum enriched with Niacinamide. Offering gentle exfoliation through niacinamide, this serum promotes skin cell turnover without compromising sensitivity. Prioritize skin tolerance when considering serums with exfoliating agents like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) in your nighttime routine. Meolaa's range of night serums further caters to specific concerns, ensuring a customized approach to your winter skincare.

In the quest for winter beauty, these four carefully selected serums stand as your frontline warriors, addressing diverse skincare needs and providing the protective shield your skin craves in the colder months. Embrace the winter glow with confidence, knowing that these beauty essentials have got you covered.
 

 

Next Story
Consumer Behavior in Fashion Retail Industry
Consumer Behavior in Fashion Retail Industry
 

In the world of fashion retail, it becomes evident that each choice contributes to a larger narrative. From the hands-on experience of a brick-and-mortar store to the swift clicks in the digital marketplace, it boils down to the nuances that shape the preferences of modern shoppers and how they impact the industry in turn.

Offline vs Online

Offline shopping is an immersive experience, where the customer thoroughly tests and tries the product within the store often accompanied by friends or family. Typically, this experience translates into higher costs as offline retail involves the use of physical stores which means overheads such as rent associated with them. However, some consumers prefer retail therapy where the act of trying, testing, and purchasing in a store or a mall proves to be a great stress buster or an act of leisure.

On the flip side, the ease of infinite scrolls and doorstep deliveries–the online world beckons a different charm. It's a place where 'try, test, and keep or return/exchange' allows consumers to feel safe and the search bar is a ticket to the sea of options. But amid the speed and efficiency, customers shopping online primarily have complaints about being unhappy with what they eventually get delivered, in terms of fit, texture, color, and so on.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a major factor in influencing consumer decision-making as well, what was initially abundant in Western markets has now slowly percolated into the Indian market, especially in Tier 1 cities. Younger customers increasingly want to make conscious choices towards their purchases– be it climate-conscious materials or to support a social cause they feel connected to. We often see this demographic of customers who associate higher value with choices that give them a “feel good” vibe after their purchase.

Other Factors

Age

Age becomes a defining note as well. Gen Z’s customers prefer trends and unique fits to often overlook material quality. Millennials (usually with a higher spending power), opt for comfort and quality, while the Gen X remain loyal to the classics, finding comfort in the familiar aisles of offline stores.

Location

In Tier I and Tier II cities, premium products are in the spotlight and shopping is a year-round affair where price point doesn't inspire resistance. Meanwhile, in Tier III and Tier IV cities, value trumps all and the majority of purchases entail sale campaigns launched in the festive seasons like Dussehra, Diwali, and Christmas.

The fashion industry is fairly dynamic with the two sides both equally influencing the way people behave in the market. We understand that each click, scroll, and store reveals something new about consumers. I also like to believe that more than the garments; it's the narratives responsible for every purchase. The choices of online and offline purchases mirror the diverse tastes of our customers and their environment which is important to make note of while being in the competitive industry.

Authored By 

Vedant Bang, Director of Thomas Scott India

Vedant Bang, Director of Thomas Scott India

 

Next Story
Nykaaland's Game-Changing Moment: Two Global Beauty Legends Take India by Storm
Nykaaland's Game-Changing Moment: Two Global Beauty Legends Take India by Storm
 

Nykaaland, co-produced by Nykaa and BookMyShow, delivered an unparalleled blend of star-studded appearances, cutting-edge beauty brands, and an unforgettable blend of entertainment and education, setting a groundbreaking precedent in the beauty industry. The festival proved to be a resounding success, with more than 15,000 attendees who reveled in the wealth of activities, from product sampling and masterclasses to celebrity appearances, offering an unmatched opportunity to delve into the world of beauty.

However, the highlight of the event was the launch of two global giants in India - Urban Decay and MARS Cosmetics.  

 

1. Urban Decay

Nykaaland

The revolutionary beauty brand, Urban Decay, made its grand entrance into the Indian market exclusively through Nykaa at Nykaaland. Known for its cruelty-free, high-pigment makeup and ethos celebrating individuality and self-expression, Urban Decay has redefined the makeup world since its inception in 1996. With its iconic products like the All Nighter Setting Spray and Naked Palettes, Urban Decay encourages fearless expression, inviting individuals to explore new facets of themselves. Its arrival in India marks a significant milestone, providing Indian beauty lovers access to cutting-edge formulations and a bold, inclusive approach that's set to revolutionize the Indian beauty scene.

2. MARS Cosmetics:

Image

The innovative MARS Cosmetics introduced its exclusive festive gifting hampers designed for beauty enthusiasts at Nykaaland. Under the theme "MARS Beautiverse," the brand aims to demonstrate that "beauty has no limit, much like the cosmos itself." MARS Cosmetics envisions creating a beauty cosmos that showcases its unique products and narrates its brand story. The festival was the ideal platform for beauty enthusiasts to mingle with global icons from the beauty and lifestyle industry. As part of the celebrations, MARS organized a thrilling social media giveaway, offering 10 lucky winners free Nykaaland exclusive passes with all-access to the beauty extravaganza.

 

Next Story
5 Beauty Brands that are Breaking India’s Vast Beauty Retail Segment
5 Beauty Brands that are Breaking India’s Vast Beauty Retail Segment
 

As the festive season draws near, there is an unspoken rule that one's skin should shine as brilliantly as the dazzling celebrations. In this quest for luminous radiance and a vibrant glow, one need not go it alone. We have curated a list of five must-have beauty products that are poised to become one's skin's best allies, ensuring it radiates with the same brilliance and confidence as one's carefully chosen festive attire and accessories.

It is essential to note that the beauty and personal care market in India has been on an impressive upward trajectory. In 2022, the market reached a staggering size of $26.3 billion, setting the stage for even greater heights in the future. Market size of $38.0 billion by 2028, with a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.45 percent expected during the period 2023-2028, as per a report. Several factors contribute to this growth, including a diverse product range, a rising demand for natural and organic products, and the increased presence of e-commerce platforms in the market.

In this festive season, let's ensure your radiance outshines the clothing:

  • The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Glow Revealing Serum

 

Image

Elevate your skincare routine with The Body Shop's Vitamin C Glow Revealing Serum, a revolutionary product infused with a remarkable 10 percent natural origin vitamin C concentration, strategically enriched with bakuchiol. Comprising an impressive 92 percent natural ingredients, this serum is meticulously designed to enhance the appearance of uneven skin tone and texture, ultimately bestowing newfound radiance upon your complexion. Our extensive tests, conducted with 112 women, unequivocally demonstrated a significant 33 percent increase in radiance after a dedicated 8-week regimen of use.

  • Derma Co’s 1 percent Hyaluronic Sunscreen Aqua Gel - 50g

 

Image

Embrace the sun with confidence, thanks to Derma Co's 1 percent Hyaluronic Sunscreen Aqua Gel. This remarkable sunscreen offers formidable SPF 50 and PA++++ protection, ensuring your skin is shielded from the sun's harmful rays and the detrimental effects of blue light. The lightweight and fragrance-free formula dissolves effortlessly on your skin, almost like water, while the infusion of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E collaborates to combat sun damage, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin as soft as butter.

  • L’Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Skin Brightening Serum, 15ml

 

Image

L’Oréal Paris presents the Glycolic Bright Skin Brightening Serum, a game-changing skincare solution meticulously formulated with glycolic acid. This serum seamlessly penetrates the skin, stimulating cell renewal and evening out the layer where melanin accumulates, unveiling a visibly brighter and more even complexion. Clinical studies have unequivocally proven its remarkable ability to eliminate up to five years of dark spots in just a few weeks.

  • Dr. Batra’s PRO+ EverYoung Face Sheet Mask

 

Image

Elevate your skincare experience with Dr. Batra’s PRO+ EverYoung Face Sheet Mask, a product featuring natural Collagen Fiber, designed to significantly improve skin health, reduce wrinkles, prevent dryness, and maintain an even skin tone. Infused with Berberis Aquifolium, this innovative mask not only enhances skin radiance but also deeply cleanses, reduces the appearance of acne scars, and ensures a harmonious and blemish-free complexion.

  • T.A.C, The Ayurveda Company’s 100 percent Pure Kumkumadi Face Oil

 

Image

Embark on a journey to radiant skin with T.A.C, The Ayurveda Company’s 100 percent Pure Kumkumadi Face Oil. This exquisite elixir is a harmonious blend of 24 Ayurvedic herbs, milk, and oils, meticulously certified by WHO, GMP, and ISO standards. It is specifically crafted to reduce dark spots, pigmentation, and blemishes, while providing profound hydration and moisturization for your skin.

 

Next Story
Dressing Champions: Blackberrys Joins Hands with PCI for Asian Para Games
Dressing Champions: Blackberrys Joins Hands with PCI for Asian Para Games
 

Blackberrys, the Indian-born fashion brand, has been setting trends and dressing men to help them present their best selves for over three decades. The self-made brand holds itself to international standards. As the country experiences tremendous growth and boundless opportunities, the brand is committed to being an integral part of the new India story. As part of its growth strategy, Blackberrys joined hands with the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) as the “Official Ceremonial Partner” for the upcoming fourth Asian Para Games to be held in Hangzhou, China later this month.

As part of this collaboration, the clothing brand, known for the impeccable quality of its innovative, stylish, and sharp-fitting range, will dress Paralympic athletes and representatives of India travelling to China for the championship scheduled between Oct 22 and Oct 28, 2023.

Blackberrys unveiled and handed over the Official Ceremonial Suit to the attending athletes Parul D Parmar (Para Badminton) and Amit Saroha (Para Discus and Club throw) and PCI delegates. Among the dignitaries who graced the event were Mr. Gursharan Singh, Chef de Mission, Mr. Satyanarayana, Chairperson - Para Athletics, Mr. Nikhil Mohan- Co-Founder and Director of Blackberrys; Mr. Rajesh Sethuraman Vice President- Brand Experience at Blackberrys; Mr. Praveen Gupta General Manager – Supply Chain at Blackberrys and para-athletes Parul D Parmar (Para Badminton) and Amit Saroha (Para Discus and Club throw).

“Embracing the inspirational ethos of 'Keep Rising,' Blackberrys takes immense pride in its partnership with the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) as the 'Official Ceremonial Partner' for the 4th Asian Para Games. Our brand's essence mirrors the unwavering spirit of para-athletes who consistently shatter boundaries and overcome the odds. Crafting the ceremonial suit for the Indian contingent is a moment of profound aspiration. We are fervently committed to celebrating the extraordinary journey of these athletes, who epitomize the triumph of determination and resilience. With every stitch, we weave a symbol of strength, style, and achievement, inspiring Team India's path to glory”, says Nikhil Mohan Founder & Director, Blackberrys. The ceremonial suit, designed and meticulously constructed by the brand, showcases India’s monogram blending fashion and functionality.

Foraying into Tier III and IV Cities

The growth of the brand mirrors the growth of the country and its economy. To tap into the burgeoning potential of Tier III and IV cities, Blackberrys is partnering with franchisees who are eager to take on the mantle of growth in these areas. While the brand has already established its presence in many regions, Mohan believes that there is still much untapped potential in these towns, which are experiencing a surge in purchasing power and interest in the digital world.

Digital Engagement and New Categories

In the digital age, the brand recognizes the importance of leveraging digital media to excite and engage with new customers. Their approach isn't solely transactional but center around building brand awareness and fostering trust. While e-commerce platforms serve as transactional marketplaces, Blackberrys' own website caters to its loyal customers who understand and trust the brand. This approach allows for the penetration of new product categories and lifestyles, ensuring that the brand’s existing customers feel connected to them.

Differentiation in a Competitive Market

The Indian fashion landscape is hyper-competitive, with numerous options available to consumers. Everyone is on screens, accessing fashion 24/7, making it a challenging environment for brands like Blackberrys. However, the brand differentiates itself by offering a unique "fit" tailored to the Indian body type. For instance, their shirts are designed to accommodate a slightly fuller midsection while maintaining slim and flattering shoulders. This design philosophy not only ensures comfort but also makes wearers look smarter and more athletic. The clothing allows individuals to look their best without the need for a gym, and this unique selling point sets them apart in a crowded market.

 

Next Story
Lavie Sport's Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks Secure Style With Fashion and Functionality
Lavie Sport's Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks Secure Style With Fashion and Functionality
 

The safety and security of personal belongings and tech products are always paramount considerations for individuals when purchasing a backpack. Alongside comfort features, the assurance of theft-proof quality is essential. Recognizing this need, Lavie Sport has recently unveiled its latest collection of Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks—an innovation that truly transforms the game for modern nomads who prioritize both style and security. This new collection from our brand has seamlessly combined fashion and functionality, enabling you to enhance your style while keeping your belongings securely protected.

Lavie Sport as a brand deeply comprehends the significance of making a fashion statement without compromising on practicality. The Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks transcend the realm of mere accessories; they serve as your ultimate partners in preventing thefts and safeguarding your valuables. Every aspect of these backpacks has been carefully crafted to elevate your style while ensuring the utmost safety of your valuable electronics and personal items.

Here are the Fab Five products of Lavie Sport’s Anti-theft backpack range:

  • Lavie Sport Boomerang 36L Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack: Prepare to make a statement with this sleek 15.6" laptop backpack. It boasts enhanced security features such as a combination lock, ensuring your belongings are protected at all times. With three spacious compartments, it easily accommodates everything from books and files to lunchboxes and travel essentials. The adjustable shoulder straps and mesh back padding provide ultimate comfort, while the front pocket keeps your essentials within reach. Available in eye-catching black, navy, and teal colors, this backpack is a true fashion-forward choice.
  • Lavie Sport Diagonal 36L Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack: Make a bold statement with this exclusive 15.6" laptop backpack that combines style and durability. Equipped with a combi-lock and a padded laptop sleeve, it guarantees top-notch security. The three roomy compartments offer ample space for your books, files, and travel essentials. Designed for maximum comfort, this backpack features mesh back padding and adjustable shoulder straps. Keep your belongings organized with the front pocket, making it a must-have for the fashion-conscious.
  • Lavie Sport Golf 36L Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack: Step onto the fairway of style and security with this 15.6" laptop backpack. Its sturdy design ensures strength and durability while providing ample space for your belongings. The combi-lock and padded laptop sleeve offer enhanced security for your electronics. With its three spacious compartments, you can easily carry books, files, lunchboxes, office supplies, or travel essentials. The mesh back padding and adjustable shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, and let's not forget the front pocket with multiple-level zippered organizers – your everyday items deserve a caddy too!
  • Lavie Sport Astro 36L Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack: Take off in style and security with this 15.6" laptop backpack. Its unique design is built to withstand anything life throws at you, ensuring your belongings stay safe and secure. The combi-lock and padded laptop sleeve provide an extra layer of protection for your electronics. With three roomy compartments, you'll have all the space you need for your books, files, lunch boxes, and travel items. The mesh back padding and adjustable shoulder straps make it a breeze to carry, providing maximum comfort even on the busiest of days. The front pocket with multiple-level zippered organizers keeps your essentials in orbit, ready for action!
  • Lavie Sport Streak 36L Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack: Designed for the go-getters, this 15.6" laptop backpack is a force to be reckoned with. Its exceptional security features, including a combi-lock and padded laptop sleeve with a velcro attachment, give you peace of mind wherever you go. With three spacious compartments, you'll have all the space you need for your essentials. The mesh back padding and adjustable shoulder straps ensure a comfortable fit, even during long hours of wear. The multiple-level zippered organizers in the front pocket keep your belongings easily accessible, making it the ultimate companion for your daily adventures.

These Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks from Lavie Sport are not just ordinary bags – they're your best companion through life's adventures. Whether you're hustling on campus, conquering the corporate world, or exploring new horizons, these backpacks will elevate your style while keeping your belongings secure. With their cutting-edge design elements and rock-solid security features, they are a must-have for the modern nomad.

zxczx
Ayush Tainwala, CEO of Bagzone Lifestyle Private Limited

Ayush Tainwala, CEO of Bagzone Lifestyle Private Limited, is a go-getter entrepreneur with a background in Economics and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Under his leadership, Bagzone Lifestyle has become the largest seller of branded accessories in India, with its brand 'Lavie' catering to fashion-conscious women. 
 
 

 

Next Story
Retail News: A Skating Monk to spice up India’s streetwear retail game
Retail News: A Skating Monk to spice up India’s streetwear retail game
 

When it comes to sturdy shoes, Woodland is a name that all of us recall easily, be it as part of our customer experience or their catchy advertisements. Aero Group, the parent brand of Woodland, has also been promoting a streetwear brand titled fancifully as A Skating Monk. And CEO Gagandeep Singh is confident that the brand, with its zany mix of shoes and clever promotional techniques, is set to skyrocket India’s streetwear scene.

Skating into pandemic-ridden Indian market 

It all started during Gaganpreet’s undergrad in the UK, when he and his Japanese friend created the blueprint of the brand. The idea didn’t take flight until Gaganpreet returned to India and sought an opportunity to enter a fresh market interspersed with very few brands that created their own products. The footwear brand took a daunting challenge of selling products in late 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, and is growing in leaps and bounds countrywide today.

Although the ownership is the same, A Skating Monk collaborates with Woodland and is a different entity that is growing within and outside the comfort zone of Woodland’s domestic retail network.  “A Skating Monk has a different target audience of 16-25-year-olds, but they get the same qualitative assurance of Woodland. A Skating Monk shoes are made in the same factories as that of Woodland and have very similar workforce, whose products have been known to be sturdy. We mix fashion with high quality,” he said. 

Exclusive focus on footwear innovation & promotion

There are streetwear resellers doubling up as brands, and there are entities such as A Skating Monk, which focuses only on footwear. “Other brands are mostly into apparel and T-shirts. Some of them bulk-buy from China, and often fail to showcase variety in the long run. We, on the other hand, manufacture our products and hence have a command on variety. Once we know the styles raging in the market, we launch multiple colors on the respective designs and have been getting phenomenal responses,” the CEO maintained.

In terms of product innovation, having their own tannery helps the brand play around with colors. Gaganpreet finds color customisation interesting, and the brand’s latest line of footwear has layers of colors stacked on its surface, only to be unveiled with usage over time. “The first layer of color wears out to reveal the next. You can also customize by applying sanitisers on the products to reveal interesting colors.

In marketing, A Skating Monk follows the guerrilla technique, in which the brand assembles 18-20 social media influencers to create a wave of chatter around the brand once every two months. This sustains social sharing and discussion about the brand for a good 20-30 days, which gives the brand enough market insight to plan the next campaign. 

Pop-ups, multi-brand outlets, & abroad 

Ambitious, A Skating Monk had started as a D2C brand with limited inventory and access to few multi-brand outlets during the pandemic. The brand was testing the market and sending their products to artisanal brands across Kolkata, Jaipur, and Delhi back then. Chandigarh used to bring the lion’s share of business at that time, but Bombay, Kochi, and Kolkata are hogging the limelight since the past one year.  

They continued with an annual sales threshold of Rs 1 crores the first year, which, according to Gaganpreet, will reach Rs 10 crores shortly. The brand is currently present in 60 Woodland stores as pop-ups across tier 1 and 2 cities in India, in which 13 have the entire A Skating Monk range. The rest are pulling crowd with their popular multi-color SKUs.  Other than that, the brand is available in 4 multi-brand outlets. 

“We would like to achieve 10% of Woodland’s revenue in 3 years from now. We are looking forward to open new pop-ups. A lot of work remains to be done in India and plans are on to expand in Hong Kong, South Africa. Canada where Woodland is already present,” said Gaganpreet. 
 

 

Next Story
Zouk Launches Flagship Store at Nexus Seawoods, Mumbai
Zouk Launches Flagship Store at Nexus Seawoods, Mumbai
 

The apparel industry in India is witnessing an upsurge of indigenous craftsmanship. Zouk, a powerhouse of an online bag player, flung its doors open to its first flagship store in India, at Nexus Seawoods Mall, Navi Mumbai, recently. The brand represents itself by the handcrafted brilliance of its artisans, and therefore, Co-founders Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar inaugurated the store with a cake-cutting ceremony with the artisans. Disha spoke in detail about the new targets of the D2C apparel entity. 

Choosing Cruelty-free Fashion

Back in 2017, the Indian market was seeing an influx of foreign apparel brands, which flaunted handcrafted product lines. India, being the epitome of handicrafts, hadn’t found a curious risk-taker. It was then that Pradeep and Disha’s brainchild, which used premium fabric and vegan leather to be the first cruelty-free, vegan bag brand in the country, was launched online. 

“India always had great products but lacked proper branding for a wide exposure of indigenous work. An India-first brand, Zouk now has over 800 artisans across the board, who look after the supply chain. We have also upgraded conditions for the workers with a proper factory set-up,” said Disha. 

Since Disha and Pradeep belonged to engineering backgrounds, their decision to manufacture bags entailed detailed market study of the fashionable leather industry. A deep insight into the treatment meted out to animals propelled the co-founders to take the leap of faith with a pioneering product base of vegan leather. This demanded the team to constantly train and upgrade manufacturing processes of workers, who were understanding the nuances and benefits of vegan leather for the first time.  

Five years ago, Zouk became the first PETA-certified vegan bag brand in India and overturned stereotypes about vegan lifestyle being confined to just the diet. With several agencies educating the target audience, people now understand that there is a choice for fashionistas to go cruelty-free in high fashion as well. 

Zouk Launches Flagship Store at Nexus Seawoods, Mumbai
Pradeep Krishnakumar and Disha Singh, co-founders of Zouk, at the store launch in Mumbai.

Offline Expansion

Serving countrywide, Zouk prides on having over 6 lakh happy customers for their India-inspired designs. With more than 150 strong workforce, the brand is poised to launch at least five new stores across Tier I cities in the next 6-12 months. International expansion will follow. 

The flagship store serves as an attraction for the latest design launches. The products, such as Zouk Daypacks, will be launched first at the store, and then distributed online. Apart from this, the founders have associated the retail space with an umbrella CSR initiative titled, ‘Zouk Empowers’, which will come up with new associations to give back to the society.

“We started Zouk Empowers with ‘Teach for India’, an NGO initiative on core skill development of senior secondary students. This time, Teach for India has presented skill demonstrations in the form of worksheets to help senior students sail through internships and interviews,” said Disha. She added that projects on women empowerment and upskilling are also on the cards, so that the benefactors get to earn livelihood and Zouk gets to be a part of their promising professional journeys ahead.


 

 

Next Story
Let’sDressUp: Redefining Fashion with a Customer-Centric Approach
Let’sDressUp: Redefining Fashion with a Customer-Centric Approach
 

To wear high-quality fashion, and be confident about the choice of garments, is something that every Indian woman aspires to do. With one of the largest consumer bases in the world, the Indian fashion industry is rapidly growing. However, many of the core problems such as size mismatch, poor quality of fabrics, and lack of customer support, continue to mar the experience for most customers. This is where LDU’s customer-centric approach, and commitment to bringing about a revolution in the fashion world through unique design, quality, and cutting-edge technologies, significantly impact the Indian apparel sector. The new-generation fashion brand offers an extensive and ever-expanding product range, India’s size chart, and the promise of offering clothes that fit every woman -- USPs that have made it a one-of-its-kind fashion label in the market.

Challenges Faced by the fashion industry

Fashion is a $100-billion market in India and over $1 trillion globally. Yet, it is broken across all segments. Almost 2 out of 3 Indians are unhappy with the clothes they buy and struggle to find the size in their desired styles. As a result, the rate of return in the fashion industry is the highest at ~30%-40%. Manufacturers generally face a huge working capital issue due to large credit cycles. Approximately 50% of the capacity still needs to be utilized at any given point of time in a year. Almost ~65% of clothes burnt or dumped in the first year itself; ~10% of carbon emissions and ~20% of wastewater come from the fashion industry.

These longstanding challenges continue to remain unaddressed. Even the biggest fashion brands in India don’t make any efforts to address the core challenges faced by consumers and the fashion industry alike. Identifying the need and the potential that remains untapped, LDU has embarked on a journey to address these challenges in a full-stack manner. 

Customer-centric innovation at LDU

LDU has built the first India-specific size chart by analyzing data gathered from more than 3000 women nationwide. It is a smart size chart that constantly refines and updates its accuracy with each new customer order, enabling a fitment that other brands offering European, US, or UK size charts fail to offer. Further, it has become the most inclusive brand by offering XS-8XL, with 100s of new styles every week at less than INR 1000. 

Ecosystem enhancement by LDU

LDU has worked closely with manufacturers and actively changed the quarterly to half-yearly to weekly payment cycles. By doing this, it has solved the working capital issues while helping them better utilize their capacity. LDU is also building with a zero dead inventory model by leveraging technology to ensure that the design-to-execution cycle is less than a week, compared to the industry average of 3-4 months. Technology also enables the company to track the unutilized capacity and help them better utilize it. In this process, they do not create anything the users never really wanted.

By adopting a lean manufacturing approach, they have managed to solve the wastage problem. LDU also has the ‘Blockbuster Friday’ offering, wherein they unveil new fashion products every Friday to ensure its customers never run out of dressing options. Conventionally, brands launch new fashion ranges as per the season. However, as a brand with many firsts to its credit, this move will be highly beneficial for consumers as they do not have to wait for a long time to find something new and trendy to wear.

Further, LDU uses cotton as the core fabric for its products, which helps reduce resource consumption in the manufacturing process. They use no harmful chemicals or colors to produce the garments and focus on maintaining digitally driven transparency with their manufacturers and retail partners. 

Achieving Revolutionary Results 

LDU has a return rate of less than 3% compared to the industry average of approx. 30% to 40%, and that’s something that even the most prominent fashion labels in the world haven’t managed to come close to. The brand has been witnessing a great reception and has already formed a community of over 40,000 women who have loved the brand’s products. With the ability to introduce 100s of new designs every week, and affordable prices starting from around 1000 rupees, LDU has become a brand with something to offer every Indian woman irrespective of her preferences. 

The company has turned EBITDA+ and crossed the ~15 crores annualized revenue mark. The Indian textile and apparel market is expected to reach $387.3 billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 14.59% from 2023 to 2028. Growing at ~50% MoM, LDU is on its way to reaching the next milestone of ~100 crore mark in the next ~12 months and 1000 crore in the next 3-4 years, eventually headed towards IPO. 

With a healthy unit economics, unbeatable size range, an understanding of the needs of Indian women, and a diversity of design offerings, LDU is well on its way to becoming the “Shein” from India, for India!

Let’sDressUp: Redefining Fashion with a Customer-Centric Approach
Dr. Drishti Anand, Co-founder, LetsDressUp

Dr. Drishti Anand is the co-founder of LetsDressUp (LDU), India’s fastest-growing fashion-tech company. A doctor-turned-entrepreneur, Anand is on a mission to bring about a renaissance in the apparel sector by building India’s most size-inclusive and sustainable fashion platform for Bharat.

 

Next Story
Specialization in innerwear is mandatory for men's comfort
Specialization in innerwear is mandatory for men's comfort
 

The significance of innerwear, particularly underwear, cannot be understated when it comes to men's everyday comfort and well-being. Often overlooked, the right choice of underwear can provide essential support, freedom of movement, and moisture control, enhancing overall confidence and maintaining optimal hygiene. Understanding the importance of selecting quality innerwear is vital for every man seeking the utmost comfort and a solid foundation for their daily activities.

But the world has moved on today and we have exciting new trends coming up regarding innerwear. One of the most important movements within the industry is the rise of specialized innerwear for sports and athletics. What do I mean by that?

Most of us have experienced the discomfort that arises from wearing regular underwear throughout the day. Although it may seem fresh and appealing in the morning, it often proves to be problematic and painful by the day's end. This common issue stems from the fact that regular innerwear is primarily designed for typical everyday use. 

However, when subjected to physical activities or increased stress, it fails to meet the required standards. Problems such as chafing, rashes, and elastic burn frequently occur. Clearly, regular innerwear does not cater to those seeking a more specialized and optimal solution.

This perspective underscores the belief that the future of the innerwear industry lies in specialized products tailored for sports and exercise. This conviction drove the creation of TRYB, a brand dedicated to crafting innerwear designed explicitly for men who consistently strive to surpass their physical boundaries. 

Recognizing the inadequacy of conventional innerwear options, TRYB was established to meet the unique requirements of active individuals. Amidst the clamor generated by various brands, TRYB distinguishes itself by prioritizing key principles that form the bedrock of exceptional sports innerwear. These principles remain the focal point of daily endeavors at TRYB, fueling the brand's commitment to producing unparalleled athletic innerwear. 

How are sports underwear different from regular ones?

One key feature of specialized sports innerwear like TRYB is the use of mesh fabric. This breathable material promotes airflow, allowing heat and moisture to escape, keeping the body cool and dry during intense workouts. It also enhances ventilation, preventing the build-up of sweat and reducing the risk of skin irritation.

Another significant advantage when you choose specialized innerwear from brands like TRYB is its anti-chafing properties. These garments are designed with smooth seams and strategically placed panels to minimize friction and rubbing against the skin. By reducing chafing, athletes can exercise comfortably for longer durations, without worrying about painful skin irritations.

Anti-bacterial fabric is a huge deal today. Having fabric that is treated to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, keeps the garment fresh and minimizes unpleasant smells. This is particularly beneficial during intense workouts when sweat accumulates, ensuring a more hygienic and comfortable experience.

High spandex content is another notable feature. The inclusion of spandex provides excellent stretch and elasticity, allowing for unrestricted movement during physical activities. The fabric conforms to the body's shape, providing a snug and supportive fit without feeling constricting.

Another thing that is underrated when it comes to comfort is the use of high-quality elastic bands. These bands are designed to provide optimal support and maintain the garment's position, preventing uncomfortable shifting or bunching during movement. 

The use of durable elastic ensures that the innerwear retains its shape and elasticity even after repeated use and washing. Lastly, specialized sports innerwear excels in moisture management. The fabric wicks away sweat from the body, preventing moisture accumulation and aiding in quick drying. 

The Future of Innerwear

One notable shift that has transpired over time is the remarkable breadth of options available to individuals regarding innerwear. From a spectrum encompassing colors, types, fits, materials, and more, the range of choices has expanded exponentially. 

At TRYB, the objective has always been to offer customers extensive choices while upholding meticulous attention to detail and unwavering quality. Envisioning a future where innerwear assumes the status of any other garment, such as wearing tuxedos for weddings or sportswear during exercise, TRYB strives to spearhead the diversification of innerwear to serve specific purposes. It stands as a significant stride in this transformative direction.

Specialization in innerwear is mandatory for men's comfort
Sridharan Jayabal, Founder, Solo Fashions (top); Vikranth Reddy, Director, Franch Exports

Vikranth Reddy has been in the Garment export industry since 2006 and has shipped garments to multiple international brands such as Marvel, DC, Walmart, Macy’s, Bloomingdale etc. Having shipped over 1000 containers of goods to various customers in all his years in the business, he has the experience in Mens, Womens and Kids garments. He has also shipped goods to NBA & NFL teams as part of their merchandise.

Sridharan Jayabal is the founder of Solo Fashions. With over 20 years of experience in the Innerwear industry and strengths in using different innovative fabrics , Sridharan is the other co-founder of TRYB. Known for creating a name in fabric whiteness as “Solo White” within Tirupur and with the highest index value in the garment industry, Sridharan comes with an expertise that is technically sound in different fabric and yarn. He was also the first to launch the Walt Disney brand in India for kids through a Licensee model, and a pioneer in launching the perfume finish in underwear.

 

Next Story
mCaffeine: From Chance Encounter to Being Largest Single-ingredient Brand in India
mCaffeine: From Chance Encounter to Being Largest Single-ingredient Brand in India
 

mCaffeine is spreading its expertise in skin and personal care across the globe. Incepted in 2016, the brand is currently the largest single-ingredient brand in terms of sales and valuation, which was Rs 1000 crores last year. They have an aggregate of 90% positive ratings across platforms and their app has over a million downloads. Alia Bhatt was their first celebrity face, according to Tarun Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, mCaffeine, they are just getting started.

mCaffeine Products: Caffeine Addict

Although neem, coconut and almond have been popular for their health benefits in India, caffeine hasn’t had a spotlight. However, this miracle ingredient first got Tarun’s attention in 2015 when a friend suggested  he apply a green teabag and lukewarm water on his puffy eyes. “It worked surprisingly and we began researching and found that caffeine and green tea were excellent diuretics, i.e, they extract excess fluid from your membranes! Caffeine’s in hair care were documented in an 18th century Persian book titled ‘The Canon of Medicine’. Topical application of caffeine blocked skin pores with DHT, and strengthened hair strands. It was also a natural UV blocker, even-toning the skin, and one of the most powerful antioxidants supporting skincare,” said Tarun. 

mCaffeine Kit: Physiological and Psychological Connect

The physiological capabilities of caffeine have found a strong footing alongside millennials’ love for coffee. “They bond over coffee, chocolate, or Red Bull. So, we started a brand with a link between physiological and psychological connect of the target audience in a cluttered market such as India. On the other hand, the e-commerce boom during the pandemic scaled up India’s online economy threefold, and now people have started paying attention to themselves, which has benefited the domestic personal care industry. This year, we estimate that about Rs 550 crores will be spent by Indians on our products,” he stated. 

However, scaling up at a high rate required unique selling points that resonated with experience-oriented Indian buyers. This prompted mCaffeine to focus on its principle of ‘4 E’s – efficacy, ethos, experience, and emotion. For the first four years, Tarun had his personal contact mentioned as customer care number on every mCaffeine package. Learning directly from the customers helped the CEO gain acute knowledge of consumer behavior and guidance on product quality. mCaffeine is now a PETA-certified, vegan, plastic-free and gender-neutral brand that caters to buyers with healthy purchasing power. Starting from the packaging, product texture, fragrance, to onboarding Bollywood superstar Alia Bhatt as the face of the brand, mCaffeine has lived up to its own standards of becoming an upbeat, edgy, and effective entity. 

When it comes to representing the brand to the masses, Bhatt’s presence helped mCaffeine become formidable. Matching the brand persona was a young youth icon who had single handedly commanded complex films to super successes, and thus, proved to be the right intersection. “Since our celeb campaign featuring Alia last year, our awareness index has doubled in the last 8 months along with the media reach,” he added.

MCaffeine: From Chance Encounter to Being Largest Single-ingredient Brand in India
mCaffeine has a fairly equal digital reach across India, serving at least 20,000 pin codes digitally, says Tarun Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, mCaffeine

Omnichannel Expansion Plans

mCaffeine has a fairly equal digital reach across India, serving at least 20,000 pin codes digitally, while being present in 11 countries. Offline, it’s present in 25,000 stores. Geographically, western states have a better penetration of the brand, followed by eastern and north-eastern states. Tarun’s idea is to keep expanding footprints for the next 3-5 years so as to get involved deeply into digital ecosystems of European, GCC, Southern and the US markets, instead of sticking to exports only.

However, those numbers can rise further if Indian users increase their per capita expenditure on personal care, he believes. “We are at a very early stage of spending in beauty and personal care with a per capita expenditure of $6 - $10, as opposed to $340 in the United States and $400-500 in South Asian markets. India is still exploring form factors that are already present in developed countries. GCC is similar to India with a higher spending per capita and organized offline distribution because of lower e-commerce penetration. Discovery still happens online through TikTok and Instagram. If India goes up to at least $25 per capita, the domestic industry will benefit,” Tarun concluded. 

 

Next Story
SoleSearch on Gen Z Radar with Flagship Store Launch in Khar
SoleSearch on Gen Z Radar with Flagship Store Launch in Khar
 

Can social media help you build a scalable business? While the sentence reads very similar to commonly used long-tailed keywords on search engines, SoleSearch, a street culture brand founded by Param Minhas, Prabal Baghla, and actor Rannvijay Singha, affirms that question with their first physical store launched at Khar, Mumbai on 8 June. 

Activating Brand Through Social Media

It all started with an Instagram page by Prabal right after the first lockdown. Prabal, a third-generation lawyer, had an unwavering love for the mushrooming hip hop and street culture in India and had a shot at his dream of starting a brand with his brother’s support. “My brother came up with this idea of getting early into streetwear category after studying trends in the market. SoleSearch began as an Instagram aggregator account wherein we collaborated with about 50 odd sneakers reseller pages to share their stories for free on our platform and help them grow. Eventually, SoleSearch attained that goodwill of a one-stop information shop for all things sneakers, be it price, size, or brand comparison,” said Prabal, co-founder, SoleSearch, sharing how consistent highlights about top-selling sneaker brands such as Yeezy and Jordan on Instagram for about 8 months built traction.

Slowly, SoleSearch ventured into D2C by adding various categories such as t-shirts, caps, and other accessories. Stellar support from fellow entrepreneurs customizing merchandises helped SoleSearch reach the right audience — Gen Z. The store launch was accompanied by an event with skateboards, vinyls, and a teaser of an app that will soon open vistas of gamification, engagement, and value addition for users through Sole coins! 

“Our app will have an exclusive rewards section where every activity such as logging in daily and purchasing can be rewarded with Sole coins. These coins, in turn, can be redeemed through purchases as well as our ‘Drop section’ where we are giving away sneakers for free. One can only participate basis the sole coins they have, so it’s a gamification of customer journey that will lead to a lot of engagement,” Prabal explained.

SoleSearch on Gen Z radar with flagship store launch in Khar

All-inclusive Positioning for Streetwear

Prabal was all praises for the store design by Prakhar, principal architect of Meta-noia Designs LLP, who has judiciously used 550 square feet of space to guide visitors through a meandering wall of products. “A top-down view from the terrace of the building will give you the shape of an ‘S’. The store is positioned at a prime spot in the middle of Khar, below Social, Raasta, and opposite Silly, which attract our audience,” he said. The brand strives to be all-inclusive to promote the culture and hence is expanding its products as compared to legacy retail brands that promote a comparatively smaller selection of SKUs. 

Born online, the brand has done quite a number of interesting offline activation programs to build hype around the launch, beyond Instagram promotions and WhatsApp blasts to Mumbai-based customers. “Starting from our public launch on 9 June, we begin a contest for the first 200 customers, who get a chance to grab a pair of sneakers worth Rs 1.5 lacs. For the next one week from 6pm to 8pm, all our sneakers will be sold on retail MRPs, which is a huge crowd-puller for the sneaker community getting their loved products at a premium of at least 2x-3x anywhere else,” he mentioned. 

That’s not all, as this brand is coming up with their second store as a shop-in-shop conventional retail format at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad in July. SoleSearch, as the name implies, has its soul search for streetwear on track! 
 

 

Next Story
Dubai’s My Perfumes Select Opens Its Doors in Colaba
Dubai’s My Perfumes Select Opens Its Doors in Colaba
 

The posh Colaba area of Mumbai just got better with the launch of the flagship store of My Perfumes Select. The Dubai-based luxury perfume brand, which has been tantalising numerous markets across the US, Europe, and Middle East for 30 years, embarked its India journey from Mumbai with a fabulous and rare retail experience. 

Talking about how they customise the customer experience across the world, Mustafa Firoz, MD, My Perfumes Group, said, “Every country has a different mindset when it comes to perfumery. Therefore, the fragrance palette is different. We’ve studied the market in India and come up with fragrances that will resonate beautifully in this region.”

The store showcased an ever-expanding display of high-quality, precious absolutes such as rose, jasmine, oudh, and amber – the notes that command the aesthetical brilliance of this brand. My Perfumes Select combines the best of the ingredients with state-of-the-art processes to create a vast range of fragrances that mesmerise people with their individuality and elegance. The brand appeals to the next-gen fashionistas and perfumery connoisseurs, who have discerning preferences in perfumery and want to stand out with their individual style statements. 

“We are from Dubai. People have a perception that fragrances from Dubai are all about luxury. They think that Oudh is from Dubai, which is not true, as it is from India. So, we are using ingredients available here, taking them back to Dubai, creating our product and bringing them together with exotic inventory from across the world,” Firoz added, maintaining that the SKUs, all uniform in 100 ml containers, range from Rs 6,500 to Rs 30,000.  

Dubai’s My Perfumes Select Opens Its Doors in Colaba

Although My Perfumes Select has spread the buzz across digital channels, the products are their celebrity, and they have been gaining love and customer stickiness solely based on their quality. Even in terms of retail experience, the brand has onboarded a global design agency to create the interior décor, and the result has been opulence aplenty for every perfumer lover who is bold, confident, and young at heart.

This is because it’s no longer an age of conformism, reflects Firoz, and it is the brand’s duty to craft inventory that blends with individual aspirations and preferences of ‘cognoscentis’. Therefore, it is the enfleurage of global cultural diversities that has gone into designing the retail experience.

Mumbai is just the first stop, as Firoz’s aim is to expand pan-India. “Based on customer experiences, we are looking at reaching the 100 store-mark in the next 3 years,” Firoz signed off.
 

 

Next Story
Superfood-Based Brands Giving New Dimension to Indian Beauty Industry
Superfood-Based Brands Giving New Dimension to Indian Beauty Industry
 

It was in the pre-pandemic era, more than five-six years ago, when we set foot into the ever-growing world of clean, nature-oriented, and plant-based beauty. Despite a foresighted vision and a sustainable approach, what we came across in the market was a lack of know-how pertaining to the efficacies of plant-based formulations. As a matter of fact, clean and plant-based beauty was then a budding concept even in the West. The concept was in such a nascent stage in India that we had no option but to invest nearly three years solely in intense research and develop plant-based formulations before manufacturing even the first product.


The situation, however, changed drastically just a few years down the line, especially post the outbreak of the pandemic. A study conducted by Statista Market Research in 2022 estimates the natural cosmetics industry in India to be growing at a phenomenal rate of 3.41 percent per annum. There are most certainly a number of factors for the evolved scenario, with informed consumers being the key drivers of growth. While increased awareness among end-users has resulted in a more conscious approach by brands, it has led to the advent of several home-grown as well as multinational industry players into the space.


With so much to attribute to the consumers, it becomes imperative for brands to build a trust factor in the community as a whole, alongside maximizing the benefits of plant-based ingredients and formulations. Certification for products, or a brand as a whole, has proven to be quite effective in this regard. A difficult feat to achieve for manufacturers, owing to multiple steps of inspection and formalities, it goes a long way in laying a formidable foundation in the ethical space of clean & plant-based beauty. For instance, a certification by bodies such as PETA attributes a sense of credibility to the brand while an Ecocert certification manifests a brand’s commitment towards sustainability.


Coming to the predominant trend in the Indian clean beauty space, we can vouch for the widespread adaptation of superfoods as ingredients for nature-oriented products, especially among consumers who seek true makeup-skincare hybrid solutions in their personal care regimen. Effective superfoods such as chamomile, squalene, watermelon, kiwi, etc have emerged as some of the most-preferred ingredients among modern-day consumers. Gone are the days when consumers overlooked the list of ingredients on the foil of a product. This is primarily because such superfoods are infused with active ingredients, bio-actives, amino acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.

While going natural and resorting to vegetable extracts definitely appears a wise step, clean beauty brands also need to understand that women today do not have more than 15-20 minutes before heading out. Hence, the solutions need to be developed strictly on a need-based proposition and taking into consideration the efficacies of plant-based formulations. There is a greater understanding that of the makeup applied, nearly 60% is absorbed by the skin; hence it becomes all the more critical for brands to not compromise on formulations during manufacturing. Brands that adhere to such basic principles of clean beauty are the ones giving a new dimension to the beauty industry.
 

 

Next Story
Reviving the Past, Shaping the Future: The Gothic Subculture's Enduring Influence on Fashion
Reviving the Past, Shaping the Future: The Gothic Subculture's Enduring Influence on Fashion
 

Fashion has forever been captivated by the interplay of light and shadow, constantly seeking inspiration from diverse subcultures that challenge societal norms. Among these subcultures, the enigmatic and bewitching allure of the Gothic movement has cast its spell on the fashion world. With its brooding aesthetics and unconventional sensibilities, Gothic subculture has left an indelible mark on the realm of fashion, transcending boundaries and redefining the mainstream. In this article, we delve into the mystical depths of Gothic fashion, exploring its dominance of the color black, its symbolism and subcultural references, its fascination with the Victorian era, the androgynous expressions it embraces, the DIY ethos that fosters individualism, the captivating drama of its silhouettes, and the statement accessories that complete its enchanting allure.

The Enigma of Ebony: Black as the Gateway to Gothic Fashion

At the core of the Gothic subculture lies the color black. Black is synonymous with mystery, mourning, and darkness, which are prevailing themes within Gothic aesthetics. The Gothic fashion movement popularized black as the primary color choice, extending beyond clothing to encompass accessories, makeup, and even hairstyles. The striking dominance of black not only embodies the subculture's fascination with the macabre but also serves as a visual expression of individuality and rebellion against mainstream fashion's vibrant and cheerful hues.

Mystical Manifestations: Symbolism and Subcultural Allusions in Gothic Fashion

Gothic fashion thrives on symbolism and subcultural references. Clothing and accessories adorned with symbols evoking themes of death, spirituality, and the macabre are emblematic of the Gothic subculture. Skulls, occult symbols, bats, spiders, crosses, and other mystic motifs are commonly incorporated into Gothic fashion, adding a sense of mystique and intrigue to the overall aesthetic.

Resurrecting Elegance: Victorian and Romantic Reverberations in Gothic Attire

Gothic fashion draws inspiration from the elegance and opulence of the Victorian and Romantic eras. Elements such as corsets, laces, ruffles, and high collars reminiscent of Victorian fashion find their way into Gothic attire. The fusion of these historical influences with the subculture's darker sensibilities creates a unique blend of romanticism and gothic allure, appealing to those who seek a balance between darkness and beauty.

Beyond Binary: Unveiling Androgyny and Gender Fluidity in Gothic Fashion

Gothic fashion challenges traditional gender norms by embracing androgyny and gender fluidity. It transcends the boundaries of gendered clothing, allowing both men and women to explore styles and incorporate elements traditionally associated with the opposite gender. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of freedom and self-expression within the subculture, empowering individuals to fashion their own unique identities through clothing.

Unleashing Creativity: DIY Ethos and the Quest for Individualism in Gothic Style

The Gothic subculture embraces the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ethos, encouraging its members to create and customize their own clothing and accessories. This emphasis on individualism and uniqueness sets Gothic fashion apart from mainstream trends. DIY practices enable Goths to craft personalized garments, often incorporating unconventional materials and designs, further establishing their distinct presence within the fashion landscape.

Shadows and Silhouettes: The Dramatic Dance of Gothic Fashion

Dramatic silhouettes are a hallmark of Gothic fashion. Long flowing skirts, fitted bodices, billowing sleeves, and oversized accessories contribute to the subculture's air of mystery and elegance. The juxtaposition of fitted and flowing garments creates visually striking ensembles, enhancing the wearer's aura of individuality and theatricality.

Adornments of the Night: Accessories as Gothic Fashion's Bold Statements

Accessories play a pivotal role in Gothic fashion, serving as statement pieces that complement and enhance the overall aesthetic. Wide-brimmed hats, chokers, gloves, fishnet stockings, boots, and ornate jewelry are commonly used to amplify the subculture's dark allure. These accessories not only complete the look but also serve as powerful symbols of the wearer's devotion to the Gothic aesthetic.

Conclusion

The Gothic subculture's influence on fashion extends far beyond its origins, permeating mainstream trends and inspiring designers around the world.
 

 

Next Story
Ayurveda is integral to urban healthcare today
Ayurveda is integral to urban healthcare today
 

People are increasingly seeking skincare solutions rooted in nature. The urban population's awareness of the potential risks associated with synthetic chemicals has sparked a profound shift towards natural ingredients. Ayurveda, with its emphasis on herbs and botanical extracts, gracefully guides us back to our ancestral wisdom. This growing preference for natural skincare has made Ayurveda more accessible and sought-after. With products such as Cleanse, Ayurvedic skincare offers sustainable and organic alternatives, devoid of harmful chemicals. Embracing Ayurveda empowers individuals to adopt a holistic approach to skincare, fostering overall well-being and a profound connection with the natural world.

Let me tell you a story about a young Nawab's concern over falling hair before his coronation. A wise sage conceptualized a master haircare solution, known as Kasvi, which proved transformative. This non-sticky, non-greasy formulation promoted hair regeneration and reduced hair fall, leaving the young Nawab with a crown of lush hair befitting his regal status.

These stories, echoing since 1881, have fueled Rahat Rooh's mission to introduce the time-honored solutions of Ayurveda to a world that now embraces the importance of natural ingredients in skincare and haircare.

The 140-year-old formula is at the heart of all our Cleanse products. It's a treasure trove of Ayurvedic wisdom that has been passed down through generations. Each skincare solution is carefully curated, comprising of carefully selected ingredients that have stood the test of time in resolving skincare and haircare issues naturally. We believe in blending the power of tradition with modern advancements. It's a beautiful synergy between time-honored wisdom and cutting-edge innovation.

One of the significant aspects of our natural products is that they carry minimal risk of hyper-reactions. The use of natural ingredients ensures that our products benefit the skin without causing any harm. We understand the importance of providing a safe and nourishing experience for our customers.


Cleanse stands at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, blending modern scientific solutions with Ayurvedic wisdom. By harnessing the latest scientific advancements alongside the ancient principles of Ayurveda, Cleanse creates products that offer the best of both realms. This harmonious combination ensures effective and innovative solutions, while honoring the natural essence of Ayurveda. 

The competition in Ayurvedic care has really helped raise awareness and demand for the category compared to chemical-based products. With more brands entering the market, people are starting to pay attention to the natural and holistic approach of Ayurveda. They're becoming more cautious about the potential side effects of chemical products. Competition has also pushed brands to step up their game in marketing, innovation, and educating consumers. Personally, I feel it's great to see more people learning about the benefits of Ayurveda and the power of natural ingredients.

Rising over competition, we believe that Ayurvedic brands serve the broader purpose of providing skincare. Cleanse, however, stands by the legacy and the trust of India. We incorporate traditional Ayurvedic remedies with modern scientific solutions to offer safe and effective skincare products. Our products are made from natural ingredients, which have been used in Ayurveda for centuries, and we maintain the natural properties of these ingredients with a carefully curated mix of scientific ingredients. 

Our products are suitable for all skin types. By focusing on natural formulations, we break the myth that skincare has to be complicated. Our goal is to make skincare accessible and enjoyable for everyone, because taking care of your skin should be a simple pleasure.

Cleanse offers a comprehensive range of skincare and haircare solutions. In skincare, our serums cater to specific needs such as Acne, Moisturisation, and Skin Radiance. Our Neem Face Wash harnesses the natural power of neem for deep pore cleansing, while our Mud Face Pack nourishes the skin and unclogs pores. The Cleansing Hydrating Moisturizer is a revolutionary serum-moisturiser hybrid that deeply nourishes and hydrates the skin for long-lasting results.

In haircare, our star product is Kasvi, a hair remedy with a remarkable 140-year history. It is prepared using the traditional kshir pak vidhi method. To enhance its benefits, we provide a tamba katori, which allows the oil to be ionized with the goodness of copper before applying it to the hair. Kasvi is known for its effectiveness in hair regrowth and reduction of hair fall.

The vision of the brand is to be easily accessible to the modern-day audience and inspire them to believe in the value of real herbs without any preservatives and the positive impact of ayurvedic products. Cleanse is a D2C brand that plans on reaching every city with different strategies. It is tapping today’s generation which is moving towards the direction of Ayurvedic products and are embracing the effects of old techniques by understanding the value of quality and sustainable products. In terms of consumer hotspots and evolving markets for the brand in India, it is North and Kolkata, majorly.

Every customer is an influencer and we prioritize building a strong community. Our focus is on creating exceptional experiences that inspire customers to try the goodness of Ayurveda through our products and share genuine feedback. While we value the opinions of skincare experts, we truly believe in the power of first-hand experience. It's these real experiences that matter most and contribute to the growth of our vibrant Cleanse community. 

 

Next Story
Paint Men’s Wardrobe Pink
Paint Men’s Wardrobe Pink
 

Pink has always been associated with female fashion. Gradually, the stereotype has broken and colored the men’s wardrobe pink. Many Bollywood celebrities such as Ranveer Singh, Kartik Aaryan, Varun Dhawan, and Abhishek Bachchan have aced their look in pink outfits. Recently, Ranveer Singh created a tizzy on social media by wearing an all-neon pink outfit including a t-shirt, pants, jacket, and shoes. Even Kartik Aaryan looked dapper in a light pink suit with a white shirt for a magazine cover.

On the other hand, Varun Dhawan was seen in a striped pink shirt paired with light pink pants for the promotional event of his film. Abhishek Bachchan was one of the first actors who wore a bright pink blazer for an award function pairing it with blue jeans. 

By seeing their favorite celebrity wearing pink outfits, their fans also try to follow their fashion trends. This is also a color that can be styled for any occasion from office formal to casual wear or for a party. It is also a color which would enhance your cheerful and fun-loving personality. It is as masculine as any blue, black, or white outfit in your wardrobe. It would not be wrong to say that men are flaunting shades of pink in a better way. 

We spoke to the Fashion Experts at Mufti and understood how the trend of pink is taking over different genres of clothing. Here’s Mufti’s Guide to splashing a bit of pink into your monochromatic wardrobe.

Formal wear:
Most of the office wear for men is in blue, black, grey or white. So, to break the monotony and to get a new look, try wearing a shirt or a polo on Fridays in tones of pink. This can never go wrong for an office day. A check or striped pink shirt styled with white or light-shaded formal chinos on a relaxed day or navy, if you feel only halfway relaxed. Let the pink add the zag to your zig at work.
 
Casual Wear:
If you want to spend a lazy weekend by going to a movie or just spending time with your friends, a pink t-shirt paired with khaki shorts or chinos or even white pants is just what you need. Even a white t-shirt and jeans styled with a pink unbuttoned shirt goes well for a lunch date.
 
Party Wear:
To look different from the rest at a party, pair a white shirt and baggy jeans topped with a light pink jacket. Complete the look by wearing some accessories like rings or a statement neckpiece. 
 
Vacation Wear:
Pink is also the color that surely has a charm for holidays. Be it the French Riviera or grand Italian sunsets, a floral-printed pink shirt paired with white shorts goes beautifully with such locations. Even a pink bottom can be styled with any neutral or light-shaded shirt or t-shirt. Pink top wear paired with cargo pants looks amazing as well.

 

Next Story
‘Kajal by Kajal’ from T.A.C is the next health-conscious add-on for kohl lovers
‘Kajal by Kajal’ from T.A.C is the next health-conscious add-on for kohl lovers
 

 Ayurveda has an authority over skincare and beauty since centuries in India. When it comes to enchanting the info-savvy, discerning youth base, it takes the right minds to brainstorm a product that glams up the look while retaining pristine natural gifts. The Ayurveda Co. (T.A.C) did just that by collaborating with actor-entrepreneur Kajal Aggarwal for ‘Kajal by Kajal’, a personally curated product line-up, at Taj Lands End, Mumbai, on May 12, 2023. 

T.A.C as a brand was conceived when co-founder Shreedha Singh received amazing results from Ayurveda during personal treatment. "When we wanted to bring the benefits of Ayurveda on a mass scale, we were cognizant of the stigmas and barrier to coolness quotient related to this discipline. That’s when we rebranded The Ayurveda Co. to T.A.C for the younger audience,” Shreedha said.

"The task was to build a connection between the younger audience and Ayurveda, just the way they associate with any new-age brand,” said founder Param Bhargava. “The three prime factors for T.A.C to be recognized have been its products that are effective, affordable, and give results fast,” he added.

“To co-create the product, understand its operations and the science behind it has been a massive eye-opener. The project is very personal to me,” said Kajal, whose association with T.A.C goes back to April 2022 following an investment and a long-term partnership with the brand. Talking about the influential campaign of #NazariyaBadlo, the actor harped on the importance of every individual’s pressing need to stand up for respective spaces and causes they believe in.  

The Brand Journey

‘Kajal by Kajal’ from T.A.C is the next health-conscious add-on for kohl lovers

When asked about T.A.C’s quest to prominence, Shreedha Singh said, “We started our journey around May-June 2021. The objective was to make high-quality Ayurvedic products accessible to every household through transparent brand messaging about ingredients used.” 

The ‘Kajal by Kajal’ product fits perfectly in this proposition, as Kajal has predominantly been integral to Indian women beauty sessions and are getting inspiring attention from men today. “Kajal has truly gone beyond genders and geographies, and the idea was to reach countless households through Ayurveda, that is being followed by people since ages. Kajal being the co-creator, brand ambassador, and the face of the product line shows the degree of enthusiasm, confidence, and commitment to the product,” she maintained. 

The brand has been the first in India to ever receive investment in the seed stage by Wipro in March 2022. Having secured their INR 100-crore series A round recently, T.A.C. is slated to maximize its online and offline presence. “We are targeting a INR 180 crore turnover in this financial year,” Shreedha signed off. 

 

Next Story
India’s luxury kids fashion industry scores phenomenally on sustainability, design, and safety
India’s luxury kids fashion industry scores phenomenally on sustainability, design, and safety
 

Photo credit: RENÉE Cosmetics, Shweta Mukherjee, and Beej Lakhani 

Kids are stylish, and given a chance, they can give the hippest influencers a run for their money! Don’t take us otherwise, because the sprawling kids luxury fashion industry is not a joke. Indian brands see humongous scope in unravelling this target audience. There are dedicated teams for understanding how kids want to style themselves and how often would they like to change over for a new avatar. Love The World Today (LTWT), a young clothing brand founded in 2015, has developed a strong market for homegrown luxury kids clothing with an impressive value addition of sustainability.

Dipna Daryanani, Co-founder, LTWT, talks about the challenges the brand faced in educating people about sustainability and the benefits of a homegrown brand. The pride in homegrown entities is recent, which is advantageous for a brand founded by two sisters, rooting for transparent operations. 

Baking on functionality, comfort and quality

“Children until the age of 2 years are dependent on their caregivers for washing themselves. So, functionality, comfort and quality are fundamental aspects of design for kids’ clothes. One of our ethnic wear collections, ‘The Earth Laughs in Flowers’, is made of handwoven cotton by artisans in Madhya Pradesh. As a textile, this fabric hasn’t been explored in the kidswear segment. It immediately looks rich and luxurious without compromising on simplicity and comfort. It allows them to move,” says Dipna. 

‘Majama’ is one such exquisite range by LTWT that consists of kurta pajamas in daily wear, play wear and lounge wear categories, made of handwoven cotton from West Bengal. Purpose-led production was a conscious choice for LTWT, which explored India’s rich history in textiles that can’t be mass-produced and are only possible by honed artisans down generations. “Hand-weaving, block printing, and handmade textile are time-consuming processes. You also need to think of upcycling programmes of products of such high emotional value. So, we chose high-quality clothing that also survives wear-and-tear from children’s use,” Dipna maintains, adding that the brand also uses third-party tech to buy back the used LTWT products once the child outgrows the garments, thus completing the sustainability circle.

Weavers from Madhya Pradesh pose for LTWT products
Weavers from Madhya Pradesh pose for LTWT products

 

As consumers tend to spend more on kidswear with a lot of foreign brands in the market now, LTWT is upholding Indian textiles and enjoying the value and appreciation of dresses made with thought and care. Majama was launched mid-2021 and was sold out in a couple of weeks. Shipping worldwide, LTWT is experimenting with handblock prints based on children’s tales, on 100 percent cotton. There is another ethnicwear range on organic cotton and natural dyes that LTWT targets for the July-August festive season. 

Cosmetics that glam up safely

Taking the experimentation a notch higher is RENÉE Cosmetics, as co-founder and Director Aashka Goradia Goble has a surprise for pre-teens. Princess by RENÉE is the only brand today in the Indian beauty industry that has researched and created an exclusive cosmetics product range for pre-teens. Inspiration struck after closely studying the amazement children have with their mother’s lipsticks and cosmetics. Devising a scope to turn that adorable plaything into a conscious makeup range for sensitive skin of children, Princess is a range that parents won’t find any trouble with their children indulging in.

Princess by RENÉE Cosmetics
Princess by RENÉE Cosmetics

 

Answering the pertinent questions on safety concerns, RENÉE Cosmetics uses products that are dermatologically tested, free from nasty chemicals, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. Apart from that, each product has multiple nourishing ingredients, making them mild and safe on delicate skin.

“Indian markets are becoming more dynamic each passing day and so is the inclusivity and awareness about global trends and lifestyles. Due to this, there’s also a rise in new brands coming up every now and then giving parents several options to choose from. Hence, we are seeing more brands catering to kids' luxury fashion,” states Aashka.

 

Next Story
Crepdog Crew ups the ante of streetwear fashion with swanky store in Mumbai
Crepdog Crew ups the ante of streetwear fashion with swanky store in Mumbai
 

Crepdog Crew rose the stakes of India’s sneaker scene high with the launch of the first experiential store at SV Road, Bandra in Mumbai on 30 April, 2023. The hippest of the crowd, who love wearing their opinion, opened the swanky white doors to India’s most unique collection of sneakers, apparel, T-shirts, cargos, rugs, caps, hats, balls, keychains, socks, sneaker cleaners and all that thumps.    

The summer collection grabbed eyeballs as the Off White X Nike Dunk Low Lot 50 greeted shoppers with all 50 of the collection. That is inarguably the top highlight of the CDC Experience, said co-founder Anchit Kapil, adding that such a sneaker showcase is seen for the first time in India. “It took us 8 months to get all of them. Our vision is to provide consumers with finest limited-edition shoe and streetwear apparel,” quipped Kapil.

Crepdog Crew ups the ante of streetwear fashion with swanky store in Mumbai

Apparel is always sold by touch-and-feel, and the CDC Experience Store in Mumbai is providing a grand chance to Indian homegrown artists and designers to make their mark. As the biggest streetwear aggregator, CDC also offers products with superior quality to that of fast fashion brands at a similar price point. Adding on to those advantages is the collaboration with Dope Coffee Roasters, that doubles the store up into a hang-out place for the streetwear community. “The vision of the in-store coffee shop is that we want people to come to the store, not only when they want to shop, but also be a part of the culture by planning great things on their own, for themselves, or with us. We want them to feel at home. That’s what Crew Love, our official trademark, stands for,” stated Kapil.

 

Crepdog Crew ups the ante of streetwear fashion with swanky store in Mumbai

 The co-founder is ecstatic about the momentous collaboration with German liquor brand Jäegermeister, and the tie-up is in the form of a single-stitch T-shirt range that was launched exclusively at the store in Mumbai. “Getting global approvals of such brands with such serious ethics is a tough nut to crack for any Indian brand. This single-stitch T-shirt is one of the toughest T-shirts to make and we are glad that the products got so much love from the Jäegermeister team, that they will soon be on display at the Jäegermeister museum,” concluded Kapil. 
 

 

Next Story
Fashion Industry Goes Beyond 'One Size Fits All' with Inclusive Sizing and Diverse Runway Shows
Fashion Industry Goes Beyond 'One Size Fits All' with Inclusive Sizing and Diverse Runway Shows
 

Diversity is the basis of fashion. That’s why there are clothes in innumerable designs, colors, patterns, textures, and styles. That is also what makes fashion one of the biggest global industries, and one with a universal appeal.

But, paradoxically, fashion has also stayed uniformly and stubborn for a long time. It has demanded that humans reshape their bodies to fit into limited clothes sizes – S, M, L, XL, XXL. The models on fashion runways are of the same body type which is generally not the reality.

Is it time for a change, time to make fashion more inclusive? The change has already started happening.

The Rise of Inclusive Fashion

Inclusive fashion is a growing trend that emphasizes the importance of catering to all body types. For years, fashion has been synonymous with a single, thin body type. The tide is finally changing and brands are starting to understand the importance of inclusivity.

This means that fashion brands make people of all shapes and sizes feel included and comfortable in the clothes they wear. Brands are starting to realize that by expanding their size range, they can appeal to a larger market and offer more choices to their customers.

The size-inclusive market has been growing at a faster rate than the straight-size market, leading to a rise in demand for more size-inclusive clothing. Independent fashion brands and multinational corporations alike are responding to it by offering more sizes and styles that fit the needs of not only the fashion-conscious but people in general.

The benefits are clear. Brands that cater to a wider range of body types increase customer satisfaction, build a better brand reputation, and ultimately increase sales.

The Modeling Industry Leads Inclusivity

The lead representative of fashion is the modeling industry. While it is doing a tremendous job in making fashion popular, it has long been associated with a certain standard of beauty. For decades, models were young, thin, and mostly white, with a specific set of physical attributes that were deemed necessary, or made necessary, for success in the industry.

But as times change, the modeling world is slowly acknowledging that it needs to reflect what the majority of consumers want to wear and to become more diverse and inclusive.

A promising move in this direction has been the appearance of plus-size models on the global fashion runways. These models are breaking the traditional mold and paving the way to welcome more models of all sizes, shapes, and backgrounds, and are increasingly becoming popular. They have also had a positive impact on society's changing perception of beauty.

With this brands are catering to the demand for plus-size offerings and promoting a more diverse and inclusive standard of beauty. Among the recommendations for change and growth for brands, The State of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Fashion report by PVH Corp. and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, recommends that brands include a diverse range of models in their communication.

Social Media is Bringing Body Positivity to The Forefront

Social media also has a significant role to play. Over the past decade, it has brought about significant changes in the way the fashion industry operates, bringing connectedness, innovation, and diversity to the forefront. Through social media, people can follow influencers and models who represent their body type and lifestyle, making it easier for them to find fashion trends that work for them. This is a significant shift from the past when mainstream fashion magazines were the primary source of fashion inspiration, and plus-sized individuals often had trouble finding clothing that fit them properly.

Despite the many benefits, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. For instance, while social media has enabled more diversity in the industry, there is still work to be done in terms of representation. Brands need to continue to diversify their models and showcase different body types and skin tones to truly promote inclusivity.

Tech-Driven Fashion Revolution: Making Plus-Size Fashion Accessible

There are more changes to be made to how clothes are manufactured for diverse body types. One reason why plus-sized clothing has traditionally fit consumers poorly is the grading process used by fashion brands. This process involves taking the standard-size fit model and scaling up or down to create a range of sizes. This is not the best approach.

Human bodies don't scale up or down in a linear fashion, so this method usually results in poorly fitting clothing for plus-sized consumers. Brands should instead use plus-size fit models when designing their clothing and determining their grading to ensure a better fit for all consumers.

Another mistake made is designing for a single body shape, which leaves many consumers with fit issues. To design clothing that fits a wide range of body types, brands must ensure that their garments cater to all shapes and sizes by carefully selecting styles and fabrics.

Finding fit models to match all body shapes and sizes can be challenging and expensive, but technology is changing that. One example is mobile 3-D body scanning allows consumers to scan themselves with their smartphones, which then uses their body dimensions to make personalized size recommendations.

This technology not only helps consumers find a better fit when shopping online but also provides brands with a database of anonymized consumer 3-D body models that can be used to optimize sizing standards based on the actual body shapes and metrics of their customers. By digitizing the technical design operation, brands can ensure a better fit for consumers, reduce returns and carbon footprint, and contribute to sustainable brand initiatives.

The Future of Inclusive Fashion

The rapid growth of the plus-size fashion market is indicative of a larger trend in the fashion industry. The one-size-fits mold is ready to be thrown out of the window. The change in consumption habits, especially over the past pandemic years, is making consumers re-evaluate how they want to spend their money and what they want to demand from brands. 

Fashion brands that take the necessary steps to get it right early on will benefit from brand loyalty among their new customers. They will need to focus on using plus-size fit models and accounting for multiple body types when designing their clothing, while also leveraging 3-D technology tools to simulate garment samples on 3-D avatars.

Leading retailers and brands have already begun to develop extended sizing, but smaller brands are showing that catering to all body shapes and sizes can lead to immense success. They are an indicator of how the market is evolving and demonstrate that the fashion industry needs to continue to evolve its practices to meet the needs of its diverse customer base. In the end, the most successful brands will be those that prioritize inclusivity and make it a central tenet of their business philosophy.

 

Next Story
FableStreet to FS Life: The Expansion Story
FableStreet to FS Life: The Expansion Story
 

As a D2C online brand, FableStreet began its journey in 2016, addressing the pain point of India’s body types and the resultant struggle with fittings. ‘Get Fits Like Nothing Else’ is what their tagline promises, and Adarsh Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer, FS Life (prev. FableStreet), outlines that the combination of work wear, modern ethnic wear, and ‘maximally minimalist’ silver jewellery keeps its clientele fashion forward without compromising on comfort. 

Umbrella of Sub-brands

Careful assessment of the market revealed why traditional Indian ethnic wear were losing touch with millennials and the Gen Z. “In essence, such brands were set up about 20-25 years ago. Their positioning no longer entices Indian women aged 25-30 years. They seek a dash of modern designs and aesthetics, which FableStreet and Pink Fort provide,” said Sharma.

In fact, workwear was also in its nascent stage in 2016 when FableStreet entered the market. However, it was only during the pandemic, when the brand achieved breakthrough responses in this category, which was a very contradictory market behavior in itself, given the lockdowns and the inevitable rise of work-from-home module. 

“In March 2020, there were existential questions about how work wear as a category would remain relevant as people stopped going to office. But, our approach of working backwards with the customers helped our research and development. We reached out to them and learned about the changes they would like in their outfits during this period, what were their lifestyle and requirements in the new normal. We were flexible with the feedback and modified designs accordingly. We saw a 10x growth in business from March 2020 to 2022,” he maintained.

The brand operated as a single entity of workwear dresses till 2020. Meanwhile, it entered the industry of semi-precious jewelry. In 2022, FableStreet decided to form an umbrella of sub-brands, titled FS Life with FableStreet; Pink Fort, its fusion wear brand; and Mikoto, the jewelry brand. Recently, the brand upscaled its jewelry positioning with premium silver ranges, rebranding Mikoto to March.

This has brought in organizational alignment based on team structure, back end, production and operation capabilities. 

 

FableStreet to FS Life: The Expansion Story
Adarsh Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer, FS Life

Silver Linings

FS Life now follows a common trajectory of satisfying its audience with pret-wear across its verticals. When it comes to jewelry, their level-up draws a parallel with increasing use cases of jewelry in professional circles as well. Sharma believes that people want to wear jewelry that look grand on a daily basis, and is easy on the price. 

Silver jewelry fits their scheme of things very well and enhances the personalities of the 20-30 somethings who are mainly working professionals. Tapping that market has benefited FS Life’s March, which gets repeat purchases once every three months from the same customer. In terms of buyer persona, they are still concentrated in metropolitan and Tier II cities, with Tier III providing traction and showing a lot of promise.  

Predicting Performance

What delights the customer is that their issues must be solved and demands served accurately. That’s only possible with cut-throat data analysis, and for an online-first brand such as FS Life, it is mandatory. The data points from 1000+ women have helped FS Life solve the sizing issue with its products. The brand also uses data analytics to predict their next set of bestsellers across verticals and that creates a lean and efficient supply chain model. 

Their first store at DLF Promenade, established in early 2020, had to be shut because of the pandemic. In the coming year, FS Life will go big on retail with 10 stores across major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. “Right now, the plan is to grow big in India for the next 5 years. We definitely see a bigger role of online to offline trade. Omnichannel will be important for us in the next 2 years,” stated Sharma. 
 

 

Next Story
Numero Uno Aces India's Love for Denim
Numero Uno Aces India's Love for Denim
 

When it comes to casual wear, denim takes the crown as a fabric. It is easy to dress up, dress down, and fits varies style statements. Numero Uno has carved a new niche in the Indian denim fashion space with affordable style as its mojo. Manjula Gandhi, Chief Product Officer, Numero Uno, explains how.   

Re-engineering Denim 

Denim has come a long way from being a commodity-driven to a fashion-driven lifestyle product for all genders and age groups. There has been a barrage of new washes, dyes, and colours in the mood board, inspiring designers to experiment and break barriers in wearability. Over the years, Numero Uno has created a ripple effect in the denim industry with steadfast technological progress. Today, the brand offers eight product categories such as T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, and Knit & Sweaters, some of which were not experimented in this sector by any other brand before.

The key to their innovation is a state-of-the-art laundry which upped the level of washing quality for denim. In addition to that, a collaboration with Jeanologia, a Spanish washing expert brand, has been maintaining an edge over competition based on washes and dyes for 15 years and counting. “Laundry is the backbone of denim and Numero Uno’s tech-first approach helped adopt sustainable practices such as ozone fading, while making all sorts of trendy washes. We don’t use bleach. We use mineral dyes that induce natural colours, along with green chemicals and washing agents,” says Gandhi.

On grounds of eco-friendly manufacturing, the CPO also draws attention to the installation of an advanced, zero-liquid discharge Effluent treatment Plant (ETP). This ETP ensures complete recycling and reuse of water used during manufacture. 

Numero Uno Aces India's Love for Denim
Manjula Gandhi, Chief Product Officer, Numero Uno

 

How Numero Uno bagged Market Share

Numero Uno was the brainchild of Narinder Singh Dhingra, the managing director, who started Hi Fashion Clothing in 1987 as a small denim product manufacturing system, which was supplying to few retailers. Recall value increased as customers and trade peers asked for the attractive customized washes and fabric that the brand had been developing and using exclusively. Renamed as Numero Uno, the brand now caters to an entire wardrobe with its verticals and is constantly pushing boundaries with this fabric.

No longer is denim a style-high but comfort-poor choice. With power stretches, knitted denim, and blended denim comprising soft yarns, a soft feel and ease of movement are given. According to Gandhi, the brand conducts thorough social listening and market research to execute designs that are high on style yet affordable, thus satisfying the price-conscious Indian market. This involves pricing the products reasonably during inflationary times, which has helped maximize market share by understanding and aligning with consumer spending behavior. 

Demand uptick Post Pandemic

Denim enjoys a wide consumer base and has done consistently well in India. There were two instances during the pandemic when competition from cargoes and chinos on one hand, and athleisure on the other, slumped denim’s demand temporarily. That’s because a strictly indoor lifestyle prioritized comfort that a fabric meant for outdoor wear couldn’t fulfil back then.

As lockdowns were lifted and people got back to office, India witnessed drastic casualization of fashion. Power stretches in denim helped the vertical compete with athleisure. “Today, denim is more acceptable in offices and professional spaces. Easy wearability and high durability are two factors ensuring value for money, which is very important in Indian market,” Gandhi maintains. 

Consumer product centricity is altering after pandemic and Numero Uno is evolving its production, marketing, and communication strategies. “We have expanded from print, radio, television to influencer marketing across social and digital platforms, which promotes our brand to the target audience effectively. Actor Jim Sarbh was one of the faces of our collection launches and media events. 

“Instead of having mega celebs as brand ambassadors, Numero Uno works on enhancing the boy-next-door image with upcoming artists and models, which resonate amazingly with our audience,” concludes Gandhi, as she talks about the adventurous, colorful Summer 2023 collection available now, and the upcoming Winter ‘23 range.
 

 

Next Story
Corneliani finds its Footing amongst India’s Fashion-conscious Clientele
Corneliani finds its Footing amongst India’s Fashion-conscious Clientele
 

Corneliani has impacted the fancy of Indian elite clientele with its elaborate socks-to-shoes model. The brand vouches for its strikingly international blend of exotic fabric and fresh style to deck up the Indian male wardrobe ever since Blues Clothing Company introduced Corneliani to India in 2009. With OSL Luxury taking over Corneliani’s India wing in 2012, the growth has been reassuring. Salesh Grover, Business head, OSL Luxury, Corneliani, harps on the classic products that stay popular the year round.

Passion for Fashion

With OSL, Corneliani took a 360-degree distribution model as a mono, boutique brand. From neck-ties, knitwear, jeans, Polos, coats, suits, shoes to shirts, the brand flooded the market with exquisite style for pretty much everything a man needs to look suave, casually or formally.  To stay strong and emerge successful in an already competitive industry, Corneliani appealed to the high fashion sensibilities of its target audience, who found an absolute lack of Italian fashion in the domestic market.

“Back in 2009, the market was in its nascent stage and people were travelling abroad for luxury shopping. With Corneliani, we personalized fashion for every individual firstly with the ‘Made to Order’, and then, the ‘Made to Measure’ facilities,” said Grover. 

As small leather goods, belts, and accessories impressed the bustling buyer bases in Mumbai and Bengaluru, Corneliani floated its masterpieces such as the Identity jacket and the Field Jacket. The lightweight ID jacket comes with a detachable insert and a multitude of handy pockets that helps the wearer don dual roles of casual wear and business-friendly attire, and is a bestseller to this day.

On the other hand, the field jacket with a warm, soft padding, gave a comfy waistline regulation with a drawcord, detachable hood, patch pouch inner wallet pockets for sheer comfort.

Corneliani finds its Footing amongst India’s Fashion-conscious Clientele
Bringing authentic Italian fashion to India, Corneliani has built a strong value proposition

 

Made to Measure, from Italy

“One often finds a two-button closure better than the three-button closure in a suit. If we do a deep dive, there is so much room for customising one’s look while dealing with a premium label such as ours. So, five years before, we decided to initiate a sea change in the wardrobe of our patrons, loyal and new, with this facility of designing one’s own garment,” maintained Grover.  

Evolving from the made-to-order facility, the brand provided an exclusive customisation in retail spaces. The brand nurtured its existing clientele with this offering to make one’s own silhouette from scratch. Soon, fashion-conscious customers realized the extraordinary value on offer through personalised fittings and are now praising the same with their reviews. “Twice a year, our Indian clientele gets to experience some fabric that are exclusive to Corneliani and can only be shipped directly from Italy. Coupled with the new collections and 200+ new SKUs, we have been satisfying our consumer base effectively every year,” added Grover.

A successful retail-only exposure has now diversified into e-commerce, as Corneliani explores slow commerce with Tata CLiQ Luxury on accessories and garments.   

Corneliani finds its Footing amongst India’s Fashion-conscious Clientele
Salesh Grover, Business Head, OSL Luxury, Corneliani

Dressing Up

The pandemic presented unforeseen circumstances, for which Corneliani shut its retail base in India. Starting afresh, the brand finds strong traction in Mumbai and Delhi now. “We see a very valid and strong business proposition in Mumbai as we feel needed in the hub of Indian fashion. Mumbai is a haven for glamor with Bollywood, and there is a decent understanding of luxury fashion in the city. 

With Corneliani, OSL Luxury has been exposed to a thriving national market, and is looking to expand onwards and upwards. “In five years’ time, we plan to involve a minimum of two more luxury brands into the OSL Luxury domain,” Grover concluded. 
 

 

Next Story
O3+ Redefining Skincare with Legacy Services for Consumers
O3+ Redefining Skincare with Legacy Services for Consumers
 

A lot has gone behind building the reputation of O3+ as a top professional skincare brand. It’s one of the few homegrown Indian brands that picked up pace from as early as the early 1960s. Today, they enjoy the coveted generational loyalty as a premium brand, whose salon facial experience is used as an industry benchmark. Third-generation businessman Vidur Kapur, Director, O3+ Professional Skincare, discusses the milestones of a brand, which is flourishing for decades solely on the might of its offerings, devoid of any form of discounting. 

The Black-and-White Era

Although Vineet Kapur founded 03+ Skincare in 2004, the brand has a glorious 60 years heritage with Vidur’s grandfather launching a state-of-the-art salon in Delhi in the year 1963. Garnering the rising Bollywood black-and-white glamor, which had ripple effects in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Maharashtra, the salon offered premium facial and hair care services.

“We had a lot of international exposure. Most of the basic product supply was imported from abroad as black-and-white movies started coming in and we sensed a strong demand for salon services. We began to bring in international beauty brands in the salon segment, such as AINHOA in the late 1980s, and also distributed haircare brands in those days,” says Vidur Kapur, taking pride in the fact that families have styled themselves at 03+ for generations, and have always found their services ahead of the times. 

Today, the highest turnover comes from the salon side for O3+. New platforms in the salon space always respect O3+ for its legacy and ceaseless value addition to every service they offer with technological advancement. 

Sustainable Packaging

While chalking out the blueprint for 2030, Kapur shared a sneak-peek of the initiatives undertaken to enforce sustainability in the brand fabric. According to him, O3+ attained its sustainability goals percentage by percentage, year on year. “We started by using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified boards. About 50-55 percent of our manufactured products use these boards. We are looking at replenishing the inventory with all FSC-certified products. The packaging also retains the FSC stamp for customer trust,” he added. 

The brand is also on its way to replace plastic packaging with thermo-foamed laminated structures and recycled pulp trays. The products with the recycled pulp trays have been in the market since 2021, and been well received by the consumers. An important factor behind high acceptance level of such transitions is the feedback received from close to 300-400 consumer surveys via call centres. Even after receiving sufficiently positive feedbacks, the brand took four months to replace plastic trays with recyclable counterparts.  

In the coming year, Kapur plans to focus on making O3+ products available via 100 percent recyclable packaging. In that direction, he is supervising the use of recycled hexy-cut wraps, which will soon replace bubble wraps and EPE foam. Cost isn’t a huge barrier for O3+ because of its premium clientele who understand that any form of eco-friendly innovation comes at an added price. 

O3+ Redefining Skincare with Legacy Services for Consumers
Application of patented technology and machinery manufactured in-house by O3+

 

R&D on Patented Tech

The trump card of O3+ is its adoption to latest technology and becoming first movers in the salon space. “Hyaluronic and lactic acids were used by us in the late 1980s and 90s. However, hyaluronic acid became popular in India after the pandemic,” states Kapur, who also stressed on the exclusive salon gizmos by O3+, designed and developed to cater to Indian preferences.

A lot of research and development goes into understanding the Indian consumer and therefore, the brand manufactures machines in-house. Devices such as the ultrasonic machines add a world of difference to skin solutions by O3+, and this helps them dominate the market. 

 

O3+ Redefining Skincare with Legacy Services for Consumers
The latest range of Vitamin C products by O3+ by Vidur Kapur, Director, O3+ Professional Skincare.
 

Diversifying with Evolving Demands

The pandemic prompted O3+ to explore general and modern trade wings as customers started demanding the in-salon skincare services at home. There was a demand to use O3+ products regularly, as opposed to during an occasional salon visit. “Each of these developments were propelled by existing consumer demand. So, we diversified from a salon-first brand to a larger consumer base for facial, skin solution, and retail,” Kapur added. 

Currently, male grooming has assumed prominence. Tapping that demand, O3+ upped the ante with the O3+ Alpha Men range. “It is a complete D2C product wherein we priced it keeping in mind the spending capacity of men who want to get into the skincare and beauty game. We are widely distributing it to over 5,000 stores across India. The first launch has been so successful that this vertical of O3+ will grow independently,” maintained Kapur.  

Riding high on the impressive gratification level of skincare solutions, O3+ also ventured into a complete hair care vertical named Biozoma in the last two years. The aim was to create a niche space in the hair category for salon with nutritional products such as quinoa, vitamin C, and amino acids that protect hair from harmful treatments. 
 

 

Next Story
Carrera’s Iconic Eyewear range with Tiger Shroff’s Prowl Thrills Indian market
Carrera’s Iconic Eyewear range with Tiger Shroff’s Prowl Thrills Indian market
 

Cutting-edge, cool, and glamorous, Italian eyewear brand Safilo’s Carrera recently partnered with Bollywood action star Tiger Shroff and his active lifestyle brand, Prowl. The Carrera X Prowl collection, as a result, has been on a full throttle with Shroff launching the collection at Inorbit Mall, Malad, in Mumbai. Ashutosh Vaidya, Managing Director, Safilo India Pvt. Ltd, shared his insights about the brand’s journey onwards and upwards in India. 

Carrera’s Iconic Eyewear range with Tiger Shroff’s Prowl Thrills Indian market

Prowl a Boon for Carrera 

The collection has been designed keeping in mind the young and active urban population with their unique requirements in terms of comfort, materials, colors, styling and value propositions. Opticians and sunglass specialist retailers all across India pegged it to be a category-leading range amongst the Indian target audience and vouched for Carrera’s growth potential.


In keeping with global trends as exhibited at MIDO Eyewear Show 2023 Milan, the Carrera X Prowl range embodies bold frames in fun, geometric shapes. According to Vaidya, such trends were lapped up by the Indian markets with a local design spin, such as a funky hexagonal or octagonal frame. “This trend is advancing by incorporating these geometric shapes with styles like aviators to create a modern look with a '60s influence. Design is based on products with meaning, and a purpose, in support of sustainable innovation. Tending toward pastels, the harmonious color palette expresses calmness through the hues of nature,” he said. 

State-of-the-art Tech Aid

Innovation is the key for the Safilo Group, whether in production techniques or materials. Its global innovation center is the hub of all macro-trend analyses and technological advancements through industrial engineering. 

“From the sketch of an idea to the final eyewear piece that is to be admired and worn, the most advanced technologies (hardware and software) for 3D design, CAD-CAM, technical development and prototypes ensure maximum precision, and allow us to meticulously check the technical feasibility, comfort and fit of each pair of glasses,” stated Vaidya. 


The brand uses traditional materials including acetate and metal, besides patented materials to curate ranges that are robust, environment-friendly, light, comfortable and most importantly, outstanding in its ethics and aesthetics.

Cashing in on Star Power 

With Tiger Shroff as the face of Carrera Prowl, the new collection will have an integrated pan-channel promotional campaign to expand the Carrera network of stores across all tiers of cities and towns in India. “We are going full power with Tiger Shroff, starting with the top cities OOH campaign, followed by national-level print, digital and social media campaigns. The recent consumer engagement event at Inorbit mall was successful and the next one is in Delhi. So, it's going to be massive,” Vaidya maintained.


High Performance in the Indian Market

The Prowl collection is a vital milestone that Carrera has achieved in enhancing its relevance in India and improving its local product assortment strategy. Safilo India has already been delivering consistently high double-digit growth numbers even throughout pandemic. 


It is all set to double the business in three years and acquire significant market share supported by the high performance of core brands such as Carrera, Polaroid and Seventh Street, and core license brands such as Hugo Boss, David Beckham, and Marc Jacobs. 


To further deepen its market penetration, Safilo India has recently launched its outlook collection with a unique value proposition of branded products at attractive price points. Flaunting an amazing range in collaboration with ace Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera’s label, Safilo has geared up to induce seismic shifts in India’s eyewear scene.
 

 

Next Story
The Future of Retail Beauty Industry in 2023
The Future of Retail Beauty Industry in 2023
 

The beauty industry has proven to be a resilient one over the past years and will seem stronger in the future. 2023 will be unlike any previous year because of the tremendous technology accelerating the industry. This industry is evolving towards greater transparency and inclusivity. In addition, from personalized skincare products to nostalgic trends and styles, beauty is genuinely evolving self-care. 

The offline market of beauty products

There are countless new beauty brands that have emerged, and there are lots of new ingredients used in formulating a product. Certainly, there are various online platforms that offer a wide range of beauty products and provide them directly to consumers. However, the products are still predominantly sold in retail stores. Industry experts say that retail stores provide an advantage as it is hard to see if a beauty product works for you without using it yourself first. 

The reasons include: 

  • Trust in testing the products: Despite the ease of online shopping, consumers visit a store to test out the product on themselves and then they will buy. Testing the products in real life is considered more trustworthy. Also, you may feel the texture and scent of the product. For example, customers try creams, moisturizers, and lotions before buying so that they do not experience any redness or irritation after using. You may also check whether the product is suitable for your skin and hair. 
  • An experience in itself: Shopping for beauty products provides you with an experience. You may apply it on yourself before purchasing to try new looks. For example: while buying lip colors, women usually apply them before buying to see whether the color suits their skin type or not. 
  • Brands sell offline: We usually see counters of different beauty brands in shopping malls and other retail stores. This is because the brands understand that the customers should get a chance to try out products. The trust of customers grows and they further share with their friends and family. This means more people are likely to visit offline stores. 

Growth of the beauty retail industry

The Indian market for personal care and cosmetics is predicted to grow by 3.86 percent yearly and by 143 percent in terms of volume year over year. The worldwide health and beauty retail business, and cosmetics in particular, have shown rapid and consistent growth since the pandemic in 2020. It is predicted that the market will top $100 billion globally in 2023. A survey has found that 85 percent of individuals shop for beauty products in-store and not online. 

By following the below-mentioned market trends, retailers may see a significant increase in their profit in the future too from the beauty industry: 

  • Eco-friendly and sustainable products: Consumers are becoming conscious of the impacts a product may make on the environment. As a result, in 2023, people will seek products that are made of natural, organic, and cruelty-free substances. Also, people see that the packaging of the product is made of recyclable or biodegradable materials. 
     
  • Social Networking: Social media has become a significant component of people's everyday lives. Retailers can increase their sales through social media by posting products available in their stores. People will see the posts and will come to purchase the specific product. 
     
  • Giving offers and discounts: Customers want deals that are in favor of them. For example, e-commerce platforms give various offers, discounts, and vouchers to their customers. Similarly, retailers may go for the same so that more consumers can buy products from their stores. 
  • More diverse products: Customers demand more inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry, and in response to it, brands are broadening their range of products. These include anti-aging products, skin-lightening products, anti-acne products, anti-hair fall, and many more based on different skin and hair types. Therefore, retailers may keep a diverse range of products according to their consumers' needs. 

Technology trends shaping the retail beauty industry in 2023

The retail sector continues to undergo a digital transition, it has become increasingly dependent on artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). With the help of these technologies, the retail of beauty products is being improved and elevated in the future. Some of the technology trends used are: 

  1. In 2023 we will see a rise in offline shopping, as the restrictions from Covid- 19 are lifted. AI and AR technologies help to improve in-store shopping purchasing by giving customers immersive, touchless experiences.
  1. Consumers all throughout the world had started to prioritize their skin care as an important part of their entire wellness routine. This has led to the rise of AI-powered skin technology, which allows retailers to advance skin care personalization in 2023.

Therefore, when it comes to purchasing beauty products, customers want to go to the store to try them before they buy. Retailers should follow the above-mentioned market trends in their stores so that more and more customers will purchase products offline in the future too. 

 

Next Story
Tech-driven Supply Chain and Trend Analyses Make Arrow India Omni-enabled
Tech-driven Supply Chain and Trend Analyses Make Arrow India Omni-enabled
 

Arrow India has reached an inflection point in its overall brand positioning. Although under-distributed in India, as Suman Saha, CEO, Arrow - Arvind Fashions Limited, says, the India-first international fashion brand is prioritizing premium product quality over retail expansion. That’s because the processes are in place for Arrow’s core team to focus on quality improvement, while technology takes care of the production. 

Tech-driven supply chain and trend analyses make Arrow India truly omni-enabled

 

Optimizing Core Product Portfolio

With every passing day, user experience is becoming multi-dimensional with different channels of communication giving the consumer a concrete idea of the product they might purchase. On that note, Arrow India is upgrading its abilities dramatically to become omni-enabled. “Any Arrow store that you walk in has a seamless integrated experience, irrespective of its physical size. On production and supply, we are thrashing out every cue to understand consumer preferences. One needs to delve deep into the science of retail merchandising to see how assortment for a given store influences supply,” explains Saha.

Every SKU gives the scope to gauge consumer pattern to a retailer, and Arrow India picks every insight on current trends in order to reassess the supply chain. That’s because the industry is series-specific and thrives on standard product demand.

“For products with in-built similarity, we supply based on standard demand. Then there are products with higher demand than supply, creating an anomaly at the warehouse level. Our core product portfolio has performed superbly by boosting production and inventory by over 50 percent and thus, solving that gap,” said the CEO.

Saha mentioned two important processes that catalyze this back-end demand fulfilment. The first is the 24-hour replenishment done without manual intervention. The system picks up the sales stream and pushes it to the front-end, based on an algorithm. Once that is done, the system triggers the back-end to refill automatically. This automated system brings huge delight to customers. The other process is analyses of sharply defined sales data. “We point out what type of product will work at which store, and will have a high sales rate. So, the relevance of the assortment helps in demand forecast,” Saha opined. 

Tech-driven supply chain and trend analyses make Arrow India truly omni-enabled

Visual Aggregation

Product assortment is made easier with trailblazing tools to visually aggregate assortments of favorable products, and visual dis-aggregation of SKUs not working for the brand. This means that the traditional way of designers and product heads brainstorming on CAD designs, photographs, and chart boards are now passé.

“The system identifies the features working for or against a product line, thus notifying the supply chain to produce the required quantity at the earliest, with much less man hours applied, and the unchecked consumer demand met in the process. The fashion vertical is the only manually handled division in this regard,” he said. 

There are a host of pilot tech programs that Arrow India is running to evaluate new ways of hooking the fickle customer. One of them is a video calling feature that enables a user to video call a showroom in another city, pick the desired product from localized inventory and purchase instantly.

Joining the Dots on a Failproof Supply Chain

If ideation and manufacturing are exciting, customers lap up the product easily. No matter how intricate the traditional process, it starts with Saha’s brief on a certain product range, containing consumer dimensions, financial metrices, and merchandising KPIs (key performance indicators). Based on that, the marketing team presents insights on consumer interactions. The product team then showcases analyses of past projects, highlighting what worked and what did not. Product design and the retail team receive all these information. 

Parallelly, the marketing team studies global trends to spot new entrants in the product category or any new demand in terms of fitting, fabric, and other factors. The product team creates a tentative merchandise grid on products, their price points, necessary channels and sends them to the design team, which in turn comes up with concepts on product excellence. The final step involves advance notification about trade shows, which helps customers plan their purchases according to estimated date of supply. Customer orders then direct inventory projections across respective channels for warehousing and shipping. 

Moving on to the digital format, Arrow India is going for digital sampling, wherein high-definition 3D images of the product are sent to customers overseas. Besides eliminating the cost of physical sample production, it also expedites conversion. 

Sub-brands and Their Customer Cohorts

Arrow India has three sub brands, namely Arrow Mainline, Arrow Sport, and Arrow New York. “Mainline is the largest business and the heart of Arrow. It has three sub-lines of architecture - first being Arrow Original, which is formal and workwear. The next is Arrow Modern that focuses on formal wear with fashion with brighter colours and expressive patterns. The third is the ceremony line of Arrow, because today more formal wear are being consumed in Indian ceremonies,” said Saha.

The Arrow Sport, which is a clean casual workwear category offering high-quality yarn, superior finish, user experience, and a plethora of other features, being compiled in a sophisticated product line. Arrow New York scores high on fashion code, athleisure line, and thus wins the acknowledgement of the younger consumer base. “Arrow New York comprises 15 percent of the business. Arrow Mainline has the majority share of 50 percent, and the rest is Arrow Sport,” he said.

Tech-driven supply chain and trend analyses make Arrow India truly omni-enabled

 

Franchise Opportunities Across National & Global Markets

Domestically, Arrow India plans to dedicate the next 12 months to add 100 more stores. “There are a lot of latent opportunities in Tier I and II cities. Without saturating this segment, I’m not thinking of venturing into Tier III regions. The only exception to that decision would be for compelling markets in Tier III areas,” Saha said.

Internationally, the 5 retail doors are doing really well under the management of Arrow India’s long-time franchise partners. The brand is also in talks with parties in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where they hold the distribution licenses. 

A Favorable Budget for Fashion

Saha believes that consumption is going to sustain, and promising reactions to the Budget 2023-24 from across strata motivate Arrow India to capitalize on this growth momentum. The brand is already aspirational and has decided against creating unnecessary clutter through new verticals. “We want to push the brand to be more premium. My brief to the team is that 5% of Arrow’s products should be the best in the world,” Saha concluded. 
 

 

Next Story
SS Beauty to Bank on Aggressive Omnichannel Model, to reach 25 Doors by Next Fiscal: Biju Kassim, President Beauty, Shoppers Stop
SS Beauty to Bank on Aggressive Omnichannel Model, to reach 25 Doors by Next Fiscal: Biju Kassim, President Beauty, Shoppers Stop
 

Shoppers Stop is betting big on its young beauty sub-brand, SS Beauty. The recent collaboration with Earthi, a four-decades-old Ayurvedic skincare brand, brings the departmental store conglomerate to a blend of time-tested herbal benefits and modern technology. That’s exactly what any health-conscious young customer seeks across the market. 

SS Beauty: Then and Now

A concept that was conceived pre-pandemic, SS Beauty now has 10 retail doors out of Shoppers Stop’s total retail footprint of 271 doors across 50 cities. One can also walk into an SS Beauty outlet at major international airports. Having Earthi share the same in-store and digital space with luxury makeup brands such as Bobbi Brown and M.A.C Cosmetics, SS Beauty seems to embark on an inclusive space for every skincare requirement. Biju Kassim, Customer Care Associate & President Beauty, Shoppers Stop, decodes the trend ahead.

An offshoot of Shoppers Stop, SS Beauty enjoys the crucial business insights and customer recall of its parent brand for over three decades in the departmental store space, independent stores, and shop-in-shops. “SS Beauty began with a couple of stores pre-pandemic. The pandemic provided special circumstances to the world, challenging the young brand with new ways to approach the target audience. Post-pandemic, the brand is pursuing this target group aggressively with intuitive collaborations and a holistic product offering,” Kassim said. 


Diversification with Ayurveda

SS BeAUTY to bank on aggressive omnichannel model, to reach 25 doors by next fiscal: Biju Kassim, President Beauty, Shoppers Stop

With Earthi Ayurveda, SS Beauty explores the efficacy of herbal skincare treatment through a simple, user-friendly mode of application.

“In its true form, application of Ayurveda is slow, tough, and cumbersome, although its benefits are of the highest level. Today, few D2C brands have managed to successfully offer a solution that is easy to use, comfortable, and effective. That is where Ayurveda stands out,” said Kassim.

Such a product range also finds traction among the millennials and Gen Z consumers who root for cruelty-free, eco-friendly, vegan products that are devoid of harmful chemicals. Earthi brings the right story of a product range that is clean, and provides more options for skincare enthusiasts to choose from. Kassim shares that Earthi products will have a complete omnichannel availability within SS Beauty. 

Unique Omnichannel Experience 

SS BeAUTY to bank on aggressive omnichannel model, to reach 25 doors by next fiscal: Biju Kassim, President Beauty, Shoppers Stop

 

SS Beauty is strategizing towards a seamless offline and online journey, not only because of current consumer shopping trends, but also because beauty as a vertical, demands a lot of touch-and-feel factor for the products offered and services rendered. Therefore, besides being a true omnichannel player, SS Beauty is more indexed on brick-and-mortar retail stores. 

However, that opens new scopes for improvement in customer care, which the brand is ensuring with in-store product customization services such as ‘make your own lipstick’, ‘hair and skin analyzers’, and ‘make your own fragrance’. “We are currently at Stage 1 of the engagement and these are happening at physical stores because of the availability of gadgets and instant demonstration before customers in-store. This depends in retail consumer behavior. While virtual try-ons will be online, skin and hair analyzers and will be at the store level,” he said.

Since online is synonymous with user convenience, the brand is also developing an independent beauty app called SSBeauty.in. They have also enabled endless aisle, wherein a customer can walk in, make their choice based on preferences and book products at the store for at-home or at-store delivery as per convenience. 

Such variegated services have created favourable factors influencing retail consumers as well as digital trends. They now nurture a media mix for a heterogenous customer base, some of whom prefer shopping online, and the others prefer to walk in to explore latest in-store experiences. 

“Online was highly indexed during pandemic. Now, customers want to return to the shops for new purchases, while repurchases keep happening online. Although preferences have become more dynamic post-pandemic, digital will stay at the core, because we all believe in a phygital concept that is being executed fast. That is the new world order. Transformation is rapid,” Kassim maintained.


 
Loyalty programs and at-home care 

 

SS BeAUTY to bank on aggressive omnichannel model, to reach 25 doors by next fiscal: Biju Kassim, President Beauty, Shoppers Stop

 

Shoppers Stop has one of the most successful loyalty programs in the name of First Citizen, which provides no-queue billing, reward points across the year, and a whole lot of other benefits. The brand innovated significantly with their White Glove feature aiding conversions massively during lockdowns. It enabled a customer to have a shopper help him/her in her specific buying journey on WhatsApp through secure payment. 

Then there is a program called Personal Shopper, wherein a customer can book an appointment in advance, come, get the curation he/she is looking at, buy the products, get the services at dedicated lounges and check-out counters.  All these ecosystems are translating into the SS Beauty concept where we have beauty tools and services.

“We’ve always kept customers at the center across all retail/online elements. Our studies conducted give rise to qualitative and quantitative aspects of consumers’ thought processes. We upgrade those based on the voice of the customer methodology,” said Kassim. The loyalty program, engagement tools, and brand offerings have now empowered Shoppers Stop to create a separate loyalty program for SS Beauty as well.

Retail, Digital Revenue Mix 

Currently, SS Beauty is around 8-9 percent of online penetration, and aims to steadily scale this up to 12-15 percent in the next stage, and the 25 percent mark in the prestige product segment. “As the metrics depend on the existing product mix, we are looking at a 12-13 percent online penetration for mass products, which can go up to 25 percent in the next 5 years,” he added.

Growth Predictions for FY 23-24

SS Beauty is gearing up for a breakthrough expansion spree, and the numbers do the talking. “We are working on a couple of large projects, one of which is a large 3,800 square ft store coming up in Terminal 2, Bengaluru. We are also working on an 8,800 square ft mall coming up in Quest Mall, Kolkata. This will probably be the largest beauty store in the country. We also have 8 projects in the pipeline for 2024. So, we should close this fiscal with 12 doors and about 25 by the next fiscal,” Kassim maintained.
 

 

Next Story
HRX’s Tie-up with Baccarose Wins with Coopetition, Starts New Retail Trends
HRX’s Tie-up with Baccarose Wins with Coopetition, Starts New Retail Trends
 

A unique business proposition is the lifeblood of any brand that wants to make its presence felt. Boundaries of customer cohorts are overlapping faster than we realize, as users with exposure to similar facilities, have similar needs. Health has become one such fundamental aspect in the daily lives of young India and HRX, since inception in 2013, has been diversifying from athleisure clothing to a spectrum of verticals that inspire people to be their best selves. 

Beyond usual product launches, HRX decided to strategically collaborate with Baccarose, a globally renowned fragrance brand. The result is a successful category of HRX FRAGRANCE that is leaping fast towards the top priority of Indian fitness connoisseurs today.

 

HRX’s tie-up with Baccarose wins with coopetition, starts new retail trends

 

Spotting Opportunity with Perfumery for Everyday Athletes

When asked how does athleisure gel with perfumery, Pallavi Barman - Business Head at HRX, shares the core concept of locker room strategy, which fuels product development bottom-up. Sports or athleisure brands predominantly cater to footwear or apparel. But HRX has been different since the start, projecting itself as a holistic fitness brand.

"When we saw the scope for value addition in sports, fitness, and lifestyle, we zeroed in on our core locker-room strategy. Picturise yourself after a swim, sport, or workout session. You’ll need towel, clothes, innerwear, fragrance, shower gel, cream, and fragrance or deodorant before stepping out,” she says. HRX found a scope for category diversification that aligns with their locker room strategy. Thus, HRX FRAGRANCE was crafted by Baccarose Perfumes that serve everyday athletes better. 

Why Baccarose? It’s because valuable partnerships thrive on existing market value, manufacturing muscle, brand recall, and most importantly, a shared vision to make the most out of a particular user base. Baccarose resonated with the conformity and legacy of HRX in terms of reach, distribution muscle, and an elaborate product repertoire from entry to premium levels. What followed is rigorous research and development by both the players to create a superior mix in packaging, artwork, quality and price point. Together, HRX and Baccarose created a niche for its deodorants and Eau De Toilettes in terms of their touch-and-feel factor. 

For a homegrown brand relying heavily on digital platforms and e-tailers, selling a sensitive product such as fragrance posed its own challenges on value and logistics. HRX FRAGRANCE demanded a very strong offline presence, where consumers get to try the product. Even in offline, it was a conscious call to choose certain distribution channels such as Shoppers Stop, Health & Glow, Lifestyle, and Central to introduce the product with the right in-store experience. The product also underwent significant change in appearance with the cans being broader than peer categories. 

Offline worked for HRX FRAGRANCE, with the company getting reorders within a month of launch and Southern markets responding well. The next step is to bring it online where one can order boxes of deodorants, EDTs, or combos. 

 

HRX’s tie-up with Baccarose wins with coopetition, starts new retail trends

 

Building the HRX Tribe

Pallavi explains how building a community for HRX involved motivation at the heart of every communication. To tap into the pulse of their prospective audience, the brand decided to de-clutter the pre-existing segregations in the world of fitness, with special attention to the evolving Indian fitness landscape.

“Although fitness was gaining ground in our country, India took to fitness seriously post-pandemic. Looking at this trend, we identified a segment who are into athletic pursuit, sprinting, running, and racing. Studying that segment, we found that a large part of Indian fitness enthusiasts is still in the beginner to intermediate athletic zone, as compared to western countries. So, we started addressing the bottom and intermediary levels of the pyramid, meaning the everyday athletes,” she opines. 

With HRX tribe, the brand created a clarion call to anyone identifying as everyday athlete, who had to qualify two basic standards. One is showing up to a particular fitness routine, applying to the beginner level. The second is sustained discipline to manage that routine, for the intermediary level. Thereafter, every category HRX forayed into started talking this language to the target audience, appealing to them and diminishing the entry barriers for both these levels.

“For instance, we do sportswear and gear in clothing, but not for professional athletes. We understand that getting into a physically demanding activity comes with a lot of baggage and demand for motivation. So, we minimize those entry barriers for our customers, be it for our smart wearables or bicycles or accessories,” Pallavi maintains. 

HRX vouches for its closely-knit group of super-users, right from actor and co-owner Hrithik Roshan at the macro level, to users and influencers at the community level. “At a national level, we have Hrithik Roshan, who inspires people with his journey and stresses on the importance of fitness through hard work. At the ground level, there exists multiple communities as touch-points where the super-users coordinate with customers closely. We train with them, run with them, work out and meet very often. Over time, we have built a strong sense of belonging with the community. Some of our super-users also turn out to be influencers of the brand,” she says. 

Round-the-clock Product Analyses by Super Users

In the athleisure space, it’s mandatory to track durability and dynamics of the product regularly. HRX deputes its super users to use the products, inculcate their findings, and innovate. In case of footwear, the brand closely monitors the changing dynamics of footwear after every 200-500 km run through laboratory tests. Everything from vanity to functionality matters, which reflects in the intuitive product design of the vests that accentuate the collar bone area for a better look overall. “Functionally, we discuss how breathable the fabric of the vest should be. When women run, the transparency of their vests change due to sweating, which is why fabric grammage is very important. Us super-users bring our feedback to the table for analyses,” Pallavi says.

 
 

HRX’s tie-up with Baccarose wins with coopetition, starts new retail trends

 

Omnichannel Approach and Marketing


The brand inaugurated its first exclusive offline touchpoint with a boutique store at Phoenix Market City in Bengaluru. This puts HRX in an advantageous position in terms of its omnichannel journey. At times when brands go the D2C or e-commerce way, and then take the experience offline, HRX enjoys strong customer recall in a plethora of verticals already accessible offline or online since years. Therefore, it becomes easy for the brand to integrate the offerings with a grand experience at the boutique store. One can walk in, shop offline or browse through an online catalogue and shop online, having tried out the products offline, thus enjoying an omnichannel salesforce.

In terms of marketing, HRX checks all boxes from ATL campaigns to on YouTube, TV, and billboards. Word-of-mouth promotion works effectively in the community level through the insights and recommendations of key opinion makers and super-users. “We get a lot of user-generated content. People have sold their content to us and we have made beautiful films, winning awards on YouTube and many other platforms,” Pallavi says.


Growth Targets for 2023

At present, the brand has reached a 920-crore revenue and 2023, which marks the 10th year of HRX, aims at a 1000 CR+ revenue mark. In terms of market acquisition, the brand has built a focus on Middle East and several other neighbouring countries. “As far as India is concerned, the idea is to touch 1.5 billion lives across categories,” Pallavi signs off.

 

Next Story
Personal Care Industry is Undergoing a Transition, Next 10 Years will be Disruptively Innovative
Personal Care Industry is Undergoing a Transition, Next 10 Years will be Disruptively Innovative
 

The beauty and personal care industry driven by a demand for cosmetics and skin care products is undergoing radical change. The industry has been thriving as a result of technological and product innovations, in addition to high-profile mergers and acquisitions, the introduction of virtual try-on, and the rise of online marketplaces. 

Personal care products, cosmetics, and even aesthetically pleasing makeup have a long and storied history in India. A growing number of domestic and international manufacturers have gradually expanded their presence, and the Indian beauty and retail market as a whole has seen newer products introduced over the years as a result of the heavy influence of western trends plus the growth of Indian entrepreneurs.

The rising number of working women, shifts in consumer preferences, and higher disposable incomes are all contributing to the sector's rapid expansion.

In 2018, the global market for skin care products was estimated at $134.8 billion, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4 percent till 2025, demonstrating the rapid expansion of the global cosmetics market. Zion Market Research predicts that by 2024, the global beauty industry will be worth $863 billion. 

Fast-paced growth

The demand for premium products is growing in India as Indian consumers are moving from functional products to more advanced and specialized cosmetic products. Although the market is highly saturated, it is still one of the best investment bets for market players as consumers understand the need to look flawless. But the rising priority placed on health is inspiring new developments in industry and commerce. The increasing interest in sun protection items like sunscreen, lotions, and face creams along with products like liquid collagen is also contributing to the upbeat outlook. Skincare accounts for about 45 percent of the personal care market. 

Naturally-derived ingredients from plants and other natural sources are becoming increasingly popular in the skincare industry. These products are favored because they effectively transport the antioxidant benefits of superfoods without irritating the skin. As a result of the global fallout from the pandemic, many shoppers started giving ethically sourced, packaged, and manufactured goods more thought. The market for natural and organic cosmetics is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2024. The modern consumer, empowered by digital technologies, is savvy, environmentally conscientious, and picky about the brands they support.

Improved product knowledge

The level of product knowledge among consumers has undoubtedly increased. Consumers today pay more attention to the information about who and what a product is meant to serve than they do to the marketing strategies used to sell it. Well-informed consumers prefer products that adhere to scientific principles. It's also changing because companies have started making everything from face washes and moisturizers to eye creams, face masks, sunscreen, and even makeup for men, who were previously ignored by the beauty industry. These products are available in ever-expanding varieties, and they all seem to have reworked packaging and distribution to win over a younger audience. 

The belief of the next generation in a non-binary gender classification has prompted the cosmetics industry to adopt gender-neutral makeup lines to be more accepting of all people. There are a lot of new products out there that don't make any effort to target a specific gender. Unisexual products that are designed to meet the needs of both sexes are replacing the once-popular practice of marketing to a specific gender.

Moving beyond metros

While it's true that the global pandemic has slowed the country's cosmetics industry's development, the widespread growth of the digital and manufacturing sectors has led to a booming demand for cosmetic products that isn't confined to metro and mini-metro urban centers. Considering how rapidly e-commerce has grown, several fresh, cutting-edge companies have sprung up to meet consumer demand. 

The beauty industry has continued to thrive, albeit at a slower rate, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The personal care market in India experienced an immediate boom as a result of the country's improved standard of living, with Euro monitor international projecting 9.7 percent annual growth between 2018 and 2023 before the pandemic struck. The preferences of consumers have shifted significantly over the past two years, with an increasing preference for online shopping as a result. 

There has been a rise in the demand for the on-demand delivery of highly customized goods and services. A lot of people have different skin tones, hair textures, and preferred fragrances, so there's a real demand for customized cosmetics in the health and beauty industry. The success of cosmetics and hygiene product manufacturers depends on their ability to provide a unified, personalized, and convenient omnichannel shopping experience.

Brands need a quick capture of newly formed consumer expectations and shifting behaviors and an effective response to the evolving market if they are to remain competitive and have economies of scale. The expansion of consumer-friendly e-commerce options like clickable brand websites and social media platforms for advertising personal care products can only be good for business. The digitization of customer approach channels allows for the capture of new customers and the provision of a great customer journey to existing ones.

Understanding of self-care

Younger generations like Gen Z, who are acutely aware of social and environmental issues, will have a profound impact on the future of the personal care industry, which will become more proactive, mindful, and motivated toward well-being. The cosmetics business could not be in a better position right now. The self-care segment of India's beauty market is growing rapidly. There has been a recent uptick in the number of consumers actively seeking a more long-term, eco-friendly, and holistic beauty routine. 

Due to increased global awareness and exposure, consumers have taken an ethical approach to their habits. These days, a product's ingredients are where the action is in terms of establishing its worth. This bodes well for those who are conscious of their beauty products, whose popularity we can expect to soar. The emphasis has shifted from superficial improvements to more fundamental ones like self-care, hygiene, and security. 

Consumers' heightened sensitivity to the quality of the goods they purchase and the reputation of the brands they favor play a significant role. It's not just about the item itself, but also about the history of the company. Healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives that don't break the bank have become a top priority.

Looking further into the future, we can also anticipate that cosmetics will serve dual purposes as skincare products. Hybrid cosmetics with skin benefits are a growing beauty category that is expected to explode next year, according to a recent Mintel report. Cosmetics with skincare benefits are a hot commodity, and both indie and mainstream brands are racing to be the first to market.

There's potential for growth in the personal care industry, but it'll have to adjust to meet consumers' shifting tastes. Data-driven customization can help make the strategy more customer-centric and responsive. As the cosmetics industry takes the lead in advocating for diversity and inclusion, we can expect to see a meteoric rise in the popularity of organic and all-natural products going forward.


 

 

Next Story
How Technology is Facilitating Comfort in Your Footwear
How Technology is Facilitating Comfort in Your Footwear
 

Throughout history, shoes have served the functional purpose of protecting the feet from various environmental and climatic factors. However, it is worth noting that the use of shoes as a means of indicating social status dates back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece, where the climate and landscape did not necessarily require the use of shoes for protection. In modern times, the priority for many individuals when choosing a shoe is not only the style but also the comfort it provides. It is important to prioritize comfort in order to ensure the feet are properly supported and protected during daily activities. The global footwear market was valued at a staggering $859 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8 percent between 2022 and 2031, reaching a total of $1.09 trillion.

The footwear industry has undergone significant transformation in recent years, due in part to the incorporation of advanced technologies such as AI, VR, and 3D printing into the manufacturing process. These technologies have allowed for a wider range of raw materials, machine usage, and customization options in the industry. In addition, there has been a growing focus on sustainability within the footwear industry, as brands work to reduce pollution and carbon emissions in light of worsening climate conditions.

Consumers today are looking for footwear that not only offers comfort but also serves as an accessory that reflects their personal style. In response, footwear brands, particularly start-ups, are striving to create technologically advanced shoes that meet these demands. It is clear that the footwear industry has evolved in multiple ways, from manufacturing processes to the materials and techniques used, and the increasing emphasis on sustainability.

Factors That Footwear Industry Is Focusing On:

Tech-enabled: The advent of new technologies has greatly impacted the footwear industry, leading to more efficient production processes and personalized experiences for customers. By utilizing tools such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence, companies are able to visualize and validate their products before mass production, reducing costs and waste. This, in turn, allows them to focus on foot health and the natural shape of the foot while also staying up-to-date with market trends and designs. Additionally, research is being conducted on introducing new sizes to provide comfort to a wider customer base. Overall, these technological innovations have significantly improved the quality and accessibility of footwear products.

Advanced technologies such as 3D CAD modeling allow consumers to customize their shoes with printable designs, unique to their individual foot shapes. In addition, advances in technology have enabled the development of adjustable footwear that can adapt and grow with a child's growing feet while maintaining their natural shape and promoting proper growth. These innovations have revolutionized the shoe industry and offer a range of options for personalized and comfortable footwear.

Sustainability: The footwear industry has been witnessing a growing shift towards sustainable or green design in recent years, as companies aim to reduce their carbon footprint. One way they are doing this is through the use of additive manufacturing, which helps minimize waste generation. Additionally, the industry is looking for eco-friendly materials such as cork leather, wool, algae, and coconut coir fiber to meet the demands of environmentally conscious consumers. By incorporating sustainable and recyclable materials into their products, footwear companies are taking steps towards greater sustainability and responsibility to the planet.

Bottomline

Keeping sustainability and technology at the forefront, the footwear industry is sparing no effort to offer ergonomic products to their customer. Keeping a tech-first and customer-centric approach, the industry is evolving every single day. With the rapid adoption of new technologies, the footwear industry is not only making quality products but also eliminating extensive manufacturing with automation. While the industry is undergoing a massive revolution, the primary focus remains to offer ergonomic design to ensure optimum comfort for the wearer.
 

 

Next Story
How TRYB is Disrupting Innerwear Industry with its Unique Combination of Fashion and Functionality
How TRYB is Disrupting Innerwear Industry with its Unique Combination of Fashion and Functionality
 

TRYB, a first-of-its-kind sports innerwear brand in India, was specifically launched for the everyday athlete. The products offered by the brand are best suited for anyone leading an active lifestyle. 

The brand is known for its sports-specific innerwear with the highest spandex content as compared to any other brand in the country. The products have unique fabric blends (Nylon Spandex, Kooltex Spandex) - 36TX stretch, allowing the wearer to stretch to their maximum capacity without any hindrance. It also has the DRYTEK feature - quick-drying fabric quality allowing the wearer to stay dry even during their most intense workout.

“We at TRYB have combined fashion and functionality. The idea came about after noticing international athletes making embarrassing adjustments to their innerwear on the global stage. This is a need not many people know they had. We are here to disrupt the market by introducing garments made with the highest quality standards, ideal fabric blends, and superior packaging,” asserted the founders Sridharan Jayabal and Vikranth Reddy.

Currently, consumers can choose from options like Activ Briefs, Activ Squarecut, Activ H-Trunk, Pro Short boxer, Pro Squarecut, and Pro Compression. “We have plans to expand our product portfolio in 2023 with the addition of 3 more products in a wide assortment of colors”, informed Reddy.

Currently, TRYB is trying to reach its target audience through social media and micro-influencer marketing. Additionally, the brand is available across all the major marketplaces such as (Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Tata CLIQ, and Jiomart.

Expanding the customer base has been a fun and challenging experience. “We have carved a niche in the market and created our TRYB. Our products are introduced at one-third of the price of its international competitors, and this was an intentional move as we are a D2C brand and we offer all the savings back to the customers,” Reddy said.

Betting Big on Sustainability

As a safe and sustainable brand, TRYB doesn’t use any plastic in its packaging, and its packaging is reusable. 

“Along with this, our products are long-lasting and durable hence generating fewer repeat purchases and less waste on Earth. Underwear usage is like that of a toothbrush. Users don’t know when to replace them and we are here for that very purpose to educate the Indian market on the need for innerwear that moves along with your body without causing any hindrance in movement. TRYB was born ready to walk the talk – challenging norms and shinning compromise,” informed Jayabal.

Combining Technology with Quality

The brand swears by its product quality as the materials used in manufacturing are specially engineered to impart a unique fiber profile. The moisture management property is inherent in the fiber leading to a long-lasting performance of the product. R|Elan™ Kooltex has been specially engineered to encourage physical activities and enhance performance which happens due to its rapid moisture management process wherein the sweat is absorbed and wicked rapidly to the fabric’s outer surface and gets dispersed over a large surface area to speed up evaporation. 

The rapid 3-step moisture removal transports sweat to fabric’s outer surface and spreads sweat over a larger area which helps it getting evaporated swiftly keeping the fabric cool and dry. Due to the enhanced comfort fabric becomes more breathable and comfortable to wear even during intense physical activities.

“It’s imperative for the men of today to understand what comfort means to them and we as a brand are determined to create a viable and marketable solution for men engaged in sports and athletics,” asserted Reddy.

Future Plans

Currently, TRYB is bootstrapped and is looking forward to a YOY growth of 350 percent. 

“We are looking forward to launching the latest line ‘New York Collection’ by February 2023 and we are also in the R&D phase for introducing a women’s sports innerwear line in the future,” they concluded.

 

Next Story
Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands
Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands
 

With the eventful year of 2022 coming to an end, every Indian can be seen to rejoice and prep for the new year as the same is happening after a pandemic-struck hiatus of 2 long years.

With festivities around the corner, there has been a significant surge in demand in the markets which are flooded with consumers. Every industry is witnessing the surge, and Beauty and Personal Care is not behind. However, the stiff competition for customers between online and offline brands has become more prominent than ever.

To understand the commotion among the brands this season, these brands give us an insight into their 2022 journey and their 2023 growth plans.

SUGAR Cosmetics

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

This year SUGAR Cosmetics touched larger milestones, becoming one of the select few brands that have launched 120+ of their own stores in retail, reaching a total of 45000+ retail touchpoints across 550+ cities. 

SUGAR’s IG page garnered 2.4M+ followers, becoming the largest consumer brand in India on the platform, along with our experiment into gamified AR filters that hit virality on platforms like Instagram and Moj. 

The brand’s #ShukarHaiSUGARHai Campaign with campaign ambassadors Ranveer Singh and Tamannaah Bhatia was also a huge viral success allowing the brand to receive support from impactful investors namely LCatterton and Ranveer Singh. 

“At SUGAR in 2022, we managed to almost double our sales over the previous year, achieved the target of being one of the Top 3 brands in color cosmetics in India, and are looking at another year of massive growth,” said Vineeta Singh, Co-founder, and CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics.

She further added, “Our plans for 2023 include targeting and achieving a 100 percent Y-O-Y revenue growth over last year, expansion to more than 60,000 retail outlets, making our D2C platform base stronger and larger, and growing our team size to 3,000 employees.” 

Keeping its audience in mind, SUGAR is looking forward to tapping into different categories of the beauty industry. The brand will also focus on creating solid content to keep educating and engaging its community across all platforms–digital and others.

The Body Shop

"We at The Body Shop are embarking upon a new strategy of ‘Change Making Beauty’, which means that we aim to empower customers, employees, and partners to drive positive change for the world through our channels, our products, and our activism," stated Vishal Chaturvedi, Vice President, The Body Shop, South Asia.

With this vision, the brand is aligned to reach its goal of 25 new stores in 2022 at various locations. Currently, having 200 highly visible and accessible stores all over India, including Tier I and II cities, with the latest additions in Itanagar, Surat, and Indore.

The brand's current product portfolio is already over 60 percent Vegan, aiming to become 100 percent Vegan by 2023. This aim is the natural next step forward for the brand's Cruelty-Free commitment, including reformulating all our core products from 100 percent Vegetarian to 100 percent Vegan, while focusing on making its product packaging 100 percent recyclable thus reducing its environmental impact.

"We are strengthening our retail and e-commerce channels by opening more workshop stores and launching new digital experiences. We are expanding our retail footprint with a clear focus on smaller cities and towns. Rolling out the new Workshop store format in as many stores as possible: 30+ new ACTIVIST Workshop stores per year, every year till 2025 bringing the brand to people where they love to shop," added Chaturvedi.

Plum

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

Plum would be closing the financial year at over 2x the revenue of the previous FY, complemented by the 44 percent growth seen in its overall customer base with a 96.54 percent increase in repeat buyers which is a great win in the D2C space. 

“We raised $35 million (Rs 270 crore) in a Series C round in March 2022 totaling our funding to over $50 million. With this, our efforts have been towards bringing in more salient brand communication, growing our omnichannel presence and onboarding high-quality talent with a focus on investments in marketing and technology,” said Shankar Prasad, Founder & CEO, Plum

Having launched over 8 exclusive brand outlets in the last year across cities, the brand plans to scale this up to 50 in the coming year. Furthermore, Plum onboarded Rashmika Mandanna and Mithila Palkar as its brand ambassadors for the Plum skincare range and Ananya Panday for the Plum Body Lovin’ fragrance range.

“We would be expanding our makeup range aggressively with a host of innovative product formats in the coming year. We would also be launching a line of products in the essentials and advanced ranges under both skincare and haircare categories,” added Prasad. 

Colorbar

Colorbar

The post-pandemic period has witnessed a radical shift in consumer behavior and expectations. As per research, the total retail sale is expected to reach $5.5 trillion by 2027 with online sales making up 30 percent of the market.

The retail industry has been largely shadowed by challenges across the supply chain, economic uncertainty, and geo-political factors. I feel that going forward, the only way for retailers to sail through is by exhibiting strong levels of adaptability, agility, and flexibility.

"As we graduate into the next year, we can expect a renewed focus on enhancing the customer shopping journey by providing a seamless experience for hybrid shopping. Re-invention of physical store designs along with a robust omnichannel strategy would, however, emerge as a top priority. Many companies will be seen adding features to support new shopping initiatives while integrating technologies supporting AR/VR advancements. We are aligned to lead the change and have a strong conviction that our strategy would create benchmarks of excellence in 2023,” stated Samir Kumaar Modi, Founder, and Managing Director, Colorbar Cosmetics.

Kapiva

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

“We have been relentlessly working towards improving the health and wellness quotient of Indians with Ayurveda. Recently, we expanded in the US and UAE to enable this for the global audience as well.  Our focus this year was on increasing the effectiveness of our products. We’ve moved the needle on that front by successfully conducting a clinical trial for our Dia Free Juice. It has also proven to be effective in decreasing HbA1c to an extent of 11 percent and increasing insulin production in the body by up to 25-30 percent. However, the highlight of the year was definitely the recognition by Honorable PM Modi,” said Ameve Sharma, Founder, Kapiva.

In the upcoming year, Kapiva aims to double down, concurrently increasing brand awareness and recall to become a household name.

Modern consumers are less concerned with outward appearance than they once were, and are more concerned with their complete well-being, which encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health. In order to capitalize on this trend, Kapiva is constantly creating consumer awareness by keeping the emphasis on the paramount importance of Ayurveda and how it can enable people to live a holistic lifestyle.

Earth Rhythm

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

2022 was a favorable year for Earth Rhythm, as it brought in a lot of positive changes in terms of organization, growth, and product. At an organizational level, the brand was able to double the size of the team with its customer base growing 4x times compared to the previous financial year. 

The brand also went offline with the launch of its exclusive kiosks at 12 different locations across India. “We are expanding our makeup category which will go on to strengthen Earth Rhythm’s wide-ranging portfolio, we have also been intensifying the existing categories. True to our digital-first identity, it was also a natural step for us to continue investing in technology in a bid to further streamline operations and give our customers every convenience they desire. We successfully launched our very own mobile App for both Android and iOS platforms this year and have been gaining steady traction on it. Next year, we plan to further build our portfolio by deepening the makeup category launched in 2022. We reckon 2x growth over FY 2021-22,” said Harini Sivakumar, Founder, and CEO, Earth Rhythm.

In keeping with this shift in the consumer’s preference, the brand aims to reinforce its multifunctional product range in both makeup and personal care (face, body, hair), aimed at eliminating the need for and use of multiple products in everyday makeup and skincare routines.

ARATA

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

This year at Arata launched over 20 products and 30 offline stores across India, steadily growing 10 percent month on month with respect to GMV. 

“In the upcoming year, we will go full throttle to bridge the gaps in our product line and be a one-stop shop for all hair care needs. We have already begun our groundwork and have set processes to create formulas in the anti-hair fall, hair colorants, and hair styling segments,” said Dhruv Madhok, Co-Founder, ARATA.

BlushBee

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

2022 has been the year of the first full-fledged operations for Blushbee. Beginning with just three products and later expanding to 10 categories with 64 unique SKUs, the brand has witnessed massive organic growth in its customer base.

BlushBee as a cosmetics line is a product of careful decisions in choosing what it wants, the other advantage is that being a clean and green beauty brand which is an important factor in the value proposition.  

“We hope to grow into a one-stop shop for all things related to color cosmetics, so we are actively looking into introducing new products like foundations, gloss, and so on. We have also discussed extending our horizons beyond just the realm of color cosmetics very soon,” stated Shobana and Navneethan, Founders, BlushBee Organic Beauty Brand.

Crazy Owl - Your Skin Co

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

The brand was launched in 2022 with the mindset of embracing the true self and exploring the crazy side. The brand is PETA and IFRA certified, FDA approved, and currently provides the best possible sensorial experience in Hair Care with India's First Date Seed Oil Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Oil.

“In the short term, we are working towards expanding on two fronts- launching more affordable luxury products across categories in which we operate. With the right set of team, products, and marketing strategy we were able to launch our brand, and today, 6 months post the launch we are happy to serve more than 2000+ households,” commented Damanjit Kohli and Karishma Sahni,  Founders, Crazy Owl - Your Skin Co.

Increasing its touchpoint and interaction with the product, currently, Crazy Owl has signed up on all major marketplace platforms – Amazon Launchpad, Flipkart Propel Program, Purple, Snapdeal, Tata 1 mg, First cry, Myntra, Nykaa, Bigbasket and will be launching itself on Blink it, Paytm, Pharmeasy and Shopperstop planning to grow its channel every month.

Pilgrim

Pilgrim

“As one of the fastest growing personal care brands in India, we have seen significant growth in the last 12 months and clocked a sale of Rs 10 crore per month along with a growth of 6X. With the trust that the brand has built throughout, we have had some great partnerships this year for our campaigns. Celebrity shout-outs from personalities like Soha Ali Khan, and Vidya Balan, and association with Kalki Koechlin in our most recent commercial have been one of the key highlights,” said Anurag, Co-Founder and CEO, Pilgrim. 

With a strong consumer base of 1 million, the brand aims to improve its interaction and thus upgraded its technology. Along with updating its technology, the brand is also using innovative ways to reach its target audience. 

Pilgrim aims to be a Rs 1,000 crore brand in the next 3-4 years by facilitating new product and category launches and exploring newer international markets like the Middle East. Moreover, planning to double down on its R&D capabilities and increase brand investments by bringing in global experiences for its customers, both online and offline. 

Along with establishing its presence internationally, Pilgrim aims to achieve an annualized run rate of Rs 500 crore by December 2023.

iluvia Professional

Year Ender: How India is embracing New-Age Beauty and Personal Care Brands

As a new-age, self-care brand pioneering product-driven innovation and technology, during the course of the year iluvia witnessed growth across different channels, and new launches, and hit several milestones.

The organization has grown 25x in revenue between October 2021 and 2022 along with a 20x growth in its online consumer base, currently present across key marketplaces and in over 1800 salons in India across 70+ cities. 

“It is a very exciting time for us as we are working on introducing new patented treatment technologies and new launches in the haircare category. We also expect a positive growth trajectory of 6x to 7x in the coming year,” stated Nishant Gupta and Palash Pandey, Directors, Renaura Wellness Pvt. Ltd. 

Beauty and Skincare, as a category, has burst forth since the onset of the pandemic in late 2019. The D2C space, especially, has seen remarkable growth which we expect will continue in 2023 and beyond. Moreover, The Indian beauty and personal care segment, which stood above Rs 54,500 crore only two years ago, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent over the next five years.

 

Next Story
How Hands of Gold is Delivering an Essence of Kashmir to the Entire World
How Hands of Gold is Delivering an Essence of Kashmir to the Entire World
 

Hands of Gold was started by Sadaf Syed in 2015. The casual pursuit of customizable paper mache products and their unavailability in the local market kindled her to initiate her entrepreneurial journey. With this endeavor of hers, she is trying to fill the vacuum by bringing the best of Kashmir to the world with bespoke offerings.

Hands of Gold’s retail store at Skyview by Empyrean, Patnitop houses one of the highest (in terms of ground clearance) gondolas in Asia. Tourists from across the country and niches visit the property and appreciate the product line.

“In addition to this, we are selling edible products online through our website and social media handles. We are also open to domestic bulk orders and exports. All these mediums help us reach customers in a very broad retail spectrum and allow us to give the best of Kashmir to the world,” asserted Sadaf Syed.

“Focusing on quality gives the value for money to the customer and therefore no drafted marketing strategy can beat the word of mouth by them,” Syed further added.

At present, the brand offers edibles and paper mache products and is looking forward to foray into wearable via its own label.

“These contemporary apparel will have the colors, fabrics and cuts played with while keeping them true to their originally handcrafted essence of tilla and aari embroidery. The idea behind this is to give everyone a bit of Kashmir which they celebrate donning,” Syed explained. 

What Makes it Stand Apart

The brand believes that with handmade and local crafts introduced thousands of years ago, innovation in the products takes the essence out of them.

“We have however improved the quality and tried to keep the products closest to their standard and customary form. We have also introduced the contemporary designs and revived some of the oldest designs which the Karigars had stopped making,” Syed stated.

“We are at a nascent stage right now. It is too early to introduce technology but as we grow big and have more product lines introduced and market to sell, technology will be an intrinsic part of our brand,” Syed further added.

Future Plans

The brand has grown exponentially from a single person to a team and from a single product to a host of products and product lines. At present, the brand is also exporting to a few countries and plans to go slow going ahead as it doesn’t want to compromise on the quality as most of its products are handmade. 

“In the next five years we plan to make Hands of Gold synonymous with Kashmir, when someone thinks of Kashmir, they think of Hands of Gold,” she concluded.

 

Next Story
How KT Professional is Using Tech to Further Strengthen its Relationship with its Consumers
How KT Professional is Using Tech to Further Strengthen its Relationship with its Consumers
 

Under the parent company, Ccigmaa Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd., KT Professional was launched to provide both salons and individual users with keratin protein-focused products with natural ingredients to solve 18 different hair challenges along with products that were sulfate-free, paraben-free, sodium chloride free, cruelty-free, and 100 percent vegan. 

In a few years, the brand has expanded its presence across 28 states, 86 cities, 27,000 plus salons, 150+ beauty stores, and 18+ e-commerce platforms. It has over 36+ products exclusively for salon use and over 100+ SKUs for retail, which include shampoos and conditioners such as keratin shampoos for different hair types and hair repair. 

“Covid helped us build a stronger relationship with clients and understand the changing requirements in the B2B channel which in turn led to the introduction of some new SKUs in line with salon needs. The impact in 2020 was large across the salon sector, but our D2C presence helped it keep revenues flowing during 2020 and 2021,” asserted Dhruv Sayani, Managing Director, Ccigmaa Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd.

“However, it is the need of the hour that rather than only having a  D2C presence, it is necessary to have a real sustainable business being built on an offline presence. And that's something that the world is realizing today and something that KT Professional, that's our brand and Ccigmaa Lifestyle, understood early in the game when we even started off our journey in 2016-17, where we wanted to build a business with a solid offline presence. No one can deny the fact that the brand's physical presence, and touch and feel have higher customer retention, higher customer appeal, and also turns out important for the brand to have a solid offline presence, which can become the future of the company,” he further added.

At present, salons contribute 60 percent of its sales, offline stores contribute 20 percent, and the rest 20 percent comes from e-commerce marketplaces.

Options Galore

The journey of the brand began with solving specific problems of customers at salons by providing them solutions for hair straightening, smoothing, hair botox, as well as other hair protein infusion treatments, followed by post-care shampoos and conditioners to solve the protein infusion problem for customers who preferred to use it at home. 

“KT is India's first keratine protein brand with natural ingredients to solve 18 specific hair challenges, starting from early graying of hair, to split end control, loss of hair, volume in the hair, hair thinning, and damage repair. So these are some of the most specific things we've solved, keeping in mind that water and weather conditions in India change every 100 kilometers,” he stated.

“Our products are made in India but our formulations are from the USA. We have one manufacturing unit in Mumbai and we do outsource manufacturing to third-party manufacturers who manufacture our patented formulations,” he further added.

The price range of the products ranges from Rs 300 to Rs 27,000 catering to the masses as well as a high-end aspirational segment of salon users.

Marketing Strategies

The brand places a strong bet on word-of-mouth advertising while building within a community.

“For the last 5 years, word of mouth has taken our brand to a point today where we are very well known in tier I, II, and III cities through the salon network. However, social commerce and e-commerce have been, will be, and continue to be important aspect of brand promotion and marketing. We have aligned ourselves on three strategies:-

-    To ensure that we're able to communicate with our end consumers using social commerce by giving them the availability of the product in their neighborhood. 

-    We are also tying up with celebrities and leading Bollywood actresses for brand endorsement

-     We believe that every end consumer is our real brand face because today we also understand that the end consumers’ demands and needs are constantly changing and evolving with the changing patterns, changing styles, and of course, access to more and more information. The end consumer is way smarter than what it was 4-5 years ago. And I think that those are our real heroes and we have a very strong strategy of driving our end consumers as brand faces,” he asserted.

Technology: Strengthening Relationships

Technology is eventually the winner for any brand.  The key word is KYC - Know Your Customer. 

“Many years ago, there used to be a very simple strategy run by MNCs, where it was a one-way communication, where you are using technology or information only to sell or do push sales. We've turned it around now to a position where we're looking at listening to our clients and consumers. So, we are using technology in a very simple format where consumers can get onto KTs website not only to buy products but also at the same time chat with our customer executives live,” he explained.

Future Plans

Since the last 5 years, the brand has grown 200 percent year-on-year and incrementally, it has grown 1,500 percent. The brand is looking forward to closing this year at close to Rs 100 crore.

Going ahead, the brand is also planning to foray into several new categories like skincare, makeup, and hair accessories as hair tools and hair equipment provide a huge opportunity.

“KT has always been built with a very single-minded focus of only getting new products where we can bring in change or we can bring in innovation. So when we entered the hair domain, instead of being just another shampoo, we introduced protein-infused products. In the same way, when we look at skincare and makeup, we are only going to be looking at these domains, if we're able to bring in something unique, bring in change, and bring in something that is sustainable, environment-friendly, healthy, and effective. And these are the four major mantras that we follow in our brand to enter any foray,” he asserted.

“By January 2023, we will foray into skincare with a niche range of exclusive products, at value-for-money price points. We are also looking at entering into the hair equipment market by February 2023. And we are also opening doors to exports because KT has seen a major surge in demand for protein-based products, not in India, but across the world. So, we have begun our export journey and we want to ensure that KT is available in 20 countries globally as well in the next six months,” he further added.

For international markets, the brand will be again betting big upon offline presence through a solid distribution channel. 

“We will be entering the foreign land through salon chains again and I feel that the trust factor that comes in when salons and skin technicians approve your product is far higher than just a client acquired through ad spend,” he concluded.

 

Next Story
How Bright is the Future of the Kidswear Market
How Bright is the Future of the Kidswear Market
 

Just like youngsters are becoming fashion enthusiasts with each passing year, kids these days are also seen rocking the floor with a high fashion sense. Gone are the days when Indian parents used to make their kids wear outfits of their choice, now it is the time for fashionable kids. 

Changing lifestyles of people, especially in the metro cities, are increasing the demand for kidswear in the country. Let’s have a look at some of the factors that lead to the growing kidswear market in India:

Brands Creating Unique Customer Experience - Realising the fact that these days more exposure is being given to kids, many brands whether it's a startup or well-known brands, are trying their hands at promoting the kid's collection exclusively in the market. Brands are creating unique customer experiences by bringing out different lines of kidswear. They are stepping in to create and nurture a new segment in the Indian kidswear market.

Kids Become More Fashionable - Our modern culture and society have made children more fashionable and chic. As a matter of fact, kidswear shopping these days is no less than youngsters’ shopping. New fashion trends of children in the Indian market are just pulling their parents to go shopping.  

Bollywood Kid's Fashion In Vogue - Bollywood kid's fashion is also one of the major reasons for the growing kidswear market in India. Celebrities’ kids always get as much attention and limelight as their celebrity parents get as people want to know more about them. Paparazzi are always chasing the little ones to get exclusive pictures of their outfits. Whether they go to birthday parties, vacations, or even their visits to relatives’ places, people are always intrigued in knowing what their favorite B-town kid is wearing. Saif Ali Khan and Kareen Kapoor Khan’s little bundle of joys Taimur and Jeh to Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu’s princess Inaaya, every detail about the star’s kids interest people especially what they are wearing on different occasions. The style and brands used by Bollywood kids have automatically become the latest fashion trend in the kidswear market. 

Companies have very well understood the psyche of the Indian millennials and manage to create new trends by roping in celebrities’ kids to be associated with their brands. 

Sustainability Ruling the Market - A greater awareness of sustainability is driving growth.  Parents are choosing 100 percent cotton and linens over synthetic blends, and avoiding heavy textile chemicals and mass-produced items.
 

 

Next Story
How Bioderma is Creating a Paradigm Shift in the Market Through Care First Approach
How Bioderma is Creating a Paradigm Shift in the Market Through Care First Approach
 

Bioderma is one of the 3 NAOS brands founded by Jean-Noël Thorel, a pharmacist-biologist in 1977and it specializes in medication for dermatological and hair/scalp conditions, as well as for Pediatry, and cell regeneration. At a very early stage, he conquered the established understanding of the beauty industry. Starting from the principle that – ‘when skin is suffering, rather than over-treat it, it must be taught to function properly’, he created innovative product concepts with the support of renowned dermatology and biology researchers and registered his first patents.

The brand is a part of the NAOS' universal ambition with a specific commitment to make dermatology accessible to the widest possible public, with care and special attention to all skin sensitivities. The brand is passionate about caring for, supporting, and improving the quality of life of everyone through its patented formulas and industry excellence. It believes in constant innovation to offer effective dermatological solutions that truly respect the skin and are easy for daily use.

“Our approach put simply and in two words, is ‘Care First’. We begin by taking care of the skin, and by caring for the skin, we hope to do more, in our own humble way,” asserted Sanjay Sahu, Managing Director, NAOS-India (Bioderma).

“Through a unique ‘Ecobiology Approach’, Bioderma products help strengthen and preserve one’s natural skin structure. We have adopted this approach with an aim to heal the skin from deep underneath and restore it therapeutically,” he further added.

At present, the brand’s product portfolio is divided into hygiene, skincare, sun care, and baby products. Based on the patient's requirements, dermatologists prescribe the products and regime. 

Catering to Ever-Evolving Consumer Needs

The evolved beauty consumers of today are more informed, engaged, and connected than ever before.

“These consumers who are more focused on holistic wellness are also mindfulness-oriented and more likely to seek out and adhere to daily routines that they can trust and rely upon. In this context, skincare routines not only become an important ritual but also something that drives higher retention and lifetime value for the brands,” he explained.

“The rise of the informed Indian skincare consumer has seen a significant increase in skincare consumption since the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are growing more selective and aware of the skin products they use. This change in consumer preference has led to a substantial shift towards the increase in demand for clinically tested products and Bioderma having expertise in offering products based on the patented technologies has a bright future in the market,” he further added.

Future Plans

Bioderma is focused on expanding its footprint across Tier II and III cities and increasing its customer base. With this strategy on board, it has consciously reduced the price of some of its bestseller hygiene products, reducing the profit margins with a vision to make skincare affordable to all. Additionally, the brand also has the strategy to multiply its modern trade presence across the nation.

As the brand has an aggressive expansion plan for FY23 with multiple innovative products being launched for the Indian market, it is looking at doubling its business revenue in FY23.

“The H1 2022 growth has been very encouraging for the brand, and we have registered a steep spike with multiple new innovative launches across all the product ranges, which has been accepted well by the consumers and dermatologists. We have achieved triple-digit growth vs pre-Covid numbers, witnessing a significant growth for our core categories – Sebium and Atoderm,” asserted Sahu.

Going ahead, the brand is looking forward to increasing its presence and awareness amongst the customers and educating them about why they should choose science-based dermatologically tested products for their skin-related problems.
 

 

Next Story
How House of Pataudi Succeeded to Win The Hearts of Consumers 
How House of Pataudi Succeeded to Win The Hearts of Consumers 
 

Online fashion brand Myntra collaborated with Saif Ali Khan to launch House of Pataudi – an ethnic fashion brand to enable the vision of creating a bridge-to-luxury brand. The brand offers shoppers intricate and regal ethnic wear at accessible price points. The idea behind launching the brand on Myntra was to present fashion-forward customers of Myntra a brand that gives them a collection ranging from everyday to occasion wear with a dash of tradition married to an ethereal old-world charm. 

A lifestyle proposition to the consumers, House of Pataudi currently consists of apparel and footwear across men, women, and kids’ categories as well as soft furnishings in the home segment. 

The brand is an extension of Saif’s keen eye for design with exquisite craft and Indian heritage at the heart of it. Star power brings with it the advantage of visibility and reaches at an exponential rate, allowing the brand to establish itself very quickly in the minds and hearts of consumers. The love of people for Saif Ali Khan and his legacy has surely been one of the driving factors for the success of the brand.

After marking a mark amongst consumers, the brand has recently forayed into the offline space. Elaborating on the same, Manohar Kamath, CXO, and Chief, Myntra Fashion Brands said, “House of Pataudi has been one of the most consistent and sought-after ethnic brands on Myntra, with the brand observing a solid double-digit growth momentum, prompting a venture into the offline channel as well. The collection has now grown by more than 10X since its launch, while the establishment of brick-and-mortar stores across Bengaluru, Goa, Lucknow, Chennai, and the fifth and most recent one in Mumbai, will enable us to reach a wider audience that has a high affinity towards the brand.” 

Offering an Immersive Shopping Experience

The stores are designed to give consumers an immersive shopping experience, letting them soak in the culture and heritage of a forgotten old-world charm while drawing inspiration from the enchanting Indian architecture that reflects the rich story and history of Indian royalty.  

“Technology and innovation are crucial to the success of a brand as it allows us to create a unique experience for the consumers on the back of unparalleled access, speed, and convenience interventions. Myntra's pioneering social commerce initiatives help in shaping brand identity and visibility, while engaging with shoppers via visual content, thus integrating at different tiers paves way for the success of a brand,” he asserted.    

“Myntra has been at the forefront of enabling the creator economy with its immersive social commerce propositions. Myntra Studio hosts 1,000+ creators, while the platform's ingenious live shopping proposition, M-Live, allows hundreds of creators to effectively engage fashion and beauty enthusiasts. Style Squad, Myntra's army of stylish, loved, trusted, relatable, diverse, and high-performing content creators, consistently churn out compelling content that further elevates the shopping experience on Myntra,” he further added. 

The recent edition of the Big Fashion Festival saw Myntra host ~350 M-Lives, which had a mix of both brand-led and celeb-led engagements to entice consumers effectively. On average, M-Live has been witnessing a 100 percent engagement rate across its planned sessions, while witnessing significant growth in its live-streaming traffic. 

“We are witnessing disproportionate value being drawn out of social commerce across brands and creators alike. 

The importance of social commerce propositions also played out in the launch of the creator pass, a first-of-its-kind shopping pass for budding content creators with more than 2K followers on any social media platform to avail added benefits during the platform's recent marquee festive shopping event, the BFF.

A Complete Lifestyle Brand

House of Pataudi was conceptualized to offer a lifestyle proposition and the brand currently offers apparel (men, women, and kids), footwear (men and women), and soft furnishings in the home segment. In apparel, it currently offers 2,500-3,000 styles across the apparel, footwear, and home verticals. Broadly classifying, the brand has a smart everyday ethnic line called Rozana, a festive and exquisite indulgence offering called Jashn, and an extravagant and exclusive wedding range called Riwayat. 

“Each season, the team works hard to find crafts and designs which speak truth to the brand's aesthetics and language and works with the finest craftsmen to bring these designs and patterns to life. This season, our customers are in for a treat with some exquisite designs with crafts like Kantha, Kashidakari (Kashmiri embroideries), mirror work, and Gota Patti along with traditional Indian fabrics like Kota and Banarasi brocades, among others,” he elaborated.

Future Plans

House of Pataudi has been one of the leading occasion-wear brands on Myntra. In the course of the years, it has witnessed high double-digit growth for the brand. With the amount of love the brand has received from patrons, it has seen an accelerating growth trajectory on the Myntra platform in the ethnic wear portfolio and has also received some industry recognition.

“House of Pataudi has been a digital-first brand operating in the e-commerce space until recently. August saw the brand venture into its first physical outlet in Bengaluru’s Phoenix Market City and has now launched the fifth retailing outlet in Mumbai, following stores in Goa, Chennai, and Lucknow. The expansion has been an outcome of the customers’ expectations, admiration, and demand for the brand to be able to cater to their needs across multiple touch points and solve for accessibility,” he concluded. 

 

Next Story
Where is the Demand for Sustainable Products Going and Why
Where is the Demand for Sustainable Products Going and Why
 

If we look back two to three decades ago, single-use plastic was not as rampant as it is today. While people largely carried shopping bags from home, products like milk and soft drinks were packaged in reusable glass bottles; hygiene and sanitary products were reused too. The Indian plastics industry started burgeoning in the year 1957. However, plastic consumption as a part of our lifestyles soared during the late 80s. If we were to term these 30 years as the ‘plastic era’, one would observe a gradual shift in consumer preferences for single-use plastic items towards the end of this decade.  

With the rising number of global organizations and initiatives taken towards spreading awareness and curbing plastic pollution, we are soon to witness an era of planet-friendly consumerism in the retail sector. The Global Sustainability study conducted by global strategy and pricing consultancy, Simon-Kucher & Partners reveals, more than a third of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, as demand grows for environmentally-friendly alternatives. 

Also with a rise in purchasing power parity, the modern-day urban consumer is transitioning from pocket-friendly or affordable to eco-friendly and sustainable. At least 60 percent of consumers in India are willing to pay a premium for planet-friendly products, while 52 percent of urban Indians expect to increase spending on planet-friendly brands in the next 3 years, according to a new survey by consulting firm Bain & Company. 

Global organizations and initiatives are also key in bringing about a gradual shift in consumer demand for products that serve the purpose of sustainable living.

The Challenges

Even though there is growing awareness amongst the urban population, rural villages and tier II and III cities are rooted in price-conscious buying. While single-use products are widely available at highly affordable prices, there is the scarce availability of consciously manufactured products and they are generally priced at a premium. 

‘Use and throw’ products are more convenient to use and discard than sustainable products, which generally need washing and maintenance. Throwing away plastic bottles, used plastic toothbrushes and buds is a common practice, resulting in landfills and also the level of awareness around eco-friendly practices like segregation of waste into dry and wet waste is low.

There is also a conflict of opinion on the concept of sustainability. Paper products marketed as alternatives to plastic products are still harming the environment, as they involve cutting down trees and forest reserves. Most consumers even face trouble identifying sustainable products and are unclear about their credibility of those. Very few branded sustainable consumer products are available and hence, they are forced to choose single-use products off the shelf.

All of the above factors act as deterrents to sustainable buying and conscious choices to be made by an ecologically aware consumer.

The Underlying Barriers to Change

India’s recycling rates are low viz-a-viz the volumes of waste we generate. Plastic recycling is done at a very small scale and the number of recyclers is not very well documented. Waste disposal is a growing concern as waste is seen as a challenge and not as a resource. The concept of segregation of waste is not implemented at the household level. Eventually, these factors impact the planet-conscious buying decisions of consumers, as there is a sense of all efforts going in vain. 

The Silver Lining

Positively, larger chunks of educated and aware citizens are connecting through communities on social media platforms with co-activists and believers, who have made sustainability a way of living.  They consciously choose products only with environmental benefits, live a plastic-free life, and do not buy products that pose a danger to wildlife. These buyers pay attention to labels and packaging and practice the concept of green homes.

How Brands are Shifting Focus to Manufacturing and Marketing Sustainable Products?

The growing level of awareness and acceptance have created huge opportunities for companies to bring to the fore sustainable solutions for consumers. Upcycled, ethically-made, reusable products are the way forward for brands wanting to influence the ’conscious’ consumer. Brands are bringing together zero-waste design, small-scale production, and time-tested Indian traditions and centuries-old practices of recycling and up-cycling to cater to consumers.

These consumers have made conscious changes in their products of day-to-day consumption, right from replacing plastic toothbrushes, combs, earbuds, shaving brushes, bottles, scrubs, and containers with products made out of natural raw materials like bamboo and wood. Hygiene and sanitation products that are planet-friendly and reusable are also catching acceptance widely. 

The fashion industry is focused on sourcing sustainable raw materials. Concepts like ‘eco-wool’ (yarn made out of recycled plastic bottles) are adopted by signature fashion brands. 

From consumer products to the fashion and automobile industry, companies are designing planet-friendly solutions and also adopting conscious practices in the process.  

Brands offering such solutions are also increasingly creating awareness campaigns on social and mass media platforms for the acceptance of their products and promoting sustainability at large. Influencers are promoting eco-friendly practices as a trend and the digital era is playing a key role in influencing young minds. Companies studying consumer trends are well aware of the fact that consumers share an emotional connection with products or organizations that demonstrate eco-friendly qualities.

The challenge lies for the single-use plastic industry and organizations involved in manufacturing single-use plastic-based products and other products causing serious harm to the environment. It is imperative for them to upgrade to sustainable solutions as this gradual shift in consumer behavior may catch momentum with tighter regulations and initiatives by the government and also environmental changes. On the other hand, there is a need for strong government support for these industries to be able to adapt to change and set up infrastructure for sustainable alternative products and solutions. 

Rightly said that change is inevitable, there is a need for collective participation from government bodies, businesses, and consumers altogether, to create avenues for a sea change towards environment-friendly behaviors and practices to attain the larger goal of saving the environment.

 

Next Story
How Personal Care Industry is Going to be Disruptively Innovative in the Next 10 Years
How Personal Care Industry is Going to be Disruptively Innovative in the Next 10 Years
 

The beauty and personal care industry driven by a demand for cosmetics and skin care products is undergoing radical change. The industry has been thriving as a result of technological and product innovations, in addition to high-profile mergers and acquisitions, the introduction of virtual try-on, and the rise of online marketplaces. 

Personal care products, cosmetics, and even aesthetically pleasing makeup have a long and storied history in India. A growing number of domestic and international manufacturers have gradually expanded their presence, and the Indian beauty and retail market as a whole has seen newer products introduced over the years as a result of the heavy influence of western trends plus the growth of Indian entrepreneurs.

The rising number of working women, shifts in consumer preferences, and higher disposable incomes are all contributing to the sector's rapid expansion. In 2018, the global market for skin care products was estimated at $134.8 billion, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4 percent till 2025, demonstrating the rapid expansion of the global cosmetics market. Zion Market Research predicts that by 2024, the global beauty industry will be worth $863 billion. 

Fast-Paced Growth

The demand for premium products is growing in India as Indian consumers are moving from functional products to more advanced and specialized cosmetic products. Although the market is highly saturated, it is still one of the best investment bets for market players as consumers understand the need to look flawless. But the rising priority placed on health is inspiring new developments in industry and commerce. The increasing interest in sun protection items like sunscreen, lotions, and face creams along with products like liquid collagen is also contributing to the upbeat outlook. Skincare accounts for about 45 percent of the personal care market. 

Naturally-derived ingredients from plants and other natural sources are becoming increasingly popular in the skincare industry. These products are favored because they effectively transport the antioxidant benefits of superfoods without irritating the skin. As a result of the global fallout from the pandemic, many shoppers started giving ethically sourced, packaged, and manufactured goods more thought. The market for natural and organic cosmetics is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2024. The modern consumer, empowered by digital technologies, is savvy, environmentally conscientious, and picky about the brands they support.

Improved Product Knowledge

The level of product knowledge among consumers has undoubtedly increased. Consumers today pay more attention to the information about who and what a product is meant to serve than they do to the marketing strategies used to sell it. Well-informed consumers prefer products that adhere to scientific principles. It's also changing because companies have started making everything from face washes and moisturizers to eye creams, face masks, sunscreen, and even makeup for men, who were previously ignored by the beauty industry. These products are available in ever-expanding varieties, and they all seem to have reworked packaging and distribution to win over a younger audience. 

The belief of the next generation in a non-binary gender classification has prompted the cosmetics industry to adopt gender-neutral makeup lines to be more accepting of all people. There are a lot of new products out there that don't make any effort to target a specific gender. Unisexual products that are designed to meet the needs of both sexes are replacing the once-popular practice of marketing to a specific gender.

Moving Beyond Metros

While it's true that the global pandemic has slowed the country's cosmetics industry's development, the widespread growth of the digital and manufacturing sectors has led to a booming demand for cosmetic products that isn't confined to metro and mini-metro urban centers. Considering how rapidly e-commerce has grown, several fresh, cutting-edge companies have sprung up to meet consumer demand. 

The beauty industry has continued to thrive, albeit at a slower rate, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The personal care market in India experienced an immediate boom as a result of the country's improved standard of living, with Euro monitor international projecting 9.7 percent annual growth between 2018 and 2023 before the pandemic struck. The preferences of consumers have shifted significantly over the past two years, with an increasing preference for online shopping as a result. 

There has been a rise in the demand for the on-demand delivery of highly customized goods and services. A lot of people have different skin tones, hair textures, and preferred fragrances, so there's a real demand for customized cosmetics in the health and beauty industry. The success of cosmetics and hygiene product manufacturers depends on their ability to provide a unified, personalized, and convenient omnichannel shopping experience.

Brands need a quick capture of newly formed consumer expectations and shifting behaviors and an effective response to the evolving market if they are to remain competitive and have economies of scale. The expansion of consumer-friendly e-commerce options like clickable brand websites and social media platforms for advertising personal care products can only be good for business. The digitization of customer approach channels allows for the capture of new customers and the provision of a great customer journey to existing ones.

Understanding of Self-Care 

Younger generations like Gen Z, who are acutely aware of social and environmental issues, will have a profound impact on the future of the personal care industry, which will become more proactive, mindful, and motivated toward well-being. The cosmetics business could not be in a better position right now. The self-care segment of India's beauty market is growing rapidly. There has been a recent uptick in the number of consumers actively seeking a more long-term, eco-friendly, and holistic beauty routine. 

Due to increased global awareness and exposure, consumers have taken an ethical approach to their habits. These days, a product's ingredients are where the action is in terms of establishing its worth. This bodes well for those who are conscious of their beauty products, whose popularity we can expect to soar. The emphasis has shifted from superficial improvements to more fundamental ones like self-care, hygiene, and security. 

Consumers' heightened sensitivity to the quality of the goods they purchase and the reputation of the brands they favor play a significant role. It's not just about the item itself, but also about the history of the company. Healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives that don't break the bank have become a top priority.

Looking further into the future, we can also anticipate that cosmetics will serve dual purposes as skincare products. Hybrid cosmetics with skin benefits are a growing beauty category that is expected to explode next year, according to a recent Mintel report. Cosmetics with skincare benefits are a hot commodity, and both indie and mainstream brands are racing to be the first to market.

There's potential for growth in the personal care industry, but it'll have to adjust to meet consumers' shifting tastes. Data-driven customization can help make the strategy more customer-centric and responsive. As the cosmetics industry takes the lead in advocating for diversity and inclusion, we can expect to see a meteoric rise in the popularity of organic and all-natural products going forward.
 

 

Next Story
How are Beauty-Focused Platforms Changing The Retail Game in India 
How are Beauty-Focused Platforms Changing The Retail Game in India 
 

Over the past decade, digitalization has changed almost every industry in the world. It is, therefore, natural to wonder how this has affected the beauty industry in so many ways, from developing more creative marketing strategies to promoting it on various platforms to fostering trusting relationships with clients.

The personal care market has grown dramatically in the last few years and now dominates beauty e-commerce. Your question must be, "How?". Well, many factors are at play. The expansion of digitization in the industry is the first. Online shops developed certain modifications to their operations during the crisis that worked out well for both the businesses and the customers. Making the look and feel of the product as good as going into a physical store was one of the key adjustments made.

Since beauty items are typically trusted to be purchased in stores, customers favor an enriched digital experience. Such strategies help brands draw in potential customers who will buy their products online.

The touch and feel of conventional cosmetic items like lipstick, eye lenses, and other makeup products can now be replicated through technological breakthroughs in e-commerce. As a result, technology helps to close the distance between the seller and the buyer.

How Big is the Beauty E-commerce Market in India?

●    A Redseer analysis predicts that by 2025, e-commerce in India will expand at a CAGR of 25 percent and come close to breaking into the top five global marketplaces by revenue.

●    As per Statista, in 2020, the size of the Indian market for the beauty and personal care industry was valued at one trillion Indian rupees. The market size for this industry is likely to increase to about two trillion Indian rupees by the year 2025. In the beauty and personal care market, 10.7 percent of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2022.
●    The number of online beauty shoppers in India is expected to cross 122 million by FY25, says a recent study.

The beauty e-commerce sector has been inundated with cash since the launch of platforms like Nykaa on a route to the everyday consumer, and given the overwhelming majority of the increase in customers, the time is right for the next stage of expansion.

Factors Giving Rise to the Growth of E-commerce in the Cosmetic Industry

Influencers - Creators have built huge fan bases through social media since the internet and smartphones have made it easy for them to reach new audiences.

They are commonly referred to as ‘influencers’. These content creators establish ideas about your product or service and produce tutorials, professional counseling, and brand-encouraging content for the general public. With 93 percent of customers who purchase beauty items checking in more than once a month, this showcases the amount of time spent online.

In recent years, influencer marketing has gained strength in the beauty and self-care market. Influencers are able to draw new and potential customers to firms because they have devoted followers who consider them authorities in their field of expertise at a time when social media is at its most popular.

By reading their reviews, buyers can assess how they used the product and are able to develop greater confidence and trust in the company, which is something that businesses perceive as a growing possibility to profit from.

This method has been used by companies like MamaEarth, which provides natural and chemical-free skincare products, to promote their goods through influencer marketing by running a large number of champions on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

By investing more in advertising and marketing initiatives, the company's growth from the fiscal year 2019 to the fiscal year 2020 was multiplied by 6.5.

In order to increase sales, platforms like Amazon also introduced the #FountItOnAmazon campaign, in which influencers propose or promote their favorite things to the audience. This method increases audience trust in the brand.

Personalization - Offering personalized services to online shoppers is the main way cosmetic companies draw in new customers.

Leading cosmetic businesses are currently using their data scientists, technologists, and beauty specialists to create online beauty assessment systems. They are able to offer their clients in-person beauty consultations thanks to these technologies.

This is merely an illustration, but businesses are utilizing this level of personalization to close the gap between their online stores and customers all around the world. It's interesting to see that most cosmetic companies are outperforming the experience a customer may have at a physical makeup station.

Personal Care companies are gathering information on new clients and preserving it for existing ones in order to offer them a special and specialized online shopping experience catered precisely to their requirements.

Cost-Effective Pricing - Another important aspect that is altering the beauty sector is competitive pricing. For instance, clever pricing tactics aid companies in maintaining an advantage over rivals and dominating the worldwide market.

Unbelievable as it may seem, finding the best products at the lowest prices is the main goal of online shoppers. Customers prefer purchasing online over in traditional brick-and-mortar stores since the identical item is typically offered at significant discounts. Businesses base their marketing choices on the actions of their customers.

It would be accurate to claim that cosmetic companies use cost as a smart marketing tactic to draw clients. The truth is that they have ample margins to do so. The companies in this market are capable of competitively modifying their prices without sacrificing their profit margins. Simply put, they can maintain competitive pricing while making enormous profits, which is a win-win situation.

D2C Model - Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of the direct-to-consumer business model. As a result of the lockdown that has been implemented in the majority of countries, brands have discovered a new technique to market directly to customers.

The acceptance of the D2C model has been aided by this move or the transition from direct selling through their own websites to more conventional channels.

In the US and other countries, the D2C model is already popular since it offers consumers personalized, need-to-order products. Many high-end brands also offer to subscribe and save deals via subscription boxes or monthly boxes, which create a wonderful trust between consumer and brand that results in a satisfied customer.

These models are being used by Indian companies, including Sugar, Ustraa, and Bombay Shaving Company, which are growing in popularity and prominence.

The Global Endeavor - The e-commerce market for beauty products operates on a global scale; it is no longer restricted to customers in a single state or nation. Customers can now purchase their preferred products, whether they are domestic or foreign, instantly via their mobile phones.

Because of beauty e-commerce, brands can now reach customers all over the world. It is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to expand internationally. For aficionados of makeup, domestic brands like Mac, Bobbi Brown, Too Faced, etc., are easily available and have become household names.

Technology - The beauty industry is undergoing rapid change, from 3-D printing to AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) to AI in skincare. As a result, demand-driven individualization is critical to providing better beauty services to users.

The current need is for scientifically supported beauty. Whether it is a video consultation with a dermatologist, aesthetician, or cosmetic surgeon, businesses are exploring ways to connect customers with healthcare professionals in order to provide tailored skincare prescriptions.

AR The use of VR and AR in the beauty industry allows for a greater level of individualization. The relationship between online and offline buying is greatly enhanced by these technologies.

Older firms are also reinventing themselves in the same space where newer brands are immersing themselves in cutting-edge technologies such as automatic hair analysis, foundation shading using artificial intelligence, virtual try-ons, and smart mirrors.

What are the Driving Factors Behind the Beauty E-commerce Category Sales

Digital Presence:  The more traction a brand gets online, the more chances it has to grow.

Innovation in Products: Users' requirements are increasingly taken into consideration when developing new products. By utilizing techniques like surveys, internal research, customer feedback, and many more, brands are concentrating on how their products might be more beneficial to consumers.

Pricing Strategies: Because there are many options available on the market for a particular product category, companies are compelled to implement competitive pricing while still considering both growth and profit.

Final Thoughts

The dynamic nature of e-commerce and customers alike have forced the beauty sector to acknowledge that old business practices are no longer effective. The new growth levers are an omnichannel approach and a reactive approach to product and consumer engagement. The majority of brands have greatly expanded their capacity for online and digital marketing. One significant development that is likely to stick around is the potential for digitally communicating with customers, particularly on social media and video platforms. 

 

Next Story
How AI Intervention is Revolutionizing the Fashion and Luxury Industries
How AI Intervention is Revolutionizing the Fashion and Luxury Industries
 

At first glance, the fashion and luxury industries are often associated with and driven by creativity, artistic perspective, and intuition. It is unlikely to be compared with logic-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence. However, technological advancements, changing fashion trends, and market swings seem to have changed the preferences of customers. Now, AI holds promise for the fashion industry, where trends are set with massive data sets and sales patterns. While AI in fashion has yet to reach critical mass, McKinsey believes it is on its way and will affect everything from design to manufacturing to customer involvement.

Several fashion brands are on their way to leveraging the power of AI technology to streamline their supply chains and enhance the in-store experience, which is focused on enriching customer satisfaction. The merchandising teams are relying on the data collected from their websites, social media, stores, and applications to optimize their designs.

The introduction of new-age technology has also provided a chance for brands to become more efficient and sustainable. Fashion and technology are gradually merging, and how firms use technological breakthroughs will give them an edge in the markets.

AI-Powered Innovations are Reshaping the Fashion and Luxury Industries

Customers' buying experiences are evolving as a result of technological advancements. Fashion firms are embracing these new methods to introduce their items to clients through personalization, interactive retail outlets, and augmented reality. Customer delight is an admirable goal that is required to sustain their business, but it is not the only advantage of artificial intelligence.

Predicting the Future Trends

Artificial intelligence is gaining traction in the fashion sector and has the ability to alter brands through innovative technology, more efficient operations, and access to consumer and industry data. Fashion shops have developed a new paradigm in which AI systems are viewed as creative partners. By combining physical abilities and technology to become an extension of designers' imagination, AI can help in the design of new clothing.

Fashion makers can use technology to better understand consumer demands and improve their designs by collecting more sophisticated data. Images published on the internet can now be used to deduce style, likes, and preferences. Using big data and AI algorithms to analyze these images can be a valuable tool for forecasting future trends. While AI can be used to reduce manual labor, it can also be utilized to obtain insights into what the general public is interested in on social media. By focusing on forecasting what customers will want to wear next, artificial intelligence is transforming the way brands approach the design and development process.

Personalization to Enhance the Customer Experience

Fashion is particularly responsive to shifting consumer expectations, and as a result, it is becoming more personalized. Customers demand a variety of solutions that cater to their individual style preferences, and as the desire for personalization develops, so does the use of artificial intelligence. The greater the technology, the better the experience and process of personalization. Some brands use on-demand design and manufacturing of clothing for a single person's market. The brands are relying on a community of artists to contribute concepts that use 3D modeling technologies to create a photorealistic image of how the finished product would look. Individuals can customize the garments to their liking and have them delivered in a few business days.

Moreover, AI is responsible for gaining insights into what customers are preferring to search online. According to their search history, potential customers can be targeted in a personalized manner with relevant content related to their searches. As more people shop online, several fashion brands have tailored their e-commerce operations to meet their customers' needs. Personalization has become critical for brands because individual goods are rarely returned, increasing revenue and profitability in a substantial manner.

Facilitating Sustainability

Every business, including fashion, recognizes the need for sustainability. Overproduction is at the root of industry's negative effects on both the environment and humanity. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a successful driver of technical innovation, and it is here that clothing brands may capitalize on the promise of this technology to become more sustainable. Industry 5.0 is all about environmental awareness and sustainability, and AI may assist fashion designers, for example, in calculating how much fabric and other components are required for specific creations, resulting in less waste.

A brand can start selling digital items first and only produce them on-demand after the point of purchase by simplifying e-fashion (3D fashion) across digital platforms. This is beneficial to the environment because brands do not overproduce and are not left with deadstock. Furthermore, 3D technology enables firms to produce digital samples of designs and deliver them to customers all over the world with a significantly reduced carbon impact. Waste is removed and the carbon footprint is decreased because 3D samples do not need to be manufactured or delivered.

Streamlining the Supply Chain and Inventory

The use of AI in fashion has facilitated an improved supply chain, which was interrupted due to the pandemic, ongoing geopolitical conflicts, and a variety of other causes. This has not only helped to remove the production standstill and facilitate product flow, but it has also exposed both suppliers and brands on a larger scale than in previous situations. End-to-end transparency is becoming increasingly challenging due to the vast number of parties engaged in global supply chains, and technology can help us tackle that problem as well. Al employs the Original Design Manufacturing Model to produce stocks only when they are sold, allowing for a more efficient manufacturing process. Fashion brands can now examine and analyze data across the supply chain before responding to supply chain disruptions effectively. Assisting in tracking the status of things as they move through the supply chain, AI ensures that everyone in the chain can access data, track status, schedule delivery, and execute transactions in real-time.

By utilizing AI-powered solutions, manufacturers gain accurate and improved knowledge in forecasting and preparing for their supply requirements based on elements such as weather conditions, traffic, tolls, and others. Furthermore, clothing brands have also used artificial intelligence to automate their supply chain and logistics procedures in order to locate other routes and make speedier deliveries.

All Things Considered

Technological innovations are transforming the fashion business, from clothing design to the way fashion is shown and sold, and it is critical that brands capitalize on them to become more sustainable, conscientious, and transparent. Artificial intelligence is predicted to revolutionize the way netizens buy on online platforms and will pave the way for new customer-engaging techniques. Given the rapid utilization of AI, the fashion industry will continue to discover new practical use cases for the technology.

Fashion companies have proven highly effective in allowing them to better answer market demands, build ties with consumers, increase sales and deliver a more participatory experience through social media and other channels. With the help of modern-age technologies, the factor that will distinguish fashion brands from the competition is how they adapt to the ever-changing needs of consumers.
 

 

Next Story
How to Bridge the Gap Between Fast Fashion and Sustainable Fashion
How to Bridge the Gap Between Fast Fashion and Sustainable Fashion
 

The fashion industry has experienced multifarious transformations while having more resilience and the ability to handle challenges. In this era, the industry is also returning to growth as new digital frontiers, technological advances, and changes in customer preferences become the norm. The fashion customer base today has a variety of choices at their fingertips, and they have become more informed, impatient, and volatile in terms of their purchases. Their purchases now include thorough online research while seeking current trends, optimum product quality, and a brand's manufacturing ethic. Moreover, they expect to get delivery of their products at their doorsteps within a few hours.

In accordance with that, the competition has also become tough while the demand-supply process has become fast-paced. These new behavior patterns of consumers have paved the path for fast fashion, where production is based on the response to upcoming trends. However, due to the changing market demands, the manufacturing standards are changing, as the customers are preferring sustainability from the brands. Therefore, fashion manufacturers and brands need to rethink and re-angle the ways to amalgamate fast fashion and sustainability in their production schema in order to stay responsive to market trends and create a positive consumer impact.

Fast Fashion and Sustainable Fashion: Can They Co-Exist?

In every industry, consumers are the most significant part of the ecosystem, as they have the buying power in their hands. Consumers are now becoming more aware of the impact of fast fashion on the environment and are demanding more sustainable methods. As a result, shopping habits are undergoing a paradigm shift, while manufacturing processes are changing as well. Although it seems that fast fashion and sustainable fashion cannot tie knots. However, building a bridge between them is the need of the hour.

It is to be noted that the idea of sustainable fashion does not overshadow or shame fast fashion. In a way, it improves the techniques of fast fashion in terms of being more environmentally friendly and ethical. It is nearly impossible to discard the concept of fast fashion on a universal scale. Today, the fast fashion industry is considered among the top polluting domains; however, the coexistence of sustainable fashion and fast fashion can bring about a huge change. By only switching to recycled materials and natural fibers, the industry can help decrease its carbon footprint over the coming years. These little steps can be powerful in the long run and can positively influence climatic conditions. What fashion brands must do is stay concrete with their sustainability plans and follow best practices to go green. Moreover, they also need to allow customers to adapt to this change.

In terms of sustainability, the fashion industry is moving in the right direction. Nevertheless, it is still taking time to see a visible change at a rapid pace. Fast fashion is almost the opposite of sustainable fashion, but companies have to figure out how to cope with market changes while adhering to sustainability practices. Let us delve into some of the methods that would bridge the gap between sustainable fashion and fast fashion.

Consider the Circular Fashion

In the traditional setting, the fashion industry follows a linear model that includes design, manufacturing, finished product, consumption, and disposal. This method usually does not have a scope for recycling or reusing resources at any stage and thus results in excess wastage. The global fashion industry generates this waste, which is responsible for 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, as the best sustainability practice, circular fashion must be considered.

The circular fashion economy envisions reducing the amount of waste created by the industry while encouraging the use of methods such as recycling and using regenerative and sustainable materials. At its core, it challenges the practice of the linear fashion model and proposes that the clothes must be designed, manufactured, delivered, and collected in a cyclic way. These steps will enable the reuse and recycling of post-consumer textiles on a huge scale and minimize all sorts of waste.

Using New-Age Design Methods: Digital fashion houses claim that replacing actual garments with digital samples during the design and development stage can reduce a brand's carbon footprint by 30%. Physical material samples may be redundant with the advent of 3D virtual sampling. A finished garment may necessitate up to 20 samples.  
Some clothing can be designed to be disassembled at the end of its life cycle, making it easier for the parts to be recycled or upcycled into another garment. Other garments are reversible or designed with parts that can be removed or added to make them multifunctional.

Reducing Waste: 80 to 90 percent of the sustainability of merchandise items is determined at the stage of the design. Therefore, to reduce waste, designing the garment in a sustainable manner is the need of the hour. Fifteen percent of the fabric usually ends on the cutting floor while manufacturing a garment. Therefore, in order to follow a zero-waste pattern, the fabric can be arranged as a Tetris puzzle. Moreover, geometric concepts can be employed in order to use every inch of the material. Furthermore, draping and knitting as methods of design can be used wherever possible to reduce the amount of waste.

Using Alternative Materials: As a suitable practice, raw materials that are generally used in garment manufacturing must be replaced with more sustainable alternative materials. Natural materials such as hemp, ramie, and bamboo can be considered instead of cotton. However, some fashion brands are also turning towards organic cotton that is grown without any toxic chemicals. In addition, fully biodegradable and recyclable yarns and fabrics can be used, which can be obtained by natural processes without harming the trees.

Some fashion brands are also researching ways to minimize the environmental impact of their garment production, while others are working to develop methods of recycling clothes that decompose in a matter of months when properly disposed of. Furthermore, switching to recycled polyester fabric can also aid in reducing carbon emissions because recycled polyester emits half to a quarter of what virgin polyester does.

All Things Considered

Sustainable fashion is often considered slow fashion, but that is not the case. We can term sustainable fashion ‘mindful and smart fashion’, as it considers the benefit of the planet and the people. To safeguard the future of the planet, the gap between trending fashion and sustainable fashion must be bridged. To break the traditional barriers, it must include all the areas of function, including textiles, garment manufacturing, recycling, and the circular fashion economy.

Many more fashion companies will shift toward sustainability in the coming years, and the industry will see a shift in consumer spending habits. To make sustainable fashion popular, the consumers are the key. If they want industries to adopt sustainable manufacturing practices, they must elevate the demand in the markets. As the consumers demonstrate their concerns regarding sustainable fashion, the brands will respond accordingly.

Moreover, if the companies promote sustainable clothing, customers will purchase it accordingly with increased interest. Every participant, including people, brands, and the planet, is intertwined in the pursuit of sustainability, particularly in the fashion industry. Therefore, they must work together to create a sustainable ecosystem.
 

 

Next Story
How India is shifting from Fast Fashion to Natural Fibers and Slow Fashion
How India is shifting from Fast Fashion to Natural Fibers and Slow Fashion
 

In the land of natural fibers, fashion is slowly evolving to become more inclusive and sustainable across India.

India has been endowed with an abundance of natural fibers. Considered the backbone of India’s textile industry, despite competition from synthetic versions, the demand for natural fibers is increasing steadily. Natural fiber composites have varied uses in the textile, packaging, furnishing, building, and construction industries. Among numerous natural fibers, cotton, silk, jute, wool, and linen are said to hold immense potential for Indian agriculture.

The Shift Towards Natural Products

From the Indian fashion standpoint, a close relationship exists between natural fibers and responsible, sustainable textile production. In recent years, the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘organic’ have become buzzwords for the fashion fraternity. As a result, some brands have committed to being 100 percent organic by using natural fibers.

Coming to consumption trends, a diverse consumer base is shopping for natural fibers. In a developing nation such as India, end consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the concept of sustainability, triggering a perceptible shift in buying patterns toward natural fibers.  Furthermore, buyers (especially in urban areas) are more conscious about a product’s source and its entire source-to-consumer lifecycle. They wish to know about the source of every item and the process deployed in turning the raw material into an end product.

Considering the burgeoning demand, manufacturers, producers, and designers are encouraged to focus on clothing made out of natural fibers. The garment manufacturing industry has experienced renewed growth recently as retailers have increased the sourcing of sustainable fashion products/items. With growing awareness about environmental concerns and drastic climatic changes, people are realizing the importance of sustainable living. Beyond clothing fabrics, natural fibers are found in products ranging from personal care to home furnishings as well

Key factors such as geography, land, soil, climatic conditions, and market trends have all contributed to the steady growth of India’s natural fiber industry. Rising awareness regarding sustainable textile production to meet the environmental and social aspects along with increasing demand for natural fabrics is expected to be a key factor driving the market growth.

Ethical Fashion and ESG

The increasing numbers of environmentally-conscious consumers, along with government initiatives such as a ban on SUPs (single-use plastics), indicate the sustainable fashion sector’s growth prospects are promising. In context, a ResearchAndMarkets.com report reveals the global ethical fashion market was valued at almost $6,349.9 million in 2020 and is slated to reach $10,109.9 million in 2025 at a CAGR of 9.7 percent. The ethical fashion market is based on designing and manufacturing clothes while also caring for the people involved in the process and curbing the ecological impact.

In line with global trends, including adherence to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) norms, Indian companies across industries have begun improving their compliance standards, as per rating agency CRISIL. Since investors rely increasingly on ESG metrics for investment decisions, the financial risks of non-compliance are apparent to all, fashion entities included. On the back of these tailwinds, natural fibers are gradually gaining prominence.

Fast vs Slow Fashion

A couple of decades ago, however, natural fibers played second fiddle to synthetic yarns. Despite India’s rich natural heritage, the fast fashion industry had gained ground, giving rise to the widespread use of synthetic cotton, silk, and other artificial yarns. Not surprisingly, textile mills soon emerged as one of the top industrial polluters, accounting for one-fifth of global industrial water pollution.

But as the severe consequences of climate change became clear to all cohorts, including policymakers, there was a steady shift from fast fashion to slow fashion in the new millennium.

Coined in the 1990s, ‘fast fashion’ refers to the speedy manufacturing of the latest style trends, which are then marketed at affordable prices. Yet, when a new fashion trend arrives, these garments are soon discarded. Ironically, though not manufactured as long-lasting items, the garments don’t decay for years in landfills due to the high amount of synthetic material used.

Conversely, slow or sustainable fashion using natural fibers and other environment-friendly materials has a comparatively carbon-neutral process in manufacturing garments, thereby leaving a lower carbon trail. Consequently, slow fashion remains aligned with the nation’s 2030 SDGs (sustainable development goals), which include the sustainable management of water.

Given the above circumstances, manufacturers of natural fiber products have been providing consumers with eco-friendly alternatives that are biodegradable and use less water and fertilizers during production. Moreover, since natural fibers are grown in remote regions and other hinterland areas of the country, their cultivation and use offer gainful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to people even in small towns and villages. As the natural fiber segment employs skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workers, its contribution to generating jobs in rural regions cannot be overlooked.

Sustainable Practices

Incomes of all the stakeholders across the ecosystem can be augmented and a substantial social impact can be created at the grassroots level by ensuring all waste is used or recycled during the life cycle of natural fibers. Recycling waste on farmlands can take many forms.

Let us take an example of a silk supply chain - at each stage of silk yarn production, there are certain by-products generated that have specific usage.

Consider mulberry twigs, which are waste generated at farms. Traditionally, these were burnt by farmers, who did not see any possible use for such waste. Some companies are now sourcing these twigs from farmers as they can be essential raw materials in the medicinal, cosmetics, and FMCG industries. Today, farmers are benefitting from the waste that they earlier simply threw away.

Similarly, pupae (waste generated at silk reeling units) can be used as poultry and fish feed. Silk waste and cocoons (generated at reeling units and farmlands, respectively) are used to extract a protein called sericin, which is used in the packaging and pharma industries. In packaging, sericin enhances the shelf life of foods. Sericinhas unique antioxidant, anti-aging, moisture retention, and depigmentation properties, which also makes it an ideal ingredient in any skincare line.

Gradually companies are making a conscious effort in reducing and recycling waste to extract value from them. In this manner, companies with end-to-end supply chain solutions can help monetize waste by-products during the manufacturing process. 

To build demand for recycled materials, governments and businesses must not only reinvent themselves, but they must also reinvent their relationship, especially when it comes to economic problems that neither can solve alone.

Fortunately, Gen Z and millennial shoppers also seek to support brands working towards sustainability as they understand the benefits of slow fashion and are making ethical fashion and sustainability part of their overall values.

Undoubtedly, as the world races to combat the aftermath of climate change, it’s time for all cohorts to help connect the dots from a fast and wasteful fashion to a slow and mindful fashion that advances the well-being of both people and the planet.
 

 

Next Story
How Beauty Brands Pent Up the Demand Amid Inflation
How Beauty Brands Pent Up the Demand Amid Inflation
 

The key factor driving the Indian beauty and personal care market is the growing focus among individuals on personal hygiene and skin health. This is especially true for the country's large population of young people, who are increasingly becoming more aware of the importance of caring for their skin. In addition, the availability of a wide range of affordable and effective beauty and personal care products is also helping to drive growth in the market. The major players in the market are focusing on product innovation and new product launches to meet the changing needs of consumers. Moreover, players are also investing in advertising and marketing activities to build brand equity and create awareness among consumers about their products.

Rising disposable income has assisted the growth of India's beauty and personal care industry in recent years. With an ever-increasing disposable income, and a growing expectation to look beautiful among Indian customers, India's beauty and personal care business has a beautiful opportunity to expand enormously.

Common categories such as bath and shower, hair care, and oral care already have strong penetration and are well-established, so the development in those segments will be slow. Multinational companies are dominating these areas with products that provide practical benefits while still being affordable. Herbal cosmetic products are witnessing significant growth as people become more aware of the disadvantages of using chemical cosmetics regularly.

There are several reasons for this shift towards herbal cosmetics. Firstly, people are becoming increasingly aware of the long-term effects of using chemical-based products on their skin. Secondly, natural ingredients are seen as being gentler and more effective than harsh chemicals. Finally, herbal cosmetics are often more affordable than their chemical counterparts. This trend is likely to continue in the future as more people become conscious of the impact of their beauty choices on their health and the environment.

The on-click brand websites and promotional social media platforms are making a big contribution to the market. Moreover, some firms are providing personalized items and in-store experiences at home, stimulating the industry. Furthermore, increased consumer knowledge of beauty and personal care products produces a good market outlook. In addition, the growing number and variety of men's care and gender-neutral cosmetic products are fuelling market expansion. Furthermore, the introduction of products focusing on menopausal skincare and perimenopausal problems is boosting the total market.

One intelligent way of marketing being used by brands is retail marketing. Retail marketing in general does not receive the attention it needs. Most people focus solely on e-commerce and its promise, but it only accounts for 14 percent of worldwide retail sales. The remaining 86 percent is generated by customers strolling into stores and purchasing things in person.

The key components of retail marketing are promotions and discounts. By offering promotions and discounts, brands can entice customers into buying their products. This is a great way to increase sales and grow your brand. In addition to promotions and discounts, another important aspect of retail marketing is product placement. Product placement is when you strategically place your product in a store so that it will be seen by customers. This is a great way to increase brand awareness and get people interested in your product.

Another aspect that can be talked about regarding inflation and demand is skimpflation - another type of inflation that the naked eye usually misses. In regards to that, it can be seen that several fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in India are reducing product packages to save on raw material prices with the price being kept unchanged.

The Indian beauty and personal care industry attained a value of Rs 54,558 crore in 2020, owing to increased spending on personal care products. The market is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 6.5 percent during the forecast period of 2022-2027, aided by the increasing penetration of a diverse range of brands and the growing popularity of herbal products.

The Indian beauty and personal care market is additionally propelled by significant consumption growth prospects. Product demand is being fuelled across the country by an increasing female workforce, rising fashion trends, and the popularity of social media outlets. The major players in the Beauty and Personal Care Market are attempting to discover, test, and develop new beauty brands through the rapid application of new powerful technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, which are expected to create numerous future growth opportunities.
 

 

Next Story
How Sustainability Is Shaping the Future of Fashion?
How Sustainability Is Shaping the Future of Fashion?
 

The students pursuing studies in fashion and the new generation of designers are the practitioners of sustainable fashion in the future. Sustainable fashion is not just about what material you use/ reuse, but also how a garment/ product is made, who made it, what resources were used to produce it, and how it was sold, and purchased while considering the impact of its existence on the environment and eventually how it will die/get reused.

The present and upcoming labels have to transform the model of the supply chain as consumers are getting aware and conscious of their buying habits and their environmental effects. Therefore it is vital for the new age learners to think systematically about how the industry can be transformed into a sustainable future. Systemic thinking and sustainable fashion strategies must be at the core of design, fashion pedagogy and practice. We can no longer get away with fashion just ‘expressing’ ideas.

Opportunities in the Future Within the Fashion Industry

There is a huge demand for sustainable fashion in the present and moving toward a better future also coined “Slow Fashion”.  We now have a huge market for organic, recycled and natural products; followed by fair trade labeled - eco-friendly, animal cruelty-free charitable brands, and handmade - human-made products, which speak of the communities benefiting from their manufacture.

There has been a shift in production strategies within the international business to transfer the process of global production to local production. The Bay Area Based organization believes the local production will reduce the impact of carbon footprint and support employment opportunities within the vicinity. The companies outsourcing and producing internationally will have to equip themselves with a well-tracked system to keep up with the fair pay, and working conditions within the partnered factories.

New Career Dimensions and Initiatives for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Sustainability managers are now popular within the brands to check all the vital points to be labeled as environmentally conscious brands. Our production processes must minimize water and power consumption; our supply chains must be transparent and traceable; our retail systems need a revamp to include sustainable habits like renting/reusing clothes.

The future of sustainable fashion is moving towards creating a positive impact on the consumers and youth as they are well aware since the movement 'who made my clothes' was precipitated by the collapse of the Raza Plaza building in Bangladesh.
 
Sustainable Approaches

 
Fresh fashion aspirants are very well versed with the sustainable urgency in the fashion industry and while selecting the institution, they prefer a sustainable driven curriculum. Fashion industry changes in a revised and more sustainable way to not lose the passion and love of fashion for upcoming generations.

The younger generation and the educational institution have already incorporated sustainable approaches in all aspects of thinking. The future fashion industry will be completely transformed which is also a need of today and an opportunity to progress.

The educational learning of sustainability should be ingrained at the foundation level of a student so that it becomes a practice in everyday life. Therefore, the choice lies with us. Even steps taken in this direction, no matter how small, will be significant in shaping the Future.

New Dimensions

With the shift in the business of fashion there is a new market for businesses such as thredUP and Rent the Runway promoting the power of sharing economy and rent instead contributing to curbing the back of closets or landfills.

There are new dimensions emerging like circular fashion business models such as rentals, resale, repair, and refurbishment. Also, dedicated platforms, for example, Depop which contribute to selling vintage clothes are showcasing the great potential for circular fashion.

According to sustainable fashion industry statistics, the market is expected to rise to $9.81 billion in 2025 and $15.17 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 9.1 percent, due to the growing awareness of ethical fashion.

Awareness

We need to share how sustainable fashion encourages better practices for the industry and promotes longevity of the product, something confronting the fashion world, which thrives on rapidly making new offerings to users.

We have to be well-educated on what exactly is sustainable, and at the same time affordable, we are being taught to incorporate organic fabrics but that itself is just not. Almost 2,700 liters of water is used to produce a single cotton-t-shirt, this is what the average human consumes in 3 years.

According to Mckinsey Report 2020, The Sustainable Fashion Statistics, 67 percent of consumers are now concerned about the harmful effects of their clothing consumption. 60 percent of the users are initiating efforts to reduce impulsive buying and instead reused and recycle. The future of sustainable fashion is definitely gaining momentum within the institutions, brands, and the youth adapting the sustainable approach at a faster pace, though there is much more implementation and awareness to be spread across our ecosystem.
 

 

Next Story
The Turning Point of Online Lifestyle Fashion
The Turning Point of Online Lifestyle Fashion
 

The globe has seen several changes as a result of online buying. By generating demand, boosting consumption, and fostering employment, online shopping has developed into a powerful tool for building economies. Increased use of electronic bookkeeping and records management has improved operations. The internet has fundamentally impacted how individuals shop and the kinds of goods they habitually purchase by making online transactions simple. Walking between shops to accomplish this when shopping in physical stores takes significantly more work and time, which makes online purchasing much more convenient and profitable. Online sales – to get rid of excess inventory and draw in new clients, several stores run special, online-only deals.
 
One of the biggest industries in the world is fashion. And the transition from a real to a virtual store was a remarkable one. People's perspectives have shifted. The scope of internet lifestyle fashion has expanded in the present. Online shopping has a plethora of benefits, including time and effort savings, the convenience of doing your shopping from home or any other location that suits you, the availability of a wide range of goods, increased discounts from suppliers as a result of fierce competition, and the ease with which you can compare different models and brands.
 
The newest trends in the fashion and clothing industries are greatly influenced by social media. One is readily influenced by visual cues, and frequent exposure to the virtual world provides our minds with a steady stream of fresh knowledge about the fashion trends and styles used by influencers and celebrities. This has significantly contributed to the growth of online fashion purchasing. You have access to the whole lifestyle market, so you can just unwind at home while looking for the ideal clothing. Choose your size, and color, and provide the other necessary information, and you will instantly receive that thing.
 
Every company is always working to promote its goods and boost sales. The main element of internet buying is advertising. You are exposed to advertisements whether you are playing a game, viewing a YouTube video, or browsing social media. Facebook and Google utilize your personal information to analyze your interests and serve you with relevant adverts.
 
Since it first began in India in 2007, online shopping has seen several changes. The virtual world has altered and improved as a result of digitalization and artificial intelligence, simplifying the procedure overall. Using the front camera on your smartphone, you can virtually check the size and how any clothing appears on you. The consumer's position has changed from one of empowered domination to one of passive observation. They are no longer satisfied with only purchasing items of clothing since the exponential development in the usage of digital technology has given them more power. They desire interaction, belongingness, influence, and to be the brands they patronize. They are knowledgeable, picky, and in control; they worry about how they seem in public and on social media as well as how their purchases and possessions are perceived. The great majority of customers utilize digital channels to make purchases, whether they do so first, later, or both.
 
 Because there are no physical storefront restrictions, websites can display a huge range of goods. It aids analytical purchasers in purchasing conducting thorough research. Consumers used to wear anything designers produced. These days, fashion businesses employ data to comprehend consumer tastes, keep tabs on their purchasing habits, and develop goods that satisfy those wants. Since it has always been an art, fashion forecasting is now more of a science thanks to the development of data analytics. The information includes algorithms.
 
Customers are increasingly seeking out companies that stand up for the environment, according to nearly 50 percent of fast fashion retailers. According to research, 88 percent of customers want companies to support their efforts to live more sustainably. Keeping fashion simple also helps the environment and saves money. Simplified collections lessen waste and the amount of clothing created as opposed to passing through garments so rapidly and needing to create a new collection, marketing campaign, and fashion show every six weeks.
 
Customers and offering a unique experience will be the main priorities in the future of fashion. Although the industry is always changing, future advancements will result in a more efficient, sustainable, and customer-focused sector. The online fashion sector will develop with the help of technology and artificial intelligence.
 

 

Next Story
{Exclusive} Reliance Retail to Disrupt the Beauty Space with its New Brand Tira
{Exclusive} Reliance Retail to Disrupt the Beauty Space with its New Brand Tira
 

After dominating the apparel retail segment in the country, Reliance Retail is planning to disrupt the beauty space, dominated by Nykaa, Sephora, and Myntra, by introducing its new beauty brand Tira in January at Jio World Drive Mall, Mumbai.

“The store spanning across 4,500 sq. ft – 5,000 sq. ft will be offering multi-brands under the same roof,” as per the sources aware of the development.

The omnichannel brand is evaluating the technologies to provide the same experience to both offline and online consumers.

“Reliance plans to democratize beauty for India. The online channel will be catering to classes as well as the masses whereas offline will be more focussed on premium and luxury. Tira will be offering international brands along with Reliance’s own private label brands under the same roof. The brand plans to be the biggest player in the beauty space,” as per the sources.

Tira will compete with brands like Nykaa and Myntra, to take the biggest share of the burgeoning cosmetics and fashion market, which is estimated to be worth Rs 14.1 trillion by 2025.

The brand is planning to open its second store in Mumbai’s Jio World Plaza – a global destination for the luxury needs of Mumbai peeps. And in the next financial year, it will be opening a store in Delhi.
 

 

Next Story
How The Body Shop is Integrating Tech and Sustainability to Stay Relevant to Changing Consumer Needs
How The Body Shop is Integrating Tech and Sustainability to Stay Relevant to Changing Consumer Needs
 

Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand and a certified B Corp™. The Body Shop seeks to make positive change in the world by offering high-quality, naturally-inspired skincare, body care, hair care, and make-up produced ethically and sustainably. Having pioneered the philosophy that business can be a force for good, this ethos is still the brand's driving force.

The brand operates about 3,200 retail locations in more than 72 countries. Along with Aesop, Avon, and Natura, The Body Shop is part of Natura & Co, a global, multi-channel, and multi-brand cosmetics group that is committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact. The four companies that form the group are committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact. 

The Body Shop India is managed by Quest Retail Pvt Ltd and is operational in India since 2006. It operates 180 stores across the country. And for the last 17 years, consumers have always been at the forefront of the brand.

“Over the last 2-3 years, consumers have evolved and understand what they really want and stay relevant to the consumers, we have always been accessible to them, and provided the best quality products,” stated Antara Kundu, General Manager - Brand Relation, Marketing, and Customer Acquisition, The Body Shop.

“We have realized that consumers are becoming omnichannel and there is no hard and fast rule that the store consumers only like to buy from the stores and the online shoppers only like buying online. So we have to make sure that we have to be where the consumer is,” she further added.

Change Making Beauty

The brand is embarking upon a new strategy of ‘Change Making Beauty’, which means that it is a platform, it is a way that the brand does things across all aspects of its business and products.

“On the product side that means offering a high degree of naturality of ingredients, offering plant-based solutions that really deliver results and are good for consumer’s skin, good for the planet, and based on the simple philosophy that The Body Shop has always believed is to feel good about yourself,” she asserted.

“We’re also working towards making our packaging 100 percent recyclable. Currently, nearly 70 percent of our packaging can be fully recycled, and by 2025, all our bath and body, and hair care products will be fully recyclable. As part of our packaging strategy, we’ve undertaken a comprehensive review of our whole product portfolio, and we’re exploring how we can increase this percentage in the future,” she further added.

So, the brand has always advocated in terms of what is relevant not only to the environment but also to the consumers. 

“Apart from this, from a community perspective, it is really about living up to our brand’s DNA which is to support the local community and to support fair trade which is something we have pioneered in the business. We ensure that with every product, every campaign, every initiative, we’re giving back to the planet and its people,” she explained.

Offering Unparallel Experience

The brand is living the concept of ‘Change Making Beauty’ even at its retail stores.

“Every element that is there inside the store talks about sustainability, talks about change making beauty, talks about new products. So, it’s an experience in itself. Now we are not keeping this experience to metros and we plan to take this concept to every corner of India soon,” stated Vishal Chaturvedi, Vice President, The Body Shop - Asia South. 

It’s really a sustainable store experience where every surface you touch, every product you touch, every element of that store has been thought through talks about sustainability and that is something we are placing a big bet on. We believe that this store design is the future for the brand in India and globally as well. Now we are looking forward to translating the same beauty education to the online customer and on that front, we are re-launching our brand website soon. The new website is very content rich and offers a customer-friendly interface,” she added.  

The Transversal Skincare Range 

Bringing the phrase ‘Flower Power’ to life, The Body Shop, recently launched a transversal skincare range infused with the Edelweiss flower, known for its remarkable antioxidant properties. The brand has packed powerful natural protection systems found in Edelweiss into its new range covered in more sustainable and recyclable packaging, reiterating the brand’s commitment to ‘Changemaking Beauty’. 

The Vegan certified Edelweiss line-up includes Edelweiss Daily Serum Concentrate, Edelweiss Eye Serum Concentrate, Edelweiss Serum Concentrate Sheet Mask, Edelweiss Bouncy Jelly Mist, Edelweiss Liquid Peel, Edelweiss Cleansing Concentrate, and Edelweiss Intense Smoothing Cream.

Found growing in brutal Alpine conditions against the extreme wind, snow, and rain, the resilient Edelweiss flower thrives. It protects and repairs itself, thanks to its natural antioxidants, including Leontopodic acid, which is only produced when the flower is in distress. Growing in rocky, limestone areas, the Edelweiss flower offers benefits to maintaining the skin barrier’s health and smoothening the skin’s surface for all skin types and ages.

Around 80 percent of our daily skin issues like dryness, itchiness, redness, irritation, acne, etc., are the result of pollution and dust, which make the skin appear dull, parched, and tired. Edelweiss stem cells and Edelweiss extract which contain hard-working antioxidants are combined with natural-origin peptides that protect the skin from external aggregators. While most peptides on the market are synthetic, The Body Shop sources from rice, a natural-origin alternative.

“Beauty for us is a wellness-based approach focused on self-care, hygiene, and protection. Sustainable, efficient, and ethical skincare is something that forms the core of our beliefs. For us, product and ingredient innovation generates from deep insights into consumer needs. The Body Shop’s Edelweiss skincare range is transversal – for all ages and skin types. We are excited to launch an all-new ethically sourced ingredient with natural origin,” said Chaturvedi.

“Edelweiss extract is 43 percent more powerful than Retinol, making it incredibly effective in protecting the skin’s barrier. With immense lifestyle stress, building our skin barrier and making it resilient like the Edelweiss flower is necessary for supple, radiant skin. Of course, like with all our other products, the Edelweiss collection, too, will come in sustainable, recyclable packaging to ensure we remain eco-friendly. We believe in skincare that makes people feel empowered and confident, and that’s precisely what our Edelweiss collection will do,” he further added.

Tech Integration

In terms of technology, the brand is evolving and will soon be launching its own app soon.

Explaining the tech innovations happening at the brand’s end, Chaturvedi said, “We will be introducing AR/ VR technology on the online store in the next 6-8 months.”

“Apart from this, video call assistance has really worked for us where the customers can get the help online from the nearest store, talk to their favorite beauty advisors and get that same experience that they would have in the store but from the comfort of their homes,” she added.

Along with this, the brand also offers express delivery and Whatsapp assistance.

Future Plans

At present, stores contribute 60 percent of the revenue of the brand, 15 percent comes from online channels, and the rest 25 from omnichannel. 

“We will be extending our retail footprint across India and we plan to open at least 3 stores every month. We will be expanding to more than 20 new cities in the next year. So, by 2025 there will be 300+ stores of the brand,” he stated.
 

 

Next Story
How Resort Wear is Expanding its Retail Presence in India
How Resort Wear is Expanding its Retail Presence in India
 

Resort wear may have originated for the wealthy clients of designers taking luxurious vacations to sunny and exotic locales during the dead of winter but over the last few decades has blossomed into so much more. No longer limited to inter-season, capsule collections – resort wear is now a full-fledged industry, the sole focus of many brands and designers, and available all year round.

In India, the market was always small and niche, with well-seasoned travelers supplementing their vacation wardrobes with pieces from their trips abroad. Post the pandemic, the Indian resort wear market has never been stronger or more exciting with it's offerings. From high-end established brands to small, independent designers, there’s a wide array of choices at all price points with new names popping up every month. 

Goa has always attracted its fair share of international hippies, hipsters, and luxury seekers. Today it’s evolved into one of the hottest destinations for domestic tourists looking to plan getaways over long weekends. It’s no longer limited to the seasonal visits of foreign visitors and has become a year-round destination. And it’s not just Goa, the Indian traveler has re-discovered other beach destinations during the pandemic – from Alibaug to Kovalam and even smaller towns like Mangalore and Bekal. This has propelled the Indian resort wear market to new heights as dressing for the beach has become a major trend. Everyone wants to make the most of their vacations post-Covid and create as many special memories as possible – and dressing for the part certainly adds to it.

Previously shopping in Goa was limited to the famous night markets and a few high-end boutiques. Today the retail landscape has evolved with a huge variety of options – from restaurants tying up with brands to create cute boutiques within their space, multi-designers stores located in all the major tourist areas and markets of every kind on different days of the week – from local vintage to high-end, curated retail bazaars. A big focus is beachwear with swimsuits, cover-ups, and kaftans being the perfect impulse buys as one can wear them immediately. Offerings like co-ord sets, flowing maxis and fun printed shirts also do extremely well as these outfits can be worn back home and integrated into our normal wardrobes given India’s hot, tropical year-round weather. 

It’s not just the tourist beach towns focusing on resort wear – online shopping platforms are also seeing a huge surge in this segment. People are excited to travel again, dress up and take great photos and planning a vacation wardrobe has never been more important. Even wedding shopping portals have realized the importance of having a resort wear vertical for all the honeymoon planning which is a fun respite for many from the stress of wedding shopping. Instagram has also been a strong growth avenue, with many brands focusing all their marketing efforts and spending on this one platform. 

India has always had the capability of creating beautiful resort wear with many high-end brands such as Love Shack Fancy and Free People manufacturing a bulk of their designs in India – making the most of our high-skilled labor and embroidery techniques. Now with domestic demand growing, this segment is set to boom with innovation, sustainability, and affordability becoming key aspects of the industry.
 

 

Next Story
The Global Eco-wakening: Why Sustainability is Now the Key Driver of Innovation
The Global Eco-wakening: Why Sustainability is Now the Key Driver of Innovation
 

Nowadays, more brands are stepping forward to incorporate sustainable clothing and they are creating it by giving it a stylish twist based on ongoing fashion trends. For instance, most fast-fashion retailers are looking at ways to cut down their carbon footprints and are working towards a sustainable future. The manufacturing process is witnessing a transformation. Fashion retailers and apparel manufacturers are opting for nature-based fabrics. Chemical usage in processing and dyeing fabrics has been reduced considerably. Fabrics that are made with closed-loop processes help in conservation and ensure optimum use of resources. Industries are incorporating modern technology that enables them to reduce water consumption.

For instance, Liva is created by extracting cellulose from wood pulp that is generated from trees grown specifically to maintain green measures. Fibers sourced from certified sustainable forests help enhance the fluidity and softness of the fabric. These fabrics save landfills 6-7 times more than cotton and consume 3-4 times lesser water. 

Sustainable Fashion in Modern Times 

Sustainable fashion in modern times is considered by looking at every stage in the supply chain: design, material procurement, processing and production, transportation, distribution, end of life, and understanding of companies’ initiatives. How financial material factors are assessed based on the impact on nature - how polluting and intense the water usage and carbon emissions are during processing; labor - balancing the positive, such as poverty alleviation, while ensuring proper waste management at the pre/post-consumer stage, are all important.

Here are four factors that need to be addressed in the fashion industry in order to move towards sustainability:- 
•    using more sustainable materials,
•    minimizing the carbon footprint of the industry and improving resource efficiency,
•    reducing waste,
•    and, perhaps the least talked about, making the industry transparent and easy to understand for the consumer

Initiatives by Industry Toward Sustainability

The first step for many companies is to implement recycling programs. The increasing environmental pressure has been building over a period of time on our ecosystem warranting reconsideration of our economic paradigm. This urges commercial industries around the world to increase the efficiency of natural resource use and reduce the overall environmental impact. 

Manufacturing units are making use of solar energy which is very beneficial in the conservation of depletable resources. Nowadays, fashion brands are becoming environmentally responsible by leveraging technology to and automating production and make packaging more sustainable. Bio-degradable packaging like corn starch, glassine, hemp, and craft paper are some innovative solutions that brands are opting for. Utilization of bacteria-based dyes, deploying a blockchain-based supply chain, and introducing traceability to increase transparency are some new-age solutions to better achieve the cause of sustainability.

How Interested are Consumers in Buying Sustainable Fashion?

The consumer is pretty mixed. A typical consumer is not uniform in their purchasing behavior. They might be buying from both a fast-fashion company and a more circularity-minded one. Consumer sentiment versus actual purchasing behavior is a really interesting point of discussion. We know Millennials and Gen-Zs tend to prefer more sustainable fashion as it has seen exponential growth over the years. The fact that most sales occurred online benefited tailwinds for the sector—value, variety, and sustainability. 

The Upcoming Wave of Innovations in a Sustainable Fashion 

The evolution of digital traceability and how it can increase transparency in the supply chain has become a reliable option. This technology could also enable brands to trace their supply chains from raw materials to finished goods and monitor suppliers for compliance. Companies can thus strategically target potential risks in their supply chains. Some firms are also working on unique digital passports that are tied to a specific garment. This might be a QR code or RFID that presents to both consumers and companies where something was manufactured, what the materials are, how many times it’s been owned by someone, and end-of-life information such as the most effective recycling practice. We’re in the first innings; this digital infrastructure will take an incredible amount of investment and time. Also, the digital printing tech emergence has enabled designers to take their ideas from concept to garment in a much faster time frame and open new avenues of creativity. 

Awakening of Sustainable Sanitary Pads

Personal hygiene practices for women do not come without their challenges as waste. The waste generated by sanitary napkins and tampons comprises millions of tons and could be potentially an avoidable waste if we have a layer-by-layer approach to making a fully biodegradable sanitary napkin.

The need of the hour is not only to make menstruation a positive experience for women but also to develop a product that could help solve the plastic challenge faced due to the global consumption of plastic-based single-use sanitary pads. Viscose, a cellulosic fiber derived from wood pulp is commonly used as a silk substitute due to its smooth and soft feel. Viscose fiber by nature has hydrophilic properties that have the ability to repel moisture and keep the surface dry. For example, Purocel Ecodry is one such brand that produces viscose fiber that is perfectly suited for super soft non-woven applications on sanitary pads and is also fully bio-degradable.

Aspiring intimate hygiene brands are now on a mission to bring positive change in women’s health and hygiene through plastic-free natural sanitary pads at affordable cost and to reduce/ eliminate plastic waste from the earth by educating girls/ women to switch to natural and sustainable sanitary pads.

With concerns about climate change intensifying globally, now is the time to emphasize the importance of menstrual products that are environmentally friendly. We as a community need to ensure that along with making menstruation a comfortable phase of life for women of the country, we must push for the awareness and adoption of ‘green’ products to usher in a sustainable menstrual ecosystem in India.    
 

 

Next Story
How Bright is the Future of Clean Beauty Brands in India
How Bright is the Future of Clean Beauty Brands in India
 

By now, it’s common knowledge that our planet is facing the consequences of nearly 50 years of industrialization, deforestation, and decisions resulting in global warming and climate change. Unfortunately, the international, multi-billion-dollar beauty industry is also a significant contributor to environmental damage. Products laden with harsh chemicals that seep into our oceans and seas, deforestation, and plastic packaging that isn’t recycled that ends up in oceans, lakes, or landfills, have wreaked havoc on the earth. As of 2019, an estimated 120 billion units of packaging are produced each year by the beauty and cosmetics industry, most of which aren’t recyclable.
 
However, as the climate change threat becomes increasingly apparent, consumers and brands are making a conscious effort to live/ function more sustainably. Thankfully for us and the planet, one segment has gained much traction in recent times – clean beauty.
 
For a planet that has been abused to a point where we’re now facing the wrath of its retaliation, clean beauty has emerged as one of the key solutions for the beauty industry to mitigate the damage we have done to the environment. But what is clean beauty?
 
A Brief Introduction
 
When we think of the word clean, it has a positive impact on us, and we immediately think of something pristine and unpolluted. Simply put, clean beauty is a philosophy that covers beauty products, treatments, and services formulated/ offered without the use of harsh ingredients that can harm our health and the planet as well. 

In fact, according to NielsenIQ, clean beauty products are free from toxic chemicals like parabens, harsh sulfates, phthalates, artificial colors, fragrances, and around 600 other ingredients. But clean beauty is often wrongly interchanged with natural. While clean beauty can include ingredients derived straight from nature, it is anchored on sustainability, using biodegradable ingredients that are gentle on our skin and packaging that is recyclable.
 
Why Does it Matter?
 
The answer to this question can be seen all around us. Foaming lakes and rivers due to excess use of sulfates and other harsh chemicals in personal care products, plastic floating in our oceans, and the rapid decline of the earth’s flora and fauna are evidence that clean beauty is the need of the hour. Clean beauty is cautious and frugal in terms of its use of natural ingredients.
 
Formulated with cruelty-free, sustainably sourced ingredients, clean beauty gives due scrutiny to the methods of creating the products and consciously avoids raw materials that have a notorious history of resulting in deforestation. The concept takes into consideration the toxicity of every ingredient that goes into each product – be it its active use on the consumer or its by-products on the health of our marine life.
 
Another aspect clean beauty focuses on is transparency. Until recently, a majority of consumers used to simply pick products off the shelves simply by checking the fragrance/flavor of the product and the expiry date. But those days are long gone. Today’s consumers are far more aware and want to know if the products they purchase will impact them or the environment negatively. However, you might have come across products in supermarkets or even online where there is no ingredient list or only a few ingredients derived from nature. Not really transparent, is it?
 
Clean beauty anchors on transparency alongside sustainability. In today’s internet age, just a few clicks on our smartphones or laptops can give us access to all kinds of information. The lack of transparency on product labels is an issue that clean beauty is solving. When we look at product labels of clean beauty brands, we’re sure to find every ingredient that has gone into the product’s formulation listed on the label, allowing consumers to make informed decisions and choose products that are sustainable.
 
How Much has the Segment Grown
 
Today, the paradigm shift towards clean beauty is evident. Consumers, especially millennials and GenZ, are now more conscious about the products they purchase and use and the waste they generate, and how it impacts the environment. Just as how the segment has evolved over the years, as time goes by, the definition of clean beauty is likely to expand further. According to research by Statista, the clean beauty industry is growing by 10 percent each year. By 2024, the clean beauty market is projected to reach a whopping $22 billion and $54 billion by 2027.
 
The global pandemic has also contributed to the changing face of today’s beauty shoppers. A survey revealed that 76 percent of consumers plan on buying products that are sustainable, cruelty-free, and of course, carry the ‘Clean’ mark. And out of consumers from all age groups, millennials and GenZ are the most likely to purchase sustainable beauty products. In fact, the demand for clean beauty has witnessed a surge of late. To cater to the same and operate in an eco-friendlier manner, clean beauty brands are going the extra mile with constant innovation, science-backed product formulations, and the best of R&D (Research and Development).
 
The Road Ahead
 
 As sustainability continues to take center stage with beauty brands, trends like refill and reuse and dissolvable or zero waste beauty are gaining traction. Combined, these trends will further allow the clean beauty industry to reduce its carbon footprint, moving towards more carbon-neutral beauty. As the clean beauty industry continues to grow, we can expect that future innovations will transcend only using clean ingredients and focus on managing the waste we have generated over the years.
 
Given the havoc the beauty industry has wrought on the planet, clean beauty is no longer an option. But clean beauty is now one of the most sought-after philosophies by consumers, and more and more brands are foraying into the segment. The future looks bright for the clean beauty industry, consumers, and, most of all, the planet. The world has woken up to the change that can repair decades of damage. And that change is clean beauty.
 

 

Next Story
How Bright is the Scope of Rental Fashion in India
How Bright is the Scope of Rental Fashion in India
 

A new generation of young people always creates a wave of change and a generation (Gen-Z/ Millenials) that was either born or was eased into the digital age holds an entirely different appetite for fashion. Gen-Z and Millenials are hooked on social media and as a result, shy away from repeating clothes creating a larger demand for new clothes. 

The digital age has also brought about a wave of awareness amongst youth so now everyone knows the who’s who of the luxury world and wants a piece of the pie by wearing the latest designer outfits. To top it all off, fashion trends are ever-changing so owning clothes based on new trends is seeming even more redundant as it’s heavy on the pockets and doesn’t yield as much marginal utility for the product. Rentals have smoothly blended into this niche that was created purely by the digital boom and is now being embraced gracefully due to COVID and sensitivity towards climate action. 

Youth from urban cities, particularly our Tier-I and Tier-II, is definitely growing more conscious of what they wear and where their clothes come from. All of this has led to a revolution of sorts, moving people towards the idea of renting. Renting clothes is not only easier on the pockets but it also allows people to freely post and flaunt their outfits on social media without the fear of not being able to repeat them. There has been a natural shift amongst people who are making frugal choices that helps them be at the top of their fashion game. Customer acquisition costs for the tech-enabled rental companies have significantly come down post-Covid, which very well reflects the organic growth of the businesses. 

Influencers post new outfits every day and unlike older times when only celebrities rented their outfits, our next-door influencers are all in for rentals. There is no dearth of content and designer wear that is available for rent. Rental brands are expanding both online and offline as people can now see the advantage of renting and the numbers say it all. People are renting products with actual market price of Rs 20,000 to Rs 15,00,000 at rental values that range between Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,50,000. This massive difference in value is a huge impetus for people as it helps them live their dream of wearing their favorite designer all the while not going through the hassle of upkeep, not to forget never having to repeat it again out of guilt. 

The numbers are promising and they show that renting is only here to stay and expand, it has now become the new age of buying for customers in India. C2C (customer-to-customer renting) models are growing as seen with rental companies that give back to society by creating a sustainable reuse model, they do this by taking great care of the fabrics. Women can now rent their design wear to rental companies and make extra income off of it to further indulge in a shopping/rental spree. Thrift stores are also picking up as people ease into the idea of sharing clothes, rental companies get their outfits from designers and outfits flow from one consumer to the other effortlessly.  

The growing concerns about carbon footprints amongst Gen-Z are getting brands like French Connection, Allbirds, M&S, Lululemon, Hugo Boss, and Gore-Tex in addition to Burberry to move towards rentals and resale. 

This goes to say that even big brands are trying to salvage their image by showcasing that they care about the planet. Conversations around upcycling clothes have become the new normal. Consumers are sharing outfits, and refurbishing old Jewelry instead of investing in new pieces. Brides at their wedding are choosing to tailor their mom’s outfits and recreate new looks that showcase a beautiful blend of traditional heritage with a hint of modernity. Music Festivals have picked up in India and Indians are using all their creativity to come up with new looks by renting cool outfits, which they know they will never wear again. 

These rapidly changing norms have created a cultural shift where wearing pre-loved clothing is no longer embarrassing but rather a thing to take great pride in. Fast fashion has largely consumed our societies convincing us that we don’t have enough but Gen-Z is moving away from that idea and making conscious choices all while not compromising on fashion. Trends are always going to keep changing and if one must have 70 percent of essentials in their wardrobe and for the rest 30% they rent, thrift or evaluate their choices closely when investing in a fast fashion piece. As soon as wedding season hits in India all of the old clothes go further deep down inside the wardrobe and there is a dire need to wear something new, something upbeat so essentially every ethnic wedding season purchase can’t be repeated for at least a year or two. This timeline is bound to cause wear and tear to the clothes and rips away a big chunk of a customer’s savings. All this is now making urban Indians invest money in hassle-free renting that they can fashionably hype on their grams and honestly this cultural shift is one big step into the future. Be it a friend’s wedding or a conceptual shoot for social media, renting is the best way to optimize outfits and look snazzy at all times. 
 

 

Next Story
Is Fine Jewelry Rentals the Next Big Thing
Is Fine Jewelry Rentals the Next Big Thing
 

Jewelry as we all know is a best friend to anyone with great aesthetic, taste, and love for flamboyance. It has been instrumental in fostering any family’s social and security status while adding the much-needed grandeur to the beauty of one who wore it. As a part of any bridal trousseau, a bride would take the most important things that would help her build a life in her new home. It would comprise of her choicest of clothes, dhurrie that she handcrafted on her own, and of course ornaments that will lay down the foundation of her new beginning.

But these days a dynamic shift has happened with the rise in awareness. People have started to realize the negative impact of the jewelry crafting business, and also with the advent of digital currency, it isn’t the best investment too. The planet’s health is more important than our luxury to decorate ourselves, and the sanity of this thought has finally started to seep in. Moreover with ever-changing fashion and style, even more so in this Instagrammable world where attention span has reduced and things change with every scroll, people are more experimentative than ever.

This has given rise to a new way of wearing your fashion, the rental way. Not that rental was never there in the picture, right from renting a home to clothes to now furniture or anything under the sun, the rental lifestyle is becoming bigger and grander. Now people are open to even renting clothes or jewelry, yes you heard it right!

The rental market, especially in the jewelry category, has been on a boom for a couple of years now. Brides don’t really care about wearing the heirloom jewels left by their ancestors. Now it is all about matching the dream outfit with the best of jewels, whether bought or rented. Not saying that the heirloom jewels don’t hold any importance, of course, they do as they connect you to your roots and history, but not really on the wedding day. Wedding day is all about a bride and her grandeur!

Now there are more than one reasons for the rise of rental jewelry and some of them we will cover in this article.

There are many other reasons why rental is better than buying, or at least it is worth your attention:

Economic Reasons: Buying a Rs 75,000 Kundan set for your wedding isn't the best investment that you can make if you don't like heavy sets. In fact, if you rent these, it will cost you not more than 8,000 for 4 days and you can use the rest of the money on experiences. There's always an opportunity cost attached to any purchase, renting can help you save that cost altogether!

Practical Reasons: We all don't like to wear jewelry in our day-to-day life. In fact in Indians jewelry is more like an investment, buying gold is auspicious. Investments give great returns, but they might not make any sense to fashion. Once you buy a jewelry set, neither that set will go with your every outfit nor you'd want to repeat that too often. In this case, renting becomes the perfect choice. You choose the best heavy or chic jewelry from us, without committing to it. Consider it as a fling!

Sustainable Choice: Rental lifestyle is definitely more sustainable. When you rent you increase the lifespan of a product making it slow. Most of the brands are fast fashion brands, and they indulge in mass production. All luxury handbag brands burn their unsold products. With the rental lifestyle not only the demand will be lesser but also the product's life will increase making it slow in nature. With a rental lifestyle, you can slay in style without slaying the planet.

Experiment: Experimenting is great, but it comes at a cost especially when accessories and that too designer accessories are concerned. The jewelry that you buy you might not want to wear the next year or it might go out of fashion. Renting accessories provides the best hack to experiment with style without it costing you a bomb.

Buying Requires Commitment: Especially when jewelry is involved, buying is a whole lot of commitment in terms of money and utility. Most of the time we mindlessly splurge in the name of retail therapy and then regret it for the very reason. Renting is like no strings attached, you use the jewelry, style it and return it. 

Rental jewelry, although being a hot affair these days, isn’t really an organized market. Every city or town has multiple artificial jewelry rental stores which see a peak in the demand during wedding season. Now since there are only so many shops and many many weddings, a bride has to book the jewelry well in advance if she really wants to capture her dream wedding look and bring it to reality. This planning is to be done well in advance, as the best pieces get booked out really fast. With such offline stores, jewelry needs to be picked up on the wedding day and returned the very next morning, which is another hassle for the bride and her family.

To aid these factors, now online rental stores have come up. With them, one can easily book their jewelry from the comfort of their own home. These new age start-ups are also giving the luxury of time by providing these beautiful jewels for 4 days minimum at a similar price point even. From Kundan to polki to American diamonds, one can find something here that they love! Whatever your wedding outfit, you can easily rent out designer jewels befitting and complementing it, that too without having to go shopping in the scorching heat!

Renting jewelry is here to stay, and with online rental jewelry options such as rent n flaunt, it is only becoming more and more convenient to get designer jewelry for your big day! Above all things renting or such an alternative consumption lifestyle should definitely be explored and is the need of the hour. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries, and we all have a responsibility to lessen the impact. A rental lifestyle also makes you mindful, and that helps you make better choices, fashion or otherwise!

 

Next Story
The Role of Technology in the Fashion Industry
The Role of Technology in the Fashion Industry
 

Fashion technology is witnessing unprecedented growth at a faster pace than ever. From the inception of sewing machines to temperature-regulating fabrics to the latest incredible concept of Metaverse stores, fashion has come a long way.

As per the CB Insights’ Industry Analyst Consensus, the fashion segment has emerged one of the largest industries in the entire world with a total worth to cross more than $3 trillion by the end of this decade.
 
Technology has forayed into every aspect of fashion right from automation to customization and the process of how the orders are manufactured, designed, distributed, and marketed. Soon the sights of robots cutting and sewing fabrics, AI algorithms predicting style trends, and even outfits that can be tried in virtual reality will be a common phenomenon.
 
However, a lot will depend on how fashion brands seize the opportunity offered by evolving technological trends in fashion to gain a competitive edge in the businesses. Brands that will adapt to new technological trends in fashion will be able to explore more business models and revenue streams. This will fuel the trend of partnering with technology providers, and even building their fashion-focused tech.
 
Amidst this, technology will play a pivotal role in recognizing sustainability impact in the fashion value chain which has been long overdue. Here let’s dive deeper into the areas where technology is expected to play a prominent role in the fashion industry:
 
Product Design
• AI will assume the role of active and influential design partner 
 
Manufacturing
• Technology will continue to streamline the fashion supply chain.
• Iteration and production will be more rapid.
• Robots will be an integral part of the manufacturing process.
 
Inventory and distribution
• RFID will be an integral aspect of automation, verification, and online integration.
• Blockchain will be an important part of the fashion supply chain.
• There will be rapid automation for warehouse management. 
 
Retail and Virtual Merchandising
• AR/VR will continue to redefine the in-store and online experience.
• Trend of digital stylists will gain popularity.
• Fintech and fashion will come together.
• Omnichannel clienteling will take a form of service.
 
Sustainability in Fashion
• Resale platforms will emerge as lucrative sustainable alternatives.
• Demand forecasting using sophisticated technology will play an important role in
reducing waste.
• Demand related to recyclable garments will emphasize reinventing recycling plants.
 
High-tech Fashion Trends to Gain Popularity
• Virtual fashion shows
• 3D scanning
• Novel fabrics
• Livestream shopping
• Cryptocurrencies
 
Fashion brands of all specialties and all sizes will begin focusing on leveraging the latest technology trends. Artificial Intelligence for sure will help brands to anticipate and gain deeper insights into market demand related to colors, style, textures, preferences, and other aesthetic parameters. This will facilitate brands to respond swiftly to evolving fashion trends to curate trendy designs and bespoke styles that are aligned with modern consumers.
 
In simple words, the gap between the human approach to fashion and AI will continue to shrink. This will make it doable for the brands to build their business on agility and speed with the help of smarter strategic decisions related to product development and other important areas.

 

Next Story
How To Transform A Traditional Textile Business Into A Brand That Is Built To Last
How To Transform A Traditional Textile Business Into A Brand That Is Built To Last
 

The textile industry has undergone many changes in the last decade or so. Evolving fashion choices, market trends, and user appeal are a few factors that have contributed to the overhaul of the textile industry in India. It has gone from being a product-centric industry to being a customer-centric one. For those of you who might not be familiar with the textile industry, it involves the design and production of yarn and clothing. Textiles are made from animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic materials. They also include anything that is made from yarns, fabrics, or fibers.

The textile industry has always been a crucial part of the business sector. Using all resources, which include, technology, textile, digital media, and experience, can certainly help in transforming a traditional textile business into becoming a brand. Creating a brand out of a business not only helps in creating a special and unique identity but also develops customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

With the ever-changing fashion landscape, it’s become important for traditional textiles brands to keep up with the latest fashion and design in order to stay relevant in today’s time and age.

Even going forward the textile industry will be characterized by innovation and creativity, with innovation not just being limited to adding new features to the garment, but also about developing new ways to make garments more sustainable and affordable. Therefore it is of prime importance that companies spend time and effort on innovation today as it’ll help them to stay competitive and also get ahead of their competitors in the near future. It will further enable them to explore new markets, develop new products, and improve quality.

Now the question comes – how does one innovate? Well, there are various ways in which brands can approach innovation. For example, you first need to decide which aspect of your business are you looking to transform, whether it is brand-specific innovation that you are interested in or a customer-driven one. Then there are also core innovations and industry trends to consider. Brand-specific innovations are ones that fall within the confines of your brand and can include anything that differentiates you from your competitors. Customer-driven innovations, on the other hand, take into account what customers want and need. The goal here is to provide them with products that will meet their needs better than any other company on the market.

Brand transformation also depends on innovating the core fundamentals of the business that make it unique or different from other companies in the same industry. And while traveling down the road of innovation, brands must also keep note of industry trends as these are changes in the market that may not be specific to your company but can still give you an added advantage if you’re able to understand and use them effectively. Understanding your business requirements up first and approaching innovation in a systematic manner can help you reach your goals more effectively and efficiently. 

Moving on let’s highlight some of the key steps that will help you create a smart textile strategy roadmap for your brand. The first step is to identify the current competitive landscape. Analyzing factors like – What your competitors are doing? How are they succeeding? Who are the top brands in your industry and what do they offer? What is their value proposition? – will help you in understanding the current business environment and enable you to make effective strategies.  

The second step is to create a vision for how you want to position your brand in the future. What does success look like for you? And how do you want people to perceive your brand and its products or services? The third and final step is to define what it means for you to be disruptive and then develop a plan of action accordingly.

Brands in the textile industry should also look at incorporating digital technologies like artificial intelligence for creating innovative solutions. Contrary to what you might think AI can be applied in many different ways in the textile sector. One of these is to help companies with their design and production process. It can do this by providing data-driven insights, generating new ideas, and streamlining the manufacturing process. Combined with machine learning, AI can be increasingly leveraged in the textile manufacturing space to make the entire process faster and more efficient. The use of AI and ML in conjunction with mobile robots and cobots can help textile manufacturers in improving ergonomics and reduce production costs.

Once a textile business implements these steps into its working process, the road to becoming a brand that can last for a long time, becomes clear and accessible to a great extent. In short, preparing proper and detailed plans while including the market and fashion trends is an important step to create a brand that can be recognized by people. A brand that is built to last, is a brand that has loyal customers. In order to achieve this, any textile business should never comprise its values, mission, quantity, and the promise of delivering the best luxurious quality to its customer.
 

 

Next Story
Diversity and Inclusivity in Fashion
Diversity and Inclusivity in Fashion
 

Fashion is a truly global and all-encompassing subject. Fashion is for everyone: Short or Tall. Black or White. Young or Old. Fashion is so much more than just clothing for the people who feel they can let it in; it can become the greatest sum of their parts, a megaphone for articulation where words simply will not work. Fashion has become a worldwide subject, a language understood and spoken by many. Fashion has experienced a tremendous amount of change and impact.

Diversity and inclusion have recently become buzzwords in the world of fashion. It's crucial to grasp the distinction between the two terms, inclusion and diversity, in order to fully comprehend this issue. Diversity is concerned with the ‘what’, whereas inclusion is concerned with the ‘how’. Diversity refers to a group of people's differences, which might include things like gender, sexuality, impairment, and body image. Inclusivity in fashion is sort of an oxymoron that is expected to be seen as a universal human right. The goal of inclusion is to include everyone, regardless of color, gender, impairment, medical condition, or other need.

Diversity in fashion means bringing in a diverse group of people who share clear distinctions such as age, skin color, race, orientation, and body type. People want to be heard, seen, and, most importantly, represented. An authentic understanding of what representation truly means and how it relates to the struggle for inclusion and diversity, is most likely what fashion can do to be more inclusive. A true grasp of what representation truly means and how it connects to the battle for inclusion and diversity is most likely what fashion can do to be more inclusive. One of the greatest ways to understand this issue and engage in the fight for representation would be to include the majority of these oppressed and marginalized individuals on the team. Diversity in the fashion sector may help the industry grow more broadly and not in a monotonous manner. However, fashion industry players must be more cautious in their approach to societal diversity and cultural appropriation that must be acknowledged and respected.

New styles have emerged a decade after decade, driven by pop culture, political sentiments, and inspirational style stars of the era. In previous centuries, being "fashionable" was closely connected with money, but as we reached the glitzy Great Gatsby era of the 1920s, fashion became more unfettered as Coco Chanel ascended to the throne of the fashion industry. Chanel pioneered numerous timeless fashion trends, such as the little black dress, espadrilles, and costume jewelry, while also being a driving force behind the women's liberation movement, advocating for a more casual attire when corsets were removed and trousers for women became the new wardrobe staple. More than a century later, our dedication to fashion and appearing trendy still remains original and uncompromising. In that regard, nothing has changed throughout the decades, with women feeling inspired by the idols of their era: classic and epicene.

Today, the fashion industry has become diverse, competitive, esteemed, and constantly changing to meet the demands of customers. Consumers are always on the lookout for brands and shops whose garments fit well, highlighting the importance of personalization in the apparel manufacturing process. The fashion business is now lively and fascinating with the potential to support a large workforce, advancing industries like design, graphic design, communication, marketing, logistics, and media. 

 According to Maslow, Clothing is one of the five basic necessities of life, making the apparel industry one of the most sought-after businesses. While some companies are going totally digital or staging hybrid shows, some casting directors have gone online to find fresh faces that fit what they're working on. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are other significant approaches for fashion to be used for inclusion and diversity. Many activities have moved online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like every other industry, fashion has also taken this catastrophe as an opportunity to grow in future times.

Fashion has its own philosophy of quality, integrity, and individuality. ‘What’ and ‘Who’ you wear; ‘how’ and ‘when’ you wear are all part of that personal expression and individualism. While being mindful of not over-consuming and not wanting to simply buy all the time we all are moving towards slow and sustainable fashion by prioritizing the environment. Let’s embrace slow fashion and change the world.

To summarise, if diversity is the goal, inclusiveness is the way.
 

 

Next Story
Battle Of Retail Vs. E-commerce: Is Sustainability The Winner?
Battle Of Retail Vs. E-commerce: Is Sustainability The Winner?
 

The retail industry is constantly undergoing a metamorphosis and evolving, influenced by major shifts happening in the space of consumer preferences, the impact of spending power, and the fatigue of too many options available in this day and age. 

Defining Retail: Retail is the sale of goods and services to consumers through various channels of distribution and supports industries such as apparel, automotive, electronics, FMCG, and many other allied sectors that meet customer living and lifestyle needs. While physical stores continue to dominate in this area majorly, non-store methods such as e-commerce have taken a considerable space in the e-retailing space.

As businesses are getting more streamlined than before, communication with consumers is becoming easier than ever thanks to the rise of digital media platforms. According to Statista, the global retail market generated more than $26 trillion in sales in 2021 and is projected to reach $30 trillion by 2024. Regardless of the economic uncertainty, the pandemic has continued to accelerate growth in the retail industry through e-commerce, and the result of this outcome will have a significant impact on the retailing ecosystem in the coming years.

E-commerce and Retail

Taking a cue from a global statistical benchmark, according to DataClarity, "Technology will affect one-third of retail tasks in the United Kingdom by 2030." Globally, many businesses have already embraced digital services and technologies, whereas smaller businesses have been compelled to create digital platforms to adapt and be relevant.

To compete with e-commerce brands and e-marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores require a new game-changing strategy to be able to compete with the ease of doing business brought about by the internet, but experts have negated such comparisons as there are positives to both models when it comes to the distribution of a product.

Apart from B2C e-commerce thriving, wholesalers in the B2B space also have a plethora of options for growing their small-scale enterprises into thriving businesses by conducting business online, as digitalization is the new driving wave for retail, wholesale, and the distribution industry.

The use of consumer data accrued from consumer purchasing history has proven to be a profitable sales tool for many e-commerce platforms such as the Flipkarts and Amazons of the world, providing specially tailored product and brand recommendations based on the consumer's browsing and previous purchase history. This trend has increased consumer convenience because consumers can now simply look up something online and buy it based on the recommendations and the supporting reviews the said brand has received. Consumers today are far more confident in purchasing commodities online to meet their needs than in pre-Covid times.

Besides B2C e-retailing, B2B e-commerce platforms, though nascent in India, have also made doing business easier. 

Despite all the rapid growth of e-commerce platforms, physical stores have found a way to reemerge! Small-scale retail businesses have started using the services of B2B platforms to place bulk orders to get better deals; they can choose the best products and get prices that accrue to higher margins and better sale discounts to incentivize their customers. These, combined with the familiarity of the buyer, the convenience of doorstep service, and the best price as a sales tool, are ways that shop fronts are innovating to attract and keep their buyers locked in.

Retailers are continually looking for a competitive advantage and better ways to reach customers, more efficient customer journeys, and possibilities to satisfy customer demands proactively. In the retail industry, consumer preferences will always be a driving element. As humans, we are simply bound to gravitate toward what we find appealing.

Another very important playing field for brick-and-mortar stores is minimalism. Interestingly enough, retailers are using this harp to also state that, "We do not use unnecessary packaging materials as these are wasted materials and only add to disposal waste and clutter."

Can this be a leveraging point to choose your friendly neighborhood store over the overpacked for safe e-commerce shipments?

Sustainable ‘A Means to Growth?’

According to a McKinsey and Company report, sustainability has risen to the top of the retail priority list, and in the post-covid era, this trend has accelerated. Over two-thirds of consumers opt for the importance of limiting their use of disposable materials to mitigate the impact of climate change. Retailers, especially e-commerce players, must devise newer strategies to overcome this impediment to attain minimalistic packaging in their supply chain process to attain a more sustainable image. When it comes to consumer preferences, sustainability has become a new standard and is a big concern for both e-commerce and retail. Creating an environment where sustainability is the top priority is equivalent to collaborating with a consumer mindset that prioritizes conservation over profits.

As for futurists and those concerned about the ecosystem for sustainable living, it has been statistically found that over a third of consumers value ethical practices in the products and services they purchase. Unethical practices are also a leading factor that determines the detachment of consumers, which primarily dwells in the area of brand preference and brand loyalty. Today's consumers have access to information, and a single blunder can completely derail any retailer's reputation.

Can e-commerce's overwhelming one-time use packaging become a sustainability concern? Can sustainability and environmental stewardship return to favor the centuries-old practice of brick-and-mortar retail? Time will surely tell, but one thing is for certain: the war between conventional retail and e-commerce is a war worth watching, and it will be the consumer, the environment, and the ecosystem that will eventually benefit.
 

 

Next Story
Textile MSMEs in India Leading the Way to Create More Jobs and Employment Opportunities
Textile MSMEs in India Leading the Way to Create More Jobs and Employment Opportunities
 

MSME sector has been a key contributor to the country’s GDP and even during the pandemic times, it showed tremendous resilience, helping the economy recover faster from the lockdown market dip. One of the key sectors that have outshone others and registered tremendous growth is the textile and apparel MSMEs.

The textile and apparel industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP is around 5 percent and in terms of industrial output, the T&A accounts for 7 percent of the total value, making it one of the most promising industries in India.

In fact, the T&A industry in India is one of the largest industries in the world and also the second-largest employer in the country. It has generated approximately 45 million jobs directly and over 60 million jobs in allied industries.

There have been multiple driving forces behind the monumental growth of the industry and realizing the full potential of each of these dynamics can help the MSMEs to unlock greater employment opportunities for the Indian workforce.

●      Textile Exports: A booster - Being the world's 5th biggest T&A exporter, the industry enjoys a 4 percent share of the $840 billion global markets. The textile exports accounted for $ 22.89 billion between April 2021 and October 2021.

IBEF also suggests that the T&A exports growing at a solid CAGR of 11 percent are expected to cross $100 billion in the next 5 years.

Increasing the exports not only creates foreign reserves but also opens doors for better employment opportunities in the country. Developing MSMEs in the sector to boost exports can create an additional 75 lakh to 1 crore jobs – which is quite a number taking into consideration that the unemployment rate in India stands at 7 percent.

●      Promotional Schemes and Support from the Government - The textile ministry along with the finance minister in the Union budget announced several schemes and programs to support and strengthen the industry. One such announcement for setting up seven mega textile parks across India is a welcoming move that will increase employment opportunities as well as boost the MSME growth. Another landmark proposal of the Government has been the announcement of production-linked incentives (PLI) worth $1.4 billion that will prove instrumental in realizing the capacity potential of T&A manufacturing units.

Anticipating the significant role of the industry to create employment, the government has undertaken multiple reforms and plans to introduce labor-friendly schemes. For example, under the EPF scheme, the Govt. of India will bear 12 percent of the garment industry employers’ contribution to the EPF for new employees earning lesser than Rs 15,000 per month, for the first 3 years. This reform will ensure that the workers get more in-hand wages, thus promoting employment in the formal sector.

●      Advancements in Digital Textile Technologies - The investments in textile technologies have been increasing year on year and with the Government’s liberal assistance under programs such as Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) providing investments as well as subsidies, the textile industry is poised for illustrious growth in the coming years.

●      Scope of Self-Employment Opportunities - Khadi and Village Industries Commission under the Ministry of MSME is also taking active measures to boost the growth of micro and small-scale textile industries in rural areas. 

As per the scheme, over 10,000 people were trained in 2020-2021 through various training centers of KVIC (departmental as well as non-departmental). This will create self-employment and entrepreneurial opportunities and rural development.

●      More Jobs for Women - T&A sector is one such industry where women account for approximately 60-70 percent of the total workforce. More than 27 million women in India are employed in the textile and apparel sector. The growing employment opportunities would mean more jobs for women, thus increasing the participation and contribution of the women's workforce in the Indian economy.

Bottom Line

The textile and apparel industry is on a rise and even with the stiff international competition from Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc., the future of the industry seems brighter owning to its endowed advantages of vast raw material supply (India is amongst the largest producer of cotton yarn and fabric), ample availability of human resources, and faster adoption of advanced textile technologies.

Given the sector is able to sustain and increase domestic as well as export growth, the industry will be able to become of the most lucrative sectors for creating employment and job opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled as well as a portion of the unskilled workforce, directly or indirectly.

 

Next Story
5 Trends Shaping the Personal Care and Grooming Industry
5 Trends Shaping the Personal Care and Grooming Industry
 

Gone are the days when cosmetics and grooming products were a hallmark of a lady's beauty, and it was 'unmanly' for men to even think about getting a makeover. Today's modern gentlemen are tough yet sensitive, and with blurring societal roles assigned to men and women, the grooming industry is creating a new avatar for men. While the grooming industry is flooded with eco-friendly, responsible, and cruelty-free products for women, the focus has also shifted to the men's market.

This new revolution in grooming is expected to keep growing stronger and the scales are tipping towards gentlemen. Besides the growing awareness about self-care amongst both genders, technology and innovation now dominate the modern beauty and grooming market. Not only has the industry begun to emphasize and showcase safe and hygienic grooming products, but the spotlight is gradually turning to producing technologically advanced grooming accessories and cosmetics. 

According to a recent report by Statista, the beauty and personal care market was worth $22,338 million in 2021 and is expected to grow by 6.5 percent per annum (CAGR 2021-2026 estimations). In addition, it also states that the male grooming industry will be worth $81.2 billion by the year 2024. 

Here are some prominent trends that will revamp the beauty and grooming industry in the near future.
 
The Sudden Influx of Technology in Grooming and Beauty - Technology is changing how people approach self-care, from personalized beauty kits to ultra-tech trimmers and revolutionized skincare treatments. E-commerce cosmeceutical sellers don't just sell any product but thoroughly query consumers on their skin types and skin concerns before offering a personalized set of routine solutions. They use artificial intelligence to achieve this, wherein a computer automatically chooses and suggests products based on pre-fed algorithms. As another example, hairstyling has also traded to the next level by dropping the old hot-iron technology to curl or straighten hair. In a newer avatar, styling tools now use cool air and the Coanda effect, which creates a mini-vortex inside the styler and curls the hair to your liking without burning them. When Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter, introduced his shaving range, he took an unprecedented marketing step by using blockchain technology. His products can be purchased using the company's cryptocurrency. It doesn't stop here; the skincare treatments have progressed, wherein dermatologists now offer high-tech solutions to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They also help restore skin volume using advanced dermabrasion lasers, intense pulsating lights, and needleless injectors.
 
The Phenomenal Rise of Painless Hair Removal Solutions - Thanks to the metrosexual trend, hair removal is no longer restricted to women alone. Shaving remains the most painless and quickest way of hair removal, with the only downside being that the hair grows back again. While some from the feminine gender might rid them completely using permanent and painless outpatient laser procedures, men prefer to retain an option to grow them back. There is also a trend wherein young men tend to grow facial hair. Due to this peculiar liking, we have transitioned from a mere pair of scissors and traditional razors to a technologically advanced world of painless electric trimmers and shavers. From being virtually non-existent, the Indian trimmer market would value $ 4,311 million by 2026, which is a massive development. The new trimmers are ergonomic, automatically adjust pressures, and glide on the skin smoothly, offering a quick hair removal solution. We can even control some trimmers through mobile applications that deliver a smooth and pain-free shave.
 
Safety and Hygiene are Becoming a Selling Point - Self-care is probably as old as humankind, and in earlier generations, people used dangerous substances like a mixture of lead and vinegar on the face as makeup. In contrast to this scenario, many prominent Indian brands today sell their products on the premise that their products are paraben and preservative-free, making them entirely safe for use, unlike their competitors. New-age consumers need to know what their makeup comprises, and creating vegan and responsibly manufactured products has become a prominent selling point. Safety has also emerged as the top factor when selling grooming accessories. Moreover, newly emerging companies are introducing trimmers and shavers by employing world-class Swedish and German blade technologies. They build products that ensure zero cuts and offer completely safe hair trimming solutions for both men and women.
 
Growing Awareness Around the Concept of 'Manscaping' - With the emergence of the new saying that 'hairier is scarier', men are now evolving to keep their private areas smooth and clean. For the first time in 2019, the internet witnessed the usage of a strange word called 'manscaping', and its searches have only risen in the past few years. In a slang dictionary, the word means trimming and keeping the intimate areas clean. As per a recent survey done during the pandemic, both men and women are somewhat irritated and sheepish about the hair growth in intimate areas and prefer to keep these private regions smooth. Most men these days want their gardens down there trimmed, and the use of intimate washes and gels has also surged. While this was not a trend before, maybe the extra time during the pandemic has dawned a new fancy towards 'manscaping'. Unlike the traditional razor blades, the advent of safe and specially designed trimmers for below-the-belt grooming is now assuring zero cuts. We have entered an age where every aspect of personal well-being is essential, even if it involves keeping the wrapped intimate areas trimmed and smelling fresh.
 
The Arrival of Eco-Friendly Materials in Beauty Products - Grooming essentials are available in all shapes and sizes, and the good news is that now it's not just about manufacturing them with plastic. We have made giant strides towards using eco-friendly products. Various modish Japanese manufacturers have introduced combs, hairbrushes, loofah, toothbrushes, soap dispensers, and even bath accessories made using eco-friendly recycled bamboo. The industry is now cognizant of this being a driving purchasing factor for customers and they are consciously manufacturing makeup, soaps, and personal use creams, perfumes, and serums with guilt-free and biodegradable ingredients. When eco-friendly biodegradable straws weren't considered enough to do their bit for the environment, companies came up with washable and reusable rubber cotton swabs, too. In fact, you might also find certain deodorants in the market that smell stunning and are even edible!
 
Conclusion: A futuristic Outlook

Grooming has come a long way from its older avatar and the new generation is more inclined towards keep their looks slick – not just to look good but feel good, too. With the expansion of the beauty and grooming industry, the new consumer is more aware and conscious. Not only do they look for safer options, but they are also environmentally sensitive. To meet their demands, manufacturers are seriously experimenting with technology keeping the above five trends at the core of their efforts. These trends have transformed the industry, and this change is to prevail for good. 

 

Next Story
A Conscious Shift Towards Clean Cosmetics
A Conscious Shift Towards Clean Cosmetics
 

According to a recent study, nearly 59 percent of people have consciously decided to use green makeup products. Why? Customers today are better known than ever before. They have opted to be cautious about what they choose to put inside their bodies and faces, especially after the pandemic. As a result, we’re moving towards a new normal.

According to Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” 

Sustainability is a force in the beauty industry, with its environmental and social dimensions. Today, 76 percent of consumers intend to purchase sustainable cosmetics, with Millennials (80 percent) and Gen-Z shoppers (86 percent) being the most likely to do so. 64 percent of global citizens are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Products marketed with sustainable claims grew 7.1 times faster than those without such claims. The pandemic has pushed sustainability to the forefront and is now a top priority for many cosmetic companies.

How to Make Sure You Are Buying an Environment-Friendly Product?

Since a lot of focus is being laid on environment-friendly products, let us first understand how we can tell if a beauty company is clean and environment-friendly? Please continue reading to learn how brands have made it a priority and how customers are flocking to buy it.

Read Your Labels - It can be tough to determine whether the makeup you purchase is organic. While some companies claim to sell organic products, they may contain animal-derived substances. So, what exactly do phrases like organic, vegan, and cruelty-free mean on makeup labels? 

There are a plethora of brands in the market that claim to be organic and cruelty-free. However, before taking satisfaction in wearing conscious cosmetics, it’s essential to understand whether it’s genuinely natural and what their labels indicate.

The cruelty-free makeup label indicates that none of the substances used in the product has been tested on animals. This label refers to the process of evaluating products rather than the ingredients.

Saving the Ocean - Customers seeking clean beauty products also know the importance of purchasing products that focus on waste reduction. When a brand uses reusable packaging in the long run, it helps ensure it does not clog landfills or pollute the oceans. 

Brands that believe in delivering plastic-free and zero-waste solutions have experienced increased demand. The number of internet searches for plastic-free products has increased 87 percent in the last year. Customers are also gravitating toward such businesses as a result of their own conscious decision. 

Sans Parabens - Butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, and propylparaben are chemical preservatives labelled at the back of the product. Parabens are known to imitate the hormone estrogen and to penetrate deeply into the skin’s matrix, where they can accumulate over time. As a result, there has been a significant shift in the number of brands that curate paraben-free products.

Consumers are increasingly demanding cleaner products. They are campaigning to eliminate chemicals from makeup products and lending support to environmentally responsible businesses. In addition, the pure beauty market is expected to reach $22 billion by 2024. Hence, even the brands that are not labeled clean have an essential decision to make to remain significant.

Where there is a demand, there is a supply. Many homegrown brands now understand the importance of venturing into sustainable business trends. That is how we can see different industries shifting towards cleaner products and services for the consumers’ needs. 
 

 

Next Story
Ethical Sustainability, Authentic Beauty and Technology Innovations are the Key Drivers of Change Across the Beauty Industry
Ethical Sustainability, Authentic Beauty and Technology Innovations are the Key Drivers of Change Across the Beauty Industry
 

The pandemic has changed consumers’ way of life, and the importance of ethics and the changing role of identity and technology are set to greatly influence the future of the beauty industry according to global market intelligence firm, Mintel.

Over the next two years: Ethics and sustainability will merge; consumers will want to express a truer self

Ethics and sustainability will merge as an important trend as consumers call for bigger moves on climate change. Mintel Global Consumer research on the holistic consumer shows that 77 percent of Indians are prepared to boycott companies that behave unethically while 84 percent say they try to act in a way that’s not harmful to the environment.

“Consumers are pushing harder and expecting companies to take a stance on social issues like climate change, not just vocalizing it but doing it in a measurable way. It is important for consumers to be able to visualize the roadmap of where companies are going in terms of ethical sustainability and be able to quantify the tangible efforts behind,” said KinShen Chan, Senior Beauty & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel.

“Besides individual companies highlighting efforts on sustainability such as water consumption, responsible sourcing or waste reduction — what is refreshing is the action of a collective as an industry on ethical sustainability. The EcoBeautyScore Consortium, which went live in February 2022 is a good example. It is made up of 36 major cosmetics and beauty companies from around the world, with the aim to develop an industry-wide environmental impact and scoring assessment for cosmetics products. An industry-wide standard on the environmental impact of beauty products will provide greater clarity and confidence to the consumer in the purchase decision journey,” Chan noted.

The desire for authentic beauty is also on the rise. Consumers continue to push back against the rules of beauty and what ‘being beautiful’ really means, with 82 percent of Indians who say that being able to express one’s individuality is a top priority for them. This notion is also explored in the Mintel Trend The Body Beautiful, where discussions around unrealistic beauty standards will see brands embrace diversity with authenticity by speaking to consumers as they are, and not how society thinks they should be.

“Consumers want authenticity without perfection. There isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ definition when it comes to beauty. Moving forward, brands need to put emotions and brand community high on the agenda. They can no longer treat diversity and inclusion as a marketing ploy instead, brands need to truly understand consumer barriers and pain points and reflect this in the product design process,” Chan noted.

Over the next five years and beyond: Conversation of beauty possibilities with the Metaverse

As digital trends progress, brands must consider a “virtual first” approach in their products and services. Brands are starting to experiment with the metaverse to create new digital experiences and further engage with the consumer. The beauty engagement often starts and stops at the counter, and the metaverse provides a platform to continue this engagement.

“With 86 percent of Indian consumers valuing experiences over material possessions, brands can leverage digital platforms like the metaverse to create unique products that exist in multiple realities. The first wave has seen the importation of real-world products into virtual spaces.

“Momentum is building around the NFT space which creates opportunities for experimentation within the beauty industry. For instance, instead of a product being the only way to connect with a brand, NFTs enable consumers to buy into the brand whether it's through digital collectibles, virtual goods, or emerging asset classes — activating new, exciting, and unlimited ways to hyper-connect. The market is still nascent, meaning it’s important for brands to be willing to experiment and test out new strategies with each release of digital assets,” concluded Chan.

 

Next Story
Decoding the Dynamic Trends in Menswear Fabrics
Decoding the Dynamic Trends in Menswear Fabrics
 

For long, men’s fashion played second fiddle to women’s wear. In recent years, however, this has been changing as men no longer hesitate to wear chic clothes.

Men’s sartorial sense is being highlighted in periodicals, portals, and screens. Some of this is driven by cinema, cricket, and celebrity role models, be it Ranveer Singh, Virat Kohli, Dhoni, or others. Though some abhor Ranveer’s fashion sense and others adore him, one cannot deny the influence he exerts in nudging Indian men to express themselves through their attire.

But currently, fashion is not restricted to garments such as Fitbit, fancy wristwatches, footwear, eyewear, cufflinks, caps, and pocket squares are all part of the male fashion ensemble.

The Significance of Shirts

Whatever the accessory or style statement, one thing has largely held its importance in the changing dynamics of male fashion – menswear fabrics. Here, is one of the core elements of men’s shirts. Whereas trousers, jeans, jackets, suits, and allied accouterments all have their role to play in boosting male vanity, shirts hold pride of place in making or marring a man’s look. Some elaboration will substantiate the role that shirts play.

Shirts can be categorized as premium, formal, casual, or occasional wear. Here, the fabric plays a crucial role, particularly in readymade garments. The fabric is also a determining factor in the selection and purchase decisions. To conform to functional and aesthetic norms, the right fabric is critical. Herein, the standards for shirt fabrics are contingent on elements such as fashion trends, consumer preferences, design, market profile, and price.

The fabric type is especially essential because it offers men the right material that complements their lifestyle. Patterns and colors apart, the fabric provides shirts with diverse textures, giving wearers a different feel with each material. Consequently, when buying shirts, men choose as per the design and fabric.

A shirt created from the right fabric can transform a man’s look and wardrobe. The appropriateness of specific shirts as per the occasion, whether work, leisure, or business, can complement a person’s frame as well as the purpose. Excellent shirts add extra charm even to suits with dull colors. Given the wide choice of readymade garments, the practice of using custom-tailored clothes has fallen substantially over the decades.

The Rise of Traditional Fabrics

As a result, numerous domestic fashion brands are making their presence felt. The receptivity towards Indian fashion labels has led to the rediscovery of traditional fabrics such as khadi and linen. Once considered a fabric for not-so-well-heeled people, including activists, journalists, and social workers, khadi is now perceived as cool, comfortable, and classy after top Indian designers began using it. These include Ritu Beri, Anju Modi, Sabyasachi, (late) Wendell Rodricks, Rohit Bal, and others.

Whatever the season, khadi suits every situation. During hot summers, the fabric imparts a cool feeling while it makes one feel comparatively warm in winters. With khadi presented in a new avatar, Indian men are proudly wearing garments made from this material.

It is the same with linen, a fabric not particularly popular earlier since it is prone to wrinkles, just like cotton. But its benefits are now recognized globally. Compared to cotton, linen is cooler, more so in humid regions, as it absorbs more water and still feels dry. 
Moreover, linen is more durable and stronger than cotton. Being more expensive, clothes made from linen are crafted better. This makes them feel more comfortable, imparting a classy and premium look even when somewhat crumpled, unlike cotton. In fact, wearing a linen shirt is a fashion statement in itself. 

Why Cotton Counts More

Nonetheless, cotton rules the fabric firmament since it has multiple advantages such as the ability to insulate and control moisture as well as ensure a sense of comfort. It’s also weather-proof, durable, and hypoallergenic (relatively unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction). Being naturally absorbent, it keeps the wearer dry without perspiration showing up as with synthetic fabrics.

There are other fabrics too with their niche in men’s fashion wear, such as Tencel. While its properties are similar to that of cotton, it offers better breathability. Yet, cotton accounts for 85-90 percent of fabrics for premium formal shirts, wherein 80 percent of design fabrics share constitutes stripes and the rest is primarily checks. For formal shirts, 100 percent cotton is typically favored due to the higher comfort levels. In the casual category, cotton comprises 80-85 percent. Unlike other segments, bold and bright colors dominate here. For occasional shirts, fabrics such as cotton, linen, polyester, and polyester blends are all used, although cotton remains most popular.

Today, the plethora of choices is letting Indian men express themselves more freely. But some industry analysts believe that Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media are also driving men to spruce up their looks and clothes. Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that men are keen to keep pace with the latest fashion trends – just like women.
 

 

Next Story
Go?Greener! Why Indian Brands are Raving About Sustainability?
Go?Greener! Why Indian Brands are Raving About Sustainability?
 

Over the past few years, sustainability has become the talk of the town. People are shifting from fast fashion to sustainable fashion and becoming more environmentally conscious. Hence sustainability has become a business necessity these days. It is said that the brands that don’t opt for environmentally friendly practices stand to lose their sales and customers.

“Most businesses today are earning money and at the same time putting efforts towards environmental growth and sustainability. Working for the environment not only improves a business’s reputation but helps get more customers and also helps in developing innovative strategic concepts. Plantas is India’s first and the only brand with an entire range of 100 percent natural and more than 95 percent organic personal care products certified by Ecocert Greenlife, France under Cosmos V3 standards. Sustainability is Plantas philosophy and while working in the direction of making Earth a more sustainable, safer, and a better place to live in for generations to come. Plantas ensures that all the packaging material used is either recyclable or biodegradable. Also, soon Plantas products will be packed in almost 100 percent biodegradable packing-which is why we are sustainable and we comply with the world’s sustainability standards. We also make sure that from the procurement of raw materials to processing to the final product, every step goes through a stringent, earth-friendly, and quality control process to ensure there is no trace of synthetic and harmful ingredients that may cause pollution in the environment in any manner,“ said Gautam Dhar, Managing Director & CEO, Plantas.

Anjana Pasi, Director, MiniKlub says, “The term sustainability has become very popular especially after COVID-19 as the pandemic has changed the way we buy and also it has changed the reasons we buy certain products and brands too. But the concept is ages old. It simply means making use of nature's resources while being mindful of the environment by avoiding misusing the harsh products and chemicals and damaging the environment ruthlessly. These days Indian brands are raving about sustainability. Brands that are trying to help the environment are finding more and more takers. Increased focus on localism has given the brands a new direction. Overall, the pandemic has given the trend of sustainability a right push.”

“Sustainable fashion, also known as eco-fashion is not just a mere movement/ trend towards ‘Going Green’ or sounding cool and being relative, but it is a conscious effort towards the greater good. Addressing the entire chain of garment manufacturing, the fashion industry has a clear opportunity to act differently, both for the business and the planet.  Since the time pandemic hit us, we started questioning our practices and priorities, valuing health and the environment like never before. No doubt we are here to earn profits and grow business but we have realized that we are also obligated to create new values- environmental, social, and ethical. One of the most significant reasons for the current unsustainable condition is ‘fast fashion’, a system that creates a continuous stream of new and trendy goods in the market. It has a negative impact, both on the environment as well as the quality of work culture. So, the way our industry is trying to achieve sustainability is by increasing the value of local products, prolonging the lifecycle of materials, creating timeless garments, and reducing the amount of waste. We need to collectively combat air pollution, water pollution, and overall climate change. The key is to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’,” added Neha and Tarun Kapoor, Founders, Label Neha Tarun.
 

 

Next Story
How Bright is the Future of India's Footwear Industry
How Bright is the Future of India's Footwear Industry
 

If we look at the global footwear market, industry trends and forecasts predict that the market will grow by 12.83 percent year-on-year by 2028. Changing lifestyles, growing economies, and heightened focus on health globally, especially in the wake of the pandemic, have boosted the demand for footwear globally. There has also been a massive shift in consumer perspectives regarding footwear. Consumers no longer look at shoes and footwear to serve just function but are now gradually moving towards footwear for fashion. You must have heard the term ‘Sneakerhead’ being used to describe people who are shoe fanatics. Some shoes by brands like Nike and Puma are considered collectibles and despite what you would believe, have a massive re-sell and up-sell market of their own.

Increasing disposable income is allowing Indians to move up the value chain and ask for products for different use occasions, further leading to the surfacing of new product segments in footwear in terms of price, performance, and aesthetics. This, in turn, is fuelling growth in individual categories, be it slippers, sandals, or shoes, driving industry leaders to innovate their offerings continually. 

The Indian Context

India is only behind China as the largest producer of footwear globally. The leather and non-leather segments, driven by a robust domestic market, make up the Indian footwear industry. According to Invest India’s report on the ‘Non-leather footwear Industry in India’, the sector in India is projected to increase eight-fold by 2030. India’s non-leather footwear industry will soon cross the $6 billion mark by 2024.

Due to changing consumer preferences, 86 percent of footwear consumption has become non-leather by volume globally, and India is witnessing a similar trend.  However, leather footwear continues to be a significant part of the industry and is a major export category for India. The UK, for example, is one of the leading export destinations of Indian leather footwear. But factors such as government policies banning animal slaughter in leather tanneries have impacted leather availability, further moving the industry towards the non-leather category.

About 75 percent of the production of the non-leather footwear industry comes from the unorganized sector in India. These include Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) located in some significant non-leather shoemaking centers like Chennai, Ranipet, Ambur, Mumbai, Kanpur, Agra, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Delhi, Karnal, Sonepat, Faridabad, Pune, Kolkata, Calicut, and Ernakulam. 

Government Push and Job Creations

The government has allowed 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through the automatic route in the footwear sector. In addition, this sector is currently de-licensed and de-reserved. 

The government has also announced an incentive package worth Rs. 2,600 crore for the footwear and leather industry. This will help players operating in the organized sector to employ 300,000 people and better deal with pricing pressures. Over 60,000 youth have been trained for various footwear and leather industry jobs under the National Skill Certification & Monetary Reward Scheme since 2015. In addition, technological innovation, machinery advances, workforce availability, e-commerce growth, and changing shopper habits all point to a positive outlook for the footwear industry.

Initiatives like Make In India, Atmanirbhar Bharat, and Startup India have also opened the door for expansion and growth. The industry already employs 2 million workers, making it one of the highest employing sectors in the country, another factor that points toward the potential for more growth in the sector.

According to a report released by the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the industry can generate 250 jobs for every investment of Rs 1 crore. Further, for every 1,000 pairs produced and sold in India per day, the sector can create 425 jobs in manufacturing, allied industries, and retail.

Role of B2B Marketplaces in Realizing the Potential of the Sector

The supply chain in the sector is predominantly unorganized and is less complex when compared to the likes of Kirana and pharmaceuticals supply chains. Hyper-local logistics are unavailable and trade is run chiefly by cluster-based suppliers. This is where B2B e-commerce platforms can make a huge difference and contribute to the market by playing the role of an intermediary that facilitates discovery, credit, and logistics.

Such tech platforms will enable micro-retail counters to get tools to help them strengthen their sourcing capabilities and make them better at competing with their more organized competitors. The platforms will also allow faster runway-to-store speeds in Tier – II, III, and IV cities. Distribution through such platforms will reduce suppliers’ costs by up to 10-15 percent and increase their margins.

Further, marketing, collection, and logistics costs will go down as tech-distribution platforms take over these functions in exchange for a small commission. Perhaps most importantly, such platforms will enable easier access to credit for millions of SMEs in the footwear sector.

Omnichannel Strategy

Having a digital/online presence has become an imperative for many businesses post-pandemic, and the footwear industry is no exception. Even smaller players and brands now have an omnichannel strategy to expand their reach. For consumers, this means greater availability, convenience, and price optimization that helps them make informed purchase decisions. 

In addition, this development has led to a surge in demand in Tier II and below cities, opening up new markets for the footwear industry. Several significant global fashion and lifestyle brands are starting to make big bets on small Indian cities and towns. Almost one-third of future footwear consumption will come from aspirational consumers in these markets.

Opportunities and Challenges

The Indian footwear market consumes only about 1.7 pairs per person per year compared to the world average of 3 pairs, while the average for developed countries is about 6-7 pairs. With rising disposable income and the emergence of fashion-conscious and discerning consumers, the Indian shoe and footwear market is in an excellent position to achieve double-digit growth over the next few years. As a labor-intensive industry, the shoe industry also offers unique ‘social’ opportunities with the potential to create more than 20,00,000 jobs in the coming years. 

The abundant raw materials and cost-effective workforce allow Indian footwear makers to gain a clear competitive advantage over international competitors. With proper market access and incentives, the industry is in a position to reach the global market and turn India into a footwear export hub.

What Lies Ahead?

The footwear industry is recognized by the Government of India as a priority sector under the Make In India mission. With technological advances and advances in retail, the footwear market is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the fashion industry. Demand for footwear products in India will increase over the next few years, as customers will not sacrifice comfort or style. 

For the Indian footwear industry to explode, an amalgamation of conducive conditions is required. The global integration of Indian industry, rapid lifestyle changes, and income growth at the bottom of the wealth pyramid are already happening. Favorable government policies, infrastructure, elimination of high taxes, support in capacity building, skill education, and technology up-gradation are the need of the hour. With the right support from the government and all stakeholders involved, the future of the Indian footwear industry looks bright.
 

 

Next Story
MadBow Ventures Ltd to Open 8 More Stores Within 6 Months
MadBow Ventures Ltd to Open 8 More Stores Within 6 Months
 

E-commerce lifestyle company Madbow Ventures Ltd has now expanded its offline presence with the launch of its second store at Arcadia South City -2, Sector-49, Gurugram. 

One of the leading names in the fashion industry, MadBow Ventures Ltd has five in-house lifestyle and fashion brands. It is aiming to open eight more stores within the next 6 months with an initial focus on the Delhi NCR region followed by other regions.

StreetStyleStalk’s second store is spread across 2,000 sq. ft. and has racked up an amazing collection of multiple labels that have been trending for a long time on its online platform. 

Madbow

One cannot miss the footwear collection that has sneakers to heels to juttis and flat and mules. Customers can feel relaxed and cozy in the stunning interiors of the store designed by some of the most talented retail designers who have emphasized the importance of customer experience. Earlier in April 2022, MadBow Ventures Ltd. launched StreetStyleStalk’s first flagship store in DLF Cybercity U Block in DLF Phase 3.

Naveen Mahlawat, Co-founder, MD, and CEO of MadBow Ventures Ltd., said, “This is another milestone checked for MadBow Ventures. We as a team started the e-commerce business and with time, we are now happy to reach a wider customer base. The newly launched facility is an ultra-modern setup, and we have onboarded the best retail designers to focus on a great understanding of what the people may need when they walk into our store. As we are going to launch many more stores in the coming months in the Delhi NCR region, these stores will be under the different names of our multiple brands.” 

We target the audience in the age group of 16-35 years. Initially, we would like to expand in Delhi NCR. We are currently serving 28,000 pin codes where Delhi NCR gives us 18 percent of our total revenue, while Karnataka and Maharashtra contribute 16 percent and14 percent respectively. Also, we plan to enter the menswear category soon,” he added.

Talking about how online and offline modules are a boon for an e-commerce brand, Naveen explains, "Nowadays, customers are present on both online and offline platforms to shop, and ignoring one platform can result in losing out potential customers. Post the pandemic, consumers' behavior has changed drastically and we as a brand should integrate online and offline presence to optimize the brand image in this dynamic market."

 

Next Story
Why is Responsible Retailing the Need of the Hour
Why is Responsible Retailing the Need of the Hour
 

As Indians mostly consume fresh foods produced locally, 87 percent of emissions came from food production followed by preparation (10 percent), processing (2 percent), and transportation (1 percent) as mentioned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

China and India generate the most household food waste in the world, with an estimated 92 million and 69 million metric tonnes produced each year, respectively as per Statista.
 
A report from ClimateLinks - USAID mentioned that in India, the energy sector accounts for 68.7 percent of GHG emissions, followed by agriculture, industrial processes, land-use change and forestry, and waste, which account for 19.6 percent, 6.0 percent, 3.8 percent, and 1.9 percent, respectively, of GHG emissions.

What is Sustainability?

Investopedia defines sustainability as “the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time. In business and policy contexts, sustainability seeks to prevent the depletion of natural or physical resources, so that they will remain available for the long term.”

The need for sustainable practices has only increased in recent years since environmental problems have worsened, making consumers react more thoughtfully toward green products, organic products, or just eco-friendly products. For a business, as critical as it is as a social responsibility, sustainability also helps businesses sustain in the long run against being boycotted on social media or through changes in environmental and governmental laws that would be brought about in the near future. Thus, retailers must adopt green retail, contract farming, plastic-free packaging and thereby reducing carbon footprints, and welcoming eco-friendly practices for sustainable retailing. 

Now, given that the conscious consumer is aware of the impact their lifestyle choices and buying decisions make on the planet, it's more the reason why retailers must actively take notes and make amends, as and when needed. And these amends have seen the light of day in the past few years as several consumer goods brands and new companies are making waves by appealing to customers with strong ethics and business values, complete transparency, and long-term business models.

Why Should Brands be Sustainable?

Reputation: The effect of sustainable business practices on consumers is immense, especially in this extremely vocal social media-driven society. When a brand changes/creates its practices in an ethical manner to support environment-friendly living with also the betterment of health in mind, without lying for profit/gains through shortcuts, it can boost the brand reputation. It can further influence better customer purchasing decisions while also building trust and equity, not just for now but also for future generations. 

Competitive Advantage: Those who are visionaries of the future, who innovate with their products, and that has value for sustainable living ingrained in them, will definitely have a competitive advantage as compared to those short-sighted brands who are running their machines and factories for what's in demand today given fast-moving trends. A few CSR activities on the side will not blindside the contamination they incur on a day-to-day basis. It will not go down well for them, as they cannot hide from the binocular eyes of today’s activists or even from social media’s-canceling culture. On the other hand, brands that follow ethical and social protocol, irrespective of how small the business, will grow to become household names considering the government's promotion and support for Micro, Small, and Medium businesses. 

Reduce Costs: The whole phenomenon of sustainability being expensive is a hoax. It is not about just being sustainable but about being Smartly Sustainable. ‘Greening’ the business will dig into your pockets, but it does not have to be a one-time purchase. What brands tend to do is copy what other brands are doing rather than create innovative production processes or packaging that best suits their products or customers’ needs. It should also be looked at as an investment that gives you yields in the long run. For instance, investing in cardboard packaging now will increase your costs but as demand for greener or cleaner packaging grows as value for it sets in, it would move from being a cost to a profit. Other ways to save finances include using more efficient appliances and constructively reusing existing materials, as well as inculcating biofuels for production.

How Can Brands be Sustainable?

Plastic Packaging: We know for a fact that India has tried to make several rules to ban plastic packaging/carry bags from grocery stores by also going to the extent of raiding such stores. Bigger chains have also shifted to cloth bags. So, if retail stores can make changes, what stops big companies and brands? Plastic-free packaging is one way to make a move, but if not, recycling the plastic and converting it into biofuels is another. 

What can retailers do? Promote brands that are eco-friendly, and educate the customer on the brand's initiatives- whether they have practices to reduce plastic or if they are 100 percent transparent. 

Sustainable Products: Several brands have shifted to plant-based products. The trend to consume plant-based food was on the rise due to increasing awareness- the pandemic just accelerated it drastically. But how? The pandemic made consumers double-check their choices and select what's best for them and their families. Consumers are now more aware and knowledgeable about what they seek and question what they eat. Plant-based protein products saw a surge in demand since consumers started selecting what is good for them and the environment i.e. making sustainable choices! Plant-based proteins have the advantages of being easily digestible and being completely vegan, making them a safe and healthy option for consumers. There has been a shift from a meat-heavy Western diet to primarily whole-foods, plant-based eating patterns.

Contract Farming: Contract farming is a process that helps brands source produce directly from the farmers which not only ensures 100 percent transparency in the process but also ensures 0 percent wastage and better quality yield. This also helps the farmer get more income by eliminating middlemen. 

Sustainable Grains: Contract farming can also be paired with grains like Millets such as Ragi, Jowar, Little, and Kodo which are extremely sustainable for the environment as these grains require less water, pesticides, and fertilizers and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions making these grains ideal for sustainable farming which in turn can motivate the food industry to adopt these practices. These grains also serve as a boost of nutrition and can thus curb the nutritional needs of the country. 

To Conclude…

A sudden shift to sustainable retailing is not possible, it will be a gradual process and it will differ from business to business, product to product. Therefore, start by asking the following questions:

- What impact does the business make on the environment at large?
- What processes can be immediately applied with little to no cost (e.g.: reusing material)
- Do the practices go hand in hand with the brand’s values & ethos?
- Is the business capable of surviving in the long run without making major amends?
- How would sustainable practices create a better experience or perception for the end-user?

Once answered, gradually one has to make a move towards better practices. It is essential to also be certified by organizations that can testify for the brand to the consumer. Once the end-user/society views the brand as a solution rather than a problem, a small tick can be made to ‘Sustainable Retailing’. 
 

 

Next Story
Why Fashion Designing is a Hot Career Option Even in Pandemic Times
Why Fashion Designing is a Hot Career Option Even in Pandemic Times
 

In India, the word ‘Fashion’ is like an unstoppable and indomitable emotion that drives the energy of our lifestyle. It acts as the essence to interfuse the diversified cultures of our land and simultaneously demarcates the uniqueness of each region. Here, a  6-yards of cloth is draped in numerous different ways by women coming from diverse regional cultures, and still, it’s identified as ‘saree’ by an instant glance. No one can deny fashion even in the pandemic situation as we paradoxically flaunt a facemask as ‘a thing of beauty’, choosing the right color with the right kind of embroidery work or prints to match our outfits. We are truly brilliant in turning anything grim into heartening and even sometimes festive.

Choosing fashion as a career even in this pandemic situation will add a different experience to the fresh creative minds as we can identify a sudden change in the scenario of the industry. Fashion enthusiasts who are interested in pursuing fashion design as a career can have a joy ride in this transition time when fashion products are getting more visual than tangible. They will experience the scalability of their design ideas and communicate their creative ability more to mass through the online platforms.

The definition of fashion has changed over time and due to the pandemic, the necessity of growth-oriented production has resulted in the introduction of new scopes in the fashion industry.

Digital Fashion Stores: The physical fashion outlets which faced hardship due to Covid-19 are ready to retaliate with a strong fight, and here comes the role of our digital fashion stores. Fashion Brands have started promoting their products through online media and people are ready to buy the fashion essentials like clothes and accessories online. We all have noticed a boom of homegrown brands, making a wide range of items available to the mass through social media. During the crisis period, when the Covid-19 hit hard, there was a rapid drop in purchase intention through offline sales by 80 to 90 percent while there was just a drop of 30 to 40 percent for online purchases.

Fashion Influencers and Celebrities: During the lockdown, the brands started concentrating more on promoting their merchandise by collaborating with the fashion influencers and celebrities for boosting sales. People had ample time to browse through social media and add items to their bucket lists even for non-essential purposes. Fashionable clothes and accessories need no occasion to get added to a high priority list. So if it’s about choosing fashion as a career in the pandemic situation, It’s like plucking the day and grabbing the chance at the right moment.

Focus on Health and Fitness: The pandemic introduced us to a work-from-home lifestyle, at-home workouts, and meditation which increased the demand for athleisure clothing and activewear. Heuritech’s Instagram analysis says, 1 out of every 4 Covid-19 posts is related to a healthy lifestyle. As a result, the activewear brands experienced a boom in consumer demand for leggings, cycling shorts, track pants, sweatshirts, and yoga outfits. As activewear plays a vital part and acts as a driving force in the fashion industry, we can get a clear scenario of accelerated demand for athleisure clothing in the ongoing market moves. Fashion students can strengthen their portfolio of activewear and explore their ideas by making samples. Prototypes can be presented to the companies dealing with athleisure clothing. They can help the industry with new ideas, technical know-how, and hands-on expertise in textiles and patterns. They can find out the flaws and incorporate their plans to make things better. Instagram is flooded with videos of fitness influencers and celebrities, working out wearing popular and emerging activewear brands. They influence the audience to focus more on athletic activity and it appears to be the hottest fashion trend at present.

Multi-Channel Opportunity: Choosing fashion as a career is like a multi-channel opportunity as you can explore your skill not only in design and product development but also in the newly introduced opportunities in the pandemic situation as a fashion collaborator, influencer, sustainable design thinker, fashion communicator in brands, fashion bloggers and vloggers. This pandemic has compelled us to focus more on sustainability, boosting employment of rural artisans and scaling traditional handcrafts to enhance the growth of domestic products. The industry needs thinkers and designers who will find solutions to the issues pertaining to the crisis. So the adaptability of the upcoming designers and fashion enthusiasts will determine the future of the industry, in the post-Covid situation.
 

 

Next Story
Why Sustainability & Design Becoming Challenging for Future Designers
Why Sustainability & Design Becoming Challenging for Future Designers
 

Sustainability is a large and often misunderstood term, and when clubbed with design, one is left wondering what they are dealing with. Within this conundrum, we as a collective consciousness see the environment as the first step of intervention, many times failing to close the loop. Sustainable concepts and ideas need to be holistically perceived and designed for continued viability.

Sustainable design is a larger-than-life concept, a way of life, a changing pattern of use, not simply a fad to get behind. Multiple designers and design students continue to struggle with the question of how one can achieve this. Having been used as a greenwashing term, sustainable design has been assumed to be anything that is ‘good’ for the environment and rejects the idea of the ‘bad’.

With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in place by the UN, these terms have become commonplace in our news, corporate language, and marketing. In a country like India, the design sits at the cross-section of the intent of achieving each SDG.

Why Should We Care for Sustainability?

As India claims to achieve parts of the 2030 agenda, it is clear that the public, government, and corporations have to work hand in hand to achieve these goals. 

As often stated in this context, we all must aim for sustainable development, which truly is “development with all and for all”.  Striving to keep pace with the 2030 agenda is important for our quality of life and that of our future generations. Adopting methods to conserve our natural, social, and economic resources is extremely crucial. As designers visualizing a future 

India’s Action on SDGs

With India’s scale, it is quite conceivable that the effort to achieve these goals will take a slightly slower pace. But true progress is only possible if we work towards these goals collectively and at a steady rate. Although India is currently behind in achieving these goals as compared to its neighbors, some states are leading the way in this endeavor. Kerala has currently been marked highest in the country, in segments such as zero hunger, quality education, and affordable and clean energy. States like Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Goa are following in these footsteps as well. 

The Important Aspects of Sustainability  

Sustainability has 3 firm aspects and is incomplete without each other. Many organizations claim themselves to be sustainable when they layout one of the aspects however, it is only possible for an organization to be sustainable in a true sense if it fulfills the demands of all 3 aspects economic, social, and ecological.  The ecological goals concern the reduction of wasteful processes, non-decomposable packaging, reduction of carbon footprints, water usage, and more whereas the economic goals revolve around making the business self-sustaining through continued income and profits while maintaining the sustainable elements. The social goals are achieved by showing sustainable treatment towards their employees, community, business people, and other stakeholders. Many successful businesses and companies can be developed by keeping the social sustainability of the local communities at the center. 

Ways to Avoid Greenwashing

It is important to avoid greenwashing while claiming one’s product is sustainable. One of the aspects to avoid greenwashing is to make your claim easier to understand and clearer to see without any use of jargon. Second, one should support the claims of sustainability with facts and up-to-date information to prove evidence. The most important way to avoid greenwashing is, to be honest, and specific about your future goal and how credible and verified it is to claim it as sustainable, and proper language should be used to avoid confusion and misleading statements. It is better to set small achievable goals rather than falsifying larger goals. 

Sustainability Pitfalls to Avoid

Though sustainability is portrayed as all about good and excluding the bad, there are certain pitfalls that one needs to avoid to claim products and businesses are truly sustainable. One among them is failing to anticipate the talent and fundamental skills needed to propagate and maintain such projects. Those trained in lateral thinking design skills, often find themselves in the position of leading or being founders of such organizations. This helps create a cycle of accountability not merely from the economic or environmental perspective, but also from the social one. Long-term ownership and commitment to environmental and social change are at the heart of running a sustainable organization or business. Those of us capable of empathizing with these aspects as well as ensuring business sense are able to lead the way. And finally keeping patience in this process of making a long-term change is key, impatience and dealing with everyday operational concerns may make it tempting to jump sustainability goals, creating many long-term concerns. 

Role of Designers

Sustainability is a key value in defining the human experience, the present as well as the far future. Designers working on changing the human experience for the better as people who now play a pivotal role in changing the perspective of consumer culture to that of a conservation and preservation culture. The value systems we live in are evolving, the next generations are making their demands for a healthy planet and future lifestyle visible. Now it is up to us, the designers to rethink material cultures and drive change through resource allocation for the generations to come. 

 

Next Story
Tier II & III Cities Exhibit Robust Growth Potential for the Fashion Industry
Tier II & III Cities Exhibit Robust Growth Potential for the Fashion Industry
 

Consumers, not just in the metro cities, but in the interiors of India are adapting to the evolving fashion industry. They are becoming more experimental in their choices because of the flexibility and convenience offered by e-commerce. Tier II and-III cities now stand as priority strategic markets for many fashion retailers and e-commerce platforms. This is primarily because of an increase in disposable income, deeper internet penetration, rising exposure to new age media and influencers, innovative marketing, and technological advancements in these cities. This has also led to an increase in advertisements, technology, digital, and traditional marketing tools by brands to build prominence in these Tier II and-III cities.

Altering Consumer Behavior

The shopping behavior of consumers is evolving in the smaller cities at a brisk pace; they are becoming increasingly aware of the latest fashion brands and trends because of the accessibility and flexibility offered by online shopping. Consumers are willingly scanning their favorite brands online to shop in the comfort of their homes. Fashion e-commerce continues to boom after the pandemic, not only because it provides accessibility and affordability, but also because consumers are growing fond of the hassle-free process of surfing their favorite brands, buying with one click, and availing of fast delivery and easy return facilities.

Additionally, many brands have started introducing specially curated designs and collections to offer uniqueness and cater to the specific demands of the non-metro cities. Amazon Fashion delivers 100 percent serviceable pin codes in India with assured 2-day delivery in more than 200 top cities. We have witnessed an increased penetration and coverage of online shopping from Tier II and-III regions with more than 80 percent of our new shoppers from these markets. In terms of fashion, we have witnessed shoppers from these regions opting for ethnic wear such as Lehenga Cholis, Sarees, Kurta, Sandals, and summer essentials like Shirts, Tops, Sneakers, or Sandals.

In Beauty, customers are preparing for the season with Serums and Day Creams, Face, and Hair Cleansers with rising interest in treatments like oils and masks, and ingredient-based products like Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and more. Within Makeup, we’ve seen increasing demand for face and eye makeup.

Digital Transactions

Cashless payments have witnessed steady growth and acceptance in Tier-II and-III markets, hence driving growth for online shopping and widening the scope for e-commerce to penetrate these geographies to gain a larger share. During the pandemic, nine out of ten Indians preferred digital wallets citing it made ‘shopping easier’ as the main reason. This rapid adoption of digital payments supplemented by rising e-commerce transactions is fueling the payment gateway market growth in India.

Vernacular Languages to Woo Shoppers

To remain relevant in today’s time, e-commerce is providing vernacular services to further push consumers to adopt online shopping and provide a holistic experience to increase consideration and retain consumers from the non-metro cities. Customers can shop on Amazon in 8 languages, including Hindi, English, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and the newly launched Marathi and Bengali. They can read product information, manage their account, make payments, and track their orders in these regional languages.

Influencers are Transforming the Fashion Industry

Social media influencers are immensely impacting the shopping preferences of consumers in Tier II and-III cities. The constant exposure to branded content with a quick CTA (click to action) option has led many consumers to take the online shopping route, in the desire to follow the newest trends and jump on the bandwagon. The reach of rising influencers from these cities has grown enormously in recent years. Regional influencers continue to curate content vital to their distinct and regional style, accumulating a larger following and altering the fashion industry. In India, social commerce shoppers, who account for 53 percent of total online shoppers, are expected to reach 228 million at the end of 2022, a 45 percent increase from the current consumer base, as consumers are exploring new ways of shopping for products online through social media apps. With growing programs like the Fashion Influencer Program, Live Shopping feature, and more, Amazon has been partnering with creators to cater to both the information and product needs of these customers.

Steadily Shifting Dynamics

With shifting market dynamics and the increasing popularity of online purchasing, the fashion e-commerce marketplace has grown more adaptable in engaging with Tier II and-III cities that provide considerable prospects with increasing competition, cutting edge technology, and improving marketing and digital spending in non-metro cities. The fashion industry has become more customer-oriented as opposed to being purely business-focused, since tailoring consumer experiences and letting customers lead, their own way is seen as the way forward.

(To know more about what is happening in the retail, D2C, and e-commerce industry, please attend IReC.)  

 

Next Story
Beauty Trends Shifting to Cater to the Conscious Consumer
Beauty Trends Shifting to Cater to the Conscious Consumer
 

With an increase in the awareness of consumers, there has been a drastic change in people’s buying behavior for skincare products. Skincare routine has shifted to a routine where ‘clean beauty’, 'organically sourced’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’, ‘cruelty-free’, and ‘vegan’ are the new buzzwords.

Increasingly brands too are promoting their products with words like eco-friendly packaging, environmentally friendly source, and zero waste to reflect sustainability. This is giving rise to an important topic of discussion in the beauty industry where we need to do our bit as brands not just to offer clean beauty to our consumers but also to help the environment. 

Sustainability is a journey with a wide and complicated route, given that it affects every step of the business be it supply chain, packaging, sourcing, suppliers, partners, or even consumers. However, consumers are more focused on health and well-being when it comes to the products they use and this is making brands more curious to find out what influences the consumer purchase decision when it comes to sustainability. 
Consumers are more interested in knowing how the product is made than what the product is. Consumers are ready to pay more for sustainable beauty brands as they are increasingly considering it an individual responsibility. However, what is causing this shift in decision-making is something that most brands are trying to crack. 

Top skincare brands are constantly being challenged to meet ever-changing perceptions of clean ingredients, create products that are more diverse and inclusive, and inculcate authenticity. We are now seeing a gradual shift in beauty trends from the ‘glam look’ to the ‘healthy look’. 

The beauty industry is dominated by the same large brands for years and the skincare industry has an adverse impact on the environment and generates significant waste.  Never before has it been more important to address the age-old ways of the beauty industry, and to take collective responsibility to clean up and redefine beauty standards. 

READ MORE: The Growth of Skincare Market in India and the Rise of Informed Indian Customers

The concept of clean beauty is picking up in India. Consumer awareness about product formulations and ingredients has increased tremendously in the past five years. People are now reading labels and therefore brands are increasingly realizing the importance of being transparent about the ingredients they use, and the measures they take to be sustainable.  

While Indian brands are actively focusing on recycling and using toxin-free formulas relying on the affinity towards natural products, other key aspects of clean and sustainable beauty such as sourcing the raw materials sustainably, and using ingredients that are biodegradable are avenues yet to be explored.

The shift to clean beauty is a way of improving the quality of ingredients in beauty products and the sustainability of the packaging used. This includes being aware of and using ethically sourced raw materials wherever possible, raising the standards by which products are certified for sale, ensuring that brands are more transparent about the ingredients used in their products, and being more responsible for the claims brands make about their products and packaging.

Given the increase in conscious consumers, brands are now being held accountable for their claims while also making an effort to cater to the shifting demand for clean beauty products. And this trend gives the power back to the consumers along with the brand to build a more sustainable environment.
 

 

Next Story
Top 10 Trends in Lingerie Shopping in India
Top 10 Trends in Lingerie Shopping in India
 

Lingerie is becoming an integral part of women’s wardrobe essentials. Notwithstanding, rapid urbanization across India is one of the key factors driving the growth of the market. The lingerie sector is rapidly growing, and this trend is expected to continue. According to RedSeer, a large consulting group, the female innerwear sector will nearly double to $11–12 billion by 2025. It will grow six times faster than it did in 2020, making it one of the garment industry's fastest-growing segments.

Ever since the pandemic outbreak, the segment has witnessed various disruptions as well as transformations. While the trend of lingerie shopping has witnessed a surge, consumers have shifted from focusing on style to comfort, along with fashion, while making their lingerie choices. According to the Imarc report, during the period 2022–2027, the Indian lingerie market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 13.13 percent. Keeping the complexities of COVID-19 in mind, businesses are constantly following and monitoring the pandemic's direct and indirect impact.

The list below is based on research and findings by Groversons Paris Beauty and the pioneering lingerie industry, Groversons Group, on the possible lingerie trends in shopping in India.

Key Trends

As we are in 2022, the lingerie market will witness various trends in its trajectory of growth. However, the transition in the segment is very promising and emerging with the key trends that are expected to be seen:

Comfort Fabric

Sassy summers are here. This is the season for refreshing drinks and cool crushers combined with sexy summer outfits. We agree that summer days might be satisfying and a favorite for some, but we cannot ignore the fact that sweaty days and scorching sun kill our entire vibe. While Groversons cannot help with sweat and sun, they can help us by selecting a breathable fabric. However, Groversons further states in a report that 70.78 percent of female consumers found them the best brands for comfortable fabric pieces.

Preferred Color

The summer of 2022 will be ruled by vibrant and eye-popping shades. Hence, neon-colored lingerie and sexy lace bralettes in different hues will rock the sunny summers of 2022! Groversons Paris Beauty further points out via its report that 67.45 percent of customers will no longer be hesitant about experimenting with colors and types, but will also prefer those of good quality and skin-friendly.

Design Trends

The evolution of the Indian innerwear industry can be seen with the shift from basic cotton bras in black, white, and nude colors to padded, push-up, and lacy bras in different designs and color combinations. Notwithstanding, solid wear has added an explosion of different designs and the brightest and boldest colors to the wardrobe of the current generation.

Say Yes to Prints

Lingerie trends have come a long way, from typical black and white wear to individuals becoming more experimental with their design choices, such as striking tones of flora, fauna, animal print, and aquatic life. However, with eco-friendly fashion slowly yet surely becoming the fashion norm, it’s time to celebrate nature’s untamed beauty with an earth-inspired look.

Style

Lingerie trends have gone full cycle and are back to bras. However, young and professional women have been spotted pairing bras of different styles with their normal go-to attire. Comfort and sexy lingerie are unitedly exclusive. Thus, opt for a comfortable piece that passes the vibe check. They do exist! According to Groverson's survey, about 60.78 percent of women shared that having a good-style lingerie collection helps in adoring the oomph factor in their professional as well as everyday lives.

Plus Size: Not a Buzzword

With the rapid urbanization, fashion brands are also emerging with the trends, and in this scenario, offerings for plus-size women are meeting a great deal of excitement for busty women. However, this wasn’t the scenario until a few years ago. Recognized lingerie brands are escalating the demand and supply of plus-size lingerie wear. The Indian lingerie market has witnessed astounding growth and has undergone a transformation. As per this research by Groversons Paris Beauty, the lingerie market for plus-size women in India is expected to grow by 30-40 percent in the coming years.

Shapewear: For the Perfect Shape

Every woman's desire to be in perfect shape, especially on particular occasions, entails flaunting specific physics. Shapewear can aid beauty and provide complete shaping benefits. It is ideal for wearing underneath dresses and fitted attire.

The Athleisure Trend in Activewear

A year ago, activewear lingerie made a major comeback with the athleisure trend, and an increasing number of women are opting to wear activewear bras, especially for workouts and dancing. Available in trendy styles with mesh detailing for added support. Make sure to pick the correct size so you don’t end up wearing an ordinary bra underneath your sports one.

Silk Lace Dresses: Easy Pieces to Wear

You can wear silk lace dresses as an effortless piece under your bed linen with hair rollers and with makeup on, recreating the classy look for a glam night, or pair them with boots and a jacket for that sizzling reveal. It’s the innerwear version of the slip dress, which you can rock outside without second thoughts.

Use Panty Wisely

Choosing the right panty is also an important trend, as well as a factor in having a comfortable lingerie closet. However, the right panty selection is bonafide and aids you in being relaxed in sessions. A comfortable panty that doesn’t give you rashes and skin infections is a treat for your privates. 

Siddharth Grover, Director, Groversons Group said, "It is the undeniable confidence that inspires women indeed to boost their boldness in professional as well as everyday life. Over a period of time, lingerie shopping has evolved significantly, and women are outright and outgoing about what they want."

"Women now prefer experimenting with design, fabric, hues, etc. Lingerie has now become a wardrobe essential for women. Considering new trends are setting up hype in lingerie shopping in India, they now have options to choose promptly. We at Groverson are making considerate efforts to effectively cater to their demands. We want females to feel beautiful, comfortable, and confident with the right lingerie pieces," he added.

New-age females are embracing lingerie in their shopping wish lists and are gaining prominence with the passage of time and increasing demand for premium lingerie. However, with the increase in demand, the trends are evolving and the brands are garnering innovation in terms of colors, style, design, etc. Lingerie has now become a significant essential in every collection. However, considering the fact that the Indian lingerie market is expected to grow prominently in the coming years.

 

Next Story
Future Gazing: Sustainable Fashion Trends to Look Out For
Future Gazing: Sustainable Fashion Trends to Look Out For
 

For conscious customers, fashion is not only a medium to express themselves, but also expressing what’s good for the planet. With more awareness about fast fashion being a huge contributor to the climate crisis, we’re seeing many sustainable alternatives emerge for customers to make more responsible choices. With slow fashion on the rise, here are the top five sustainable fashion trends to look out for:

Low Impact Materials

A fabric is said to have a low impact when it’s made from materials that are as natural, durable, and mendable; produced without pesticides or other toxins; made locally, and with locally-produced materials, and dyed with non-toxic, natural dyes.

For example, Lyocellfiber (produced under the trade name Tencel) is biodegradable and compostable and the production process has a low environmental footprint. Conscious designers also use hemp, cork, bamboo, and even seaweed to make ethical, vegan clothes.

Another example of a low-impact material would be Hemp. It’s made from the fibers of the flax plant. When grown in geographically suitable areas, such as Europe, there is no need for pesticides or fertilizers and it requires much less water than cotton and is good for soil health.

Sustainable Supply Chain

Fashion companies and labels need to look beyond just materials to truly make an impact on the health of the planet. For a company to have a sustainable supply chain means having to actively integrate environmentally, socially, and economically innovative practices into their manufacturing and distribution processes. This means procuring ethically sourced raw material, choosing quality over quantity, and keeping the production local. It would also entail exploring new inventory models that enable brands to predict demand better, for example: shipping small batches of experimental fashion, before quickly ramping up production if they prove popular.

Circular Design

Circular design as a concept is creating a garment or a product with the next use in mind. It means designing products with the notion of resource efficiency, non-toxicity, biodegradability, and recyclability in mind. They should also be sourced and produced with priority given to recyclable sources and ethical practices. When the products are not suitable for recycling, the material should be biodegradable and used as compost for plants and other organisms in the ecosystem. Circular fashion is enabled by re-using and up-cycling the garment, and enabling reselling and swapping of products that have not reached their end of life.

Fashion meets Tech

Embracing new technologies can help shape a sustainable future in fashion. An example of tech helping to reduce the eco-footprint would be 'on-demand design and manufacturing'. This entails solving size and fit issues to reduce the frequency of return, and increasing personalization whenever possible. Creating alternate fabrics which require less water for production, or converting fashion waste into compost are also technological practices that the brands should adopt to go the sustainable way.

Transparency over Greenwashing

What we need in 2022 is buying from brands that are accountable for the ecological impact of their production process. Instead of ‘greenwashing’ i.e. using PR tactics or marketing gimmicks to seem more sustainable than they really are, brands need to be transparent about their production process and the carbon footprint at every step of their supply chain.

 

Next Story
How Your Face Fashion of 2022 can be the Statement of Your Eye Fashion?
How Your Face Fashion of 2022 can be the Statement of Your Eye Fashion?
 

The Indian eyewear industry has witnessed a notable transformation, from a traditional market to a promising consumer-centric market over the last few decades – thanks to the evolving technological innovations in eye-care along with a thorough focus on design, aesthetics, and transition in people’s choice of accessorizing themselves. 

The style-conscious consumers wish to pick the best pair of eyeglasses for themselves that do not compromise on their style quotient – the eyewear industry has understood this need and has come forward to aid different vision requirements whilst also satisfying the fashionistas with innovative solutions in the latest styles and designs. 

The wide array of eyewear products like powered eyeglasses in fashionable frames, uber-chic sunglasses, advanced lenses – is witnessing a growing demand among discerning consumers, leading to an industrial boost for the sector. 

India’s face fashion is being reinvented and it has become an absolute eye-opener for today’s youth to explore an area of fashion and beauty that goes beyond stereotypical clothing fashion or traditional bling. Accessorizing yourself in the best possible way is the new in-thing in fashion and when it comes to accessorizing your face, the eyewear industry is pouring it all. Putting on stylish eyewear can give a complete makeover to one’s appearance and elevate the style quotient. A new pair of modern, eye-catching eyeglasses can seriously refresh your look, whether you wear them following the medical prescription, or simply as a fashion statement. 

Eye-fashion is the chic style statement for the millennials, and the eyewear industry is thriving with new designs and technologies to cater to the visual as well as fashion needs of all ages. As eyewear is becoming increasingly commoditized, there is a visible difference in selling patterns of eyewear – this is giving impetus to the devising of new types of eyewear with advanced technology and design. As the concept of fashion has emerged and synchronized with the need and comfort of an individual, the choice of eye fashion holds an important place to serve the purpose of well-being. Be it ultra-modern like UV blocking lenses, blue cut lenses, or driving friendly eyewear there are a plethora of choices for consumers to proceed towards a fashionable and safe life. 

Eyewear style statement is no more restricted to one’s facial structure or shape; it has evolved ten folds in terms of functionality and fashion game. The color of lenses is beyond usual grey and brown. Today one can choose from a wide range of tints such as yellow, red, blue and green, etc. These days even neon-tinted lenses are also in trend owned to various influencers and celebrity stylists. Eyeglasses with transparent frames are also clear winners in creating an effortlessly chic look for both men and women. 

Face fashion is all about framing your face and enhancing the features – you can choose a style that varies from bold to basic. There has been a significant increase in screen exposure during the pandemic; work from home culture and online learning on PCs and laptops has been hurting eyes – this is resulting in the demand for blue light protective (Nova Blumax) lenses. A UV-protected (Nova) sunglass can be your go-to partner for any casual or occasional day out. Again, for a smooth ride behind the wheel, a special lens (Nova Drive) is a definitive choice for clear vision and fashion on the road for a safe and comfortable drive/ride. 

According to a survey, approximately 45 percent of people believe that wearing glasses makes them look smarter or can enhance their appearance. Many people in the eyewear industry insist that finding the most flattering frames is a matter of trying on different shapes while keeping an open mind and an honest eye. Hence, highlighting your style with the elegance of eyewear is a way forward in fashion. 

 

Next Story
Should Shoe Customization be Adopted by Every Brand
Should Shoe Customization be Adopted by Every Brand
 

Shoe customization has been in trend in this brick-and-mortar world, offering a world-class level of comfort that many humans do aspire to. If one does take a look at the data, it does not take a long time to find out that there are a lot many people who do have flat feet. It might not seem a major problem; however, a flat foot can be the root cause of an unfortunate accident. Hence, shoe customization can play a major role in saving many people from some serious accidents and at the same time, it can provide the comfort a person requires. 

A Change in Society

It is not all about the demand of the product that drives fashion brands to launch a collection, but innovation can also play a major role in setting trends. Hence, every brand coming up with its shoe customization platform can recreate a major boost to allow customers to choose what they want. As walking is a major part of human lives, a comfortable part of shoes can solve many different problems. Also, there are several issues a person fights with; hence, footwear should be a sign of quality and comfort. 

Every brand adopting shoe customization can only grow a market as adding something new is always crucial for moving forward. Sometimes the idea might not work for all, but it can help a section of the society to bring something new and creative. A change will only happen if most fashion brands, who do deal with footwear, do offer the customization. The very process will play a major role in educating many people about the value of shoe customization. It is like a person knows that green vegetables are good for health; therefore, it does drive a person to eat them. It does only happen when there is a platform to learn and develop.  

READ MORE: Product Customization, Personalization and Bespoke Offerings To Attract Consumers

An Opportunity to Grow the Business!

Shoe customization can help to make profits for the brands as there are millions of people who have their own problems with their feet. As there are not many options to do shoe customization, they do not have a great chance to pick from millions of designs. Hence with the help of technology, one can make a great change. Also, it will increase the opportunity for the fashion brands to offer something fresh to customers, which they always look for. 

Maintaining Price Stability  

In the world of fashion, there are brands for every section of society. Hence, from the top to the bottom, one does need all the brands to start this way of making the shoes. It will help them to earn a bit more and at the same time, the competition in the market will offer customers the best value for their money. For the increasing quality of the products, it is crucial to have every brand fighting to get the blessings of the customers. It will help everyone to make a change and create an open platform where a person can wear what they want in their style. 

Changing the Shoe Market

Because consumers love a brand, despite feeling that do other brands offer better quality, they do sacrifice a lot as the image of the brand is everything for them. However, there will be a point when they might look for the change. Hence, for keeping them as the brand’s loyal customers, it is important to offer customization as it can assist many people to get what they want. Also, when a customer is happy with a product, he or she can even pay the extra amount that can drive the profit ratio of a brand. Making a change is not about gaining profits – but also helping millions of people around the world. 

As the flat foot problem has not been talked about much across the globe, human beings do not know how many problems it can create. A flat foot can reduce the walking capacity of a person, which is indeed a huge thing. But there are no shoes that do take care of that. It is not a problem for a small section of the society – but there are millions of people around the world who do have flat feet.

If humans are educated on the matter, they will find ways to have certain shoes that can save their feet from making a self-caused disaster. In some cases, it does damage the feet that one can’t even look to walk. There are several problems related to feet that can be solved if every brand thinks from the angle of helping customers and offering new ways to promote their brands. It is the objective of every brand to take care of those who do make profits for them. It does promote them to give it back to those who demand just something new from the brands.    

Why is Shoe Customization Crucial? 

Shoe customization has become a matter of concern for those who can only wear customized shoes. As the size of the market is very small, one has to pay double or triple the amount, which does hit the pockets and purchasing power of a person as if the income is not growing with expenses, it will cut the budget from possibly buying a t-shirt. From the angle of developing the market, it is always bad to lose a customer as, without them, there can’t be growth that one wants to have.

At the same time, it will help in reducing the expense of the customers. It is not just about those who have problems with their feet – but about those who want to make a dream shoe. Hence, it can open many chances for the brands to earn more and create a revaluation. 

It just needs a trend to start making money. Also, there is an old saying that more money and better profits never hurts. Hence, every shoe brand coming into this market can only make the very section look creative and classic. The combination of both can drive many people to start making their own designs that a brand can adopt and make even more money. It can make every customer a fashion designer, which can be great from the angle of seeing new ideas coming and making an inspiring impact.  

Responsibility of the Western World 

In European and North American nations, the purchasing power of humans is far much better. Hence, they do take risks with shopping more than others. If major brands in Europe and North America do adopt this incitive, then it can become a global trend. It is indeed a clear fact that most trends coming from the United States do make the biggest and best impact around the world. Hence, thinking about providing a shoe customization platform can aware every person across the globe the make an impact in this section. 

Conclusion

Luxury brands can do customization as someone is ready to pay. However, not everyone can do that. Hence, every brand doing shoe customization can do wonders. It can lead a person to pick or make what they want and how they want. Also, the very factor can solve the flat foot issue, which is a crucial concern. The market can only grow when there are brands going head-to-head, which does make everything look great.
 

 

Next Story
Going Gaga over Organic: A Green-Tinted Look at The Kids' Apparel Market in India
Going Gaga over Organic: A Green-Tinted Look at The Kids' Apparel Market in India
 

Let’s talk kiddie apparel. 

Did you know… India is one of the largest contributors in the global retail market, and is steadily developing into a hub for kids’ apparel?

Yes, the Indian kid's apparel market was estimated at a valuation of $16.4 billion in 2020, and experts are forecasting the industry to grow steadily at a whopping CAGR of 14.5 percent between 2022 and 2026.

Now, this comes at a time when consumer tastes and preferences are evolving, transforming, and more importantly, being governed by factors such as health, well-being, environmental welfare, and sustainability. Research indicates that customers are placing a high value on aspects like fabric, texture, comfort, and ecological impact when shopping for kids’ apparel. The result? Conscious consumption, of course!

Conscious consumption habits have spurred a new and urgent demand for natural, organic textiles. And in meeting with this flurry of demand, a benchmark standard has been set in recent years, one that has companies reimaging their supply chains, not only to grasp market opportunities for themselves but to jump on the very lucrative bandwagon and boost the organic kids' apparel market in India.

According to sustainable fashion experts and ethical designers, organic clothing helps to refresh and detoxify the body, as well as, reduce stress levels. Add to this, the fact that this material is non-toxic, hyper allogenic, light, breathable, and best of all, accountable towards natural resources, and you’ve got the perfect material for your child’s sensitive skin!

Emma Watson once said, “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy”. This quote perfectly summarizes the sentiment that is growing leaps and bounds, not only within environmental groups but within household communities as well.

21st century parents are no longer passive in their quest to procure quality clothing for their children. In this digital age, where choice, convenience, and cost-effectiveness are norms rather than exceptions, parents have taken on an active role in searching for the best materials and styles for their little ones. After all, there’s no greater motivator than concern towards a loved one.

The switch from nylon, rayon, polyester, and other synthetic fabrics, to cotton (and more recently, organic cotton) is quickly gaining traction. And this can be attributed to an increase in awareness and understanding of natural fabrics and theirpositive impact on the health and well-being of all living things. With heightened awareness comes the inherent need to switch to a more sustainable way of living. Because which parent doesn’t want the absolute best for their kids?

The green wave, that is disrupting the Indian retail world, is further compounded by the onset of the digital revolution. And it’s not surprising to see how technology and marketing are playing a pivotal role in making organic clothing for kids more accessible and viable. Of course, there are many who still consider this segment to be a niche, a luxury, a high-maintenance product, but this notion is soon changing.

With e-commerce portals, shopping for organic kids apparel becomes a simple and straightforward prospect, where one can easily access a slew of information, verify material authenticity, explore features and benefits, view clothing size charts, confirm washing and care instructions, visualize how items look on a model, price compare, and return or exchange. It’s as easy as logging on, virtually traipsing through a store, locating the product that meets a list of requirements, and digitally making the payment. Incredible, right?

Another factor that is contributing to the ‘organic’ boom in the kids’ apparel market, is brand transparency. Brands are becoming increasingly honest about aspects like manufacturing practices, farming techniques, waste management, transportation, and packaging. They are also addressing issues relating to factory conditions, labor laws, and the never-ending endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint.

It’s incredibly refreshing to see how marketing communication is carving out a special space to shed light on important matters like social responsibility and accountability, towards the planet and its people, without inclining towards ‘greenwashing’. This commitment to the truth builds trust and credibility in the eyes of the target audience, and also works towards the greater good of all environmental stakeholders.

Let’s delve a little deeper into another dominant factor that contributes to the growth of the organic apparel market in India, and by virtue, the organic kid's apparel market in India. 

You might be surprised to know that the Indian textile industry has always been a predominantly organic cotton-based one. According to a news report, the textile industry is touted to be the 2nd largest sector to generate employment. And the prospect of maintaining this employment is a powerful stimulant to keeping the industry thriving and expanding. So, you see, nurturing this sector is a win-win for everybody.

Here’s some interesting trivia. Ahmedabad, also known as, ‘Manchester of Indi’, is one such cotton-growing region that is well regarded for its textile production. What makes this city stand ahead of the others in cotton production, is the fact that it is blessed with a humid climate, an abundance of cheap labor, and easy access to a port facility.

As you can tell, there are a plethora of economic, demographic, geographic, and behavioral influences that govern the organic kid's apparel market in India.

Market trends and lifestyle shifts, coupled with a growing consciousness among parents regarding children's health and environmental health, have propelled the expansion of this industry. 

Plus, supporting ‘organic’ means never having to compromise on utility, style, cost, welfare, fitness, or ethics. 

It’s safe to say that the production, consumption, and distribution of organic products in the kid's apparel industry in India is a catalyst for something much bigger and better. 

Wondering how that is, exactly?

Well, it’s quite simple, really. The presence of a lucrative organic apparel market is a silent pledge and promise to advocate for the rights of every living being.

Pharrell Williams said it best. “Fashion can be a universal player in protecting the planet”. 

Do you agree? 

 

Next Story
How Apparel Retailers will Grow 20-25 pc This Fiscal
How Apparel Retailers will Grow 20-25 pc This Fiscal
 

Apparel retailers, which could barely break even last fiscal, are expected to log operating margins of 5-7 percent this fiscal, compared to about 9 percent pre-pandemic.

Experts believe improving operating leverage, continued cost rationalization, and prudent inventory management are the reasons behind the improvement in figures. 

Anuj Sethi, Senior Director, CRISIL Ratings said, “Less intensive restrictions and the much shorter duration of the third wave resulted in minimal disruptions in operations of B&M retailers. The sharp recovery seen in the second and third quarters this fiscal, and the expected healthy performance in the fourth quarter, will propel revenue to 75-80 percent of the pre-pandemic level. Revenue is expected to log a healthy 8-10 percent growth next fiscal as well, on sustained footfalls and waning impact of the pandemic, but will still be lower than the pre-pandemic level.”

After declining 40 percent last fiscal because of Covid-19, revenue of brick-and-mortar (B&M) apparel retailers will grow 20- 25 percent on-year this fiscal, driven by a strong recovery in demand despite the third wave of the pandemic, according to a report by Crisil.

Losses last fiscal were funded by raising equity of Rs 2,000 crore, thus limiting the deterioration in capital structure. That, and the recovery in accruals this fiscal will strengthen credit profiles, the report further stated. 

Of these, the top eight apparel retailers, representing a fifth of the sector’s revenue, have seen a strong recovery in the first nine months of this fiscal, with revenue growing 55-60 percent on-year on higher festive and wedding sales.

With retail operations curtailed over the past two years, B&M retailers have augmented their omnichannel presence. Consequently, the share of e-retail sales is seen at 8-9 percent this fiscal, compared with the pre-pandemic level of 4-5 percent.

Apparel retailers renegotiated rentals and entered into revenue-sharing agreements after the first wave of the pandemic. They have also limited seasonal collections, leading to inventory rationalisation and lower working capital requirements.

Gautam Shahi, Director, CRISIL Ratings said, “Higher accruals and the lower incremental working capital requirement will support the financial risk profiles of apparel retailers. Given that sales are yet to reach the pre-pandemic level, capital spends on new store openings are expected to be calibrated, resulting in better debt protection metrics. Interest coverage is set to improve to 4-5 times this fiscal from 1 time last fiscal, while total outside liabilities to tangible net worth ratio is set to improve to 1.4 times from 1.7 times.”

READ MORE: What We Need to Revive India's Apparel and Textile Exports

 

Next Story
What We Need to Revive India's Apparel and Textile Exports
What We Need to Revive India's Apparel and Textile Exports
 

An article published in the recent RBI bulletin has rightfully taken note of ‘stagnation’ in India’s apparel and textile exports in recent years, attributing it to tariff concessions enjoyed by countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The article further builds a case for India to aggressively pursue Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with major destination markets, including the US and the EU, to overcome the stagnation and increase the apparel shipments.

The recommendation is timely. India’s apparel and textiles sector has historically enjoyed a competitive advantage around the world. It has also regularly contributed more than 10 percent to the country’s overall exports pie – the share was 11.34 percent in 2019-20 – and its continuous growth is key to realizing our stated goal to ‘make in India for the world’. And yet, India’s share in global apparel exports has stagnated at 3-4 percent over the last decade. 

In September, Union Commerce and Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal set a lofty goal for the industry to increase the textile exports from $33 billion currently to $100 billion at the earliest. To put that figure in perspective, India’s overall exports for 2019 stood at $330 billion. For the ongoing fiscal, the minister has set a goal of reaching a total of $44 billion worth of exports for textiles and attire, together with handicrafts. 

Achieving such ambitious targets needs driving forward significant structural changes at the industry level as well in government policy. Much as signing FTAs for tariff concessions is an important intervention almost deemed necessary – a report by Crisil echoed this demand a few months ago – there are a handful of other factors needlessly constraining the sector’s growth that we also need to address immediately.

The first obvious limitation is the heavily fragmented nature of Indian textile and apparel production facilities. There are very few large-scale mills and sewing houses, and then there is a huge population of micro or small-sized units. Our policymakers need to prioritize addressing this gap and set a target to raise a substantial number of small-sized units to midsize. Two recently launched schemes – the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme for textiles, and the PM-MITRA (Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel) parks scheme, under which seven integrated textile parks are to be set up in the country, are steps in the right direction. 

READ MORE: Emerging Apparel And Textile Industry Investment Themes To Watch Out For In 2022

However, in our view, the PLI scheme must be extended beyond man-made fiber fabric and should include natural fabrics as well. The financial support should also extend beyond PLI. A common grievance that many exporters have is an interminable delay in receiving incentive payments, as well as tax and levy reimbursements from the government, which ends up choking their working capital and ultimately hurts their business. 

Next, our industry needs to collectively pay heed to the powerful trend of ethical, sustainable, environment-friendly fashion consumption sweeping around the world. Consumers in the west are now actively demanding products that meet prevailing global benchmarks for sustainability and ethical manufacturing. Unless our exporting units evolve and adapt to ethical and sustainable production, they will leave the field wide open for new competitors to take over. 

To begin with, we need to urgently build a collective awareness about not just the environmental impact of textiles and apparel production, but also its impact on human health – starting with the workers themselves. The government along with industry associations must find ways to encourage the individual units to invest in their worker's safety and well-being.  These interventions can be as simple as undertaking regular preventive maintenance of machinery and facilities to mitigate any safety risks, or investing in the latest technologies and shop floor upgrades with the ultimate goal to provide improved working conditions for the workers. 

Catalyzing a comprehensive quality revolution is another urgent step needed to prepare India’s apparel manufacturing for the future. The majority of our units lack any understanding of international quality standards and are not even prepared or willing to invest in quality. Major buyers from around the world would even tell you that the quality commitment goes much beyond production audits and controls; and that Indian units need to start taking delivery schedules and timeline commitments more seriously to compete better with their counterparts. No less important is the issue of workers' training and skill up-gradation, which also leads to improved work conditions for them. 

Finally, any cogent and cohesive strategy to improve our export competitiveness must maintain its focus on the actual core competencies of India, including cotton textiles, cotton blends, embroidery, use of natural dyes, and special colors, among others. This is why the recently launched PLI scheme is remiss in limiting itself to man-made fibers (MMF) and fabrics. Globally, the share of MMFin exports has overtaken that of natural fibers and the trend is only expected to pick momentum in the coming years, providing a firm justification for India’s investments in promoting MMF exports. Still, cotton, silk, and related fibers will have their place in the sun for the foreseeable future. We must not abandon this ship completely.
 

 

Next Story
Emerging Apparel And Textile Industry Investment Themes To Watch Out For In 2022
Emerging Apparel And Textile Industry Investment Themes To Watch Out For In 2022
 

The apparel and textile industry is one of the most booming industries. With Indian apparel and textile being among the world's largest producers, the country is also the 6th largest exporter of apparel and textile across the globe. The apparel and textile industry contributes 5 percent to the country's GDP from the domestic sector, whereas 7 percent is contributed from the industrial output in value terms and the export earnings of the country acquire a contribution of 12 percent from the apparel and textile industry.

The investments in the textile and apparel industry have seen a surge in the growth pattern in the past five years. So, here are the various emerging investment themes that are to keep a close eye on in 2022:-

Themes in Apparel Industry Hiring

The apparel and textile industry has seen an immense rise in investments in the year 2021 as compared to 2020 when industry hiring is into consideration and this rise is likely to pace in the ongoing year 2022. The themes that have seen a rapid boost and had the highest investments which will follow in this ongoing year 2022 as well under the industry hiring factor are health and safety attaining a substantial investment rise in rank by 25 spots ranking on 19 followed by sensory and indulgence with an increase in investment standing on 5th spot making its place with a 10 spots increment. 

The other themes that climbed the industry hiring investment rank chart were smart and connected going up by 2 spots making its place on rank 2 compared to 2020 whereas social currency gained an increase in investment by having a boost of 1 spot placing it on rank 22. 

Investments in the industry hiring factor considering future of work saw neither a decline nor increase in investments rank compared to the year 2020 which is likely to change in the ongoing year. The themes mentioned are likely and estimated to increase in the year 2022 as the apparel and textile industry proceeds to grow further with these investments made in the past year.

READ MORE: What Is Stopping Apparel Firms From Achieving Transparency
 
Themes in Apparel Industry Deals

Industry deals have seen an increase in investments in a variety of themes in the apparel and textile industry. The theme that got a lot of investments in the year 2021 is the e-commerce sector with a growth of 9 spots making its position on the 3rd rank and this sector is estimated to attract a rise in investments in the ongoing year 2022 as well. 

The next highest investment that got a major place in the industry deals were the Gen Z and the millennials. The apparel and textile industry acquired about an increase in millennials and Gen Z theme by 5 spots attaining a position on rank 7 in the year 2021 compared to 2020. 

The other theme that attained an investment growth ranking on 7th spot by a boost of 5 ranks was the online retail market shared with sensory and indulgence sector also attaining an investment growth rate of 7th position having a change in ranks by 5 spots in the year 2021 compared to 2020. Emerging economies in the year 2021 noticed neither uphill nor downhill in investment rank. This growth in investments in different themes in the industry deals is proof of the future investment deals in the following years.
 
Themes in Apparel Industry Patent Applications

The year 2021 has seen a lot of ups and downs, even after going through a downfall the investments in the industry patent applications in the textile and apparel industry have seen a positive spike in various themes of this industry. Remote patient monitoring topped the investment criteria with an increase in 44 spots making its place on 21st rank compared to 2020.  

Robotics also experienced a 44 spots growth rate boost in investments in the year 2021 creating its position on rank 21 followed by virtual and augmented reality also acquiring a boost of 44 spots placing itself on rank 21. This increase in investments in the apparel and textile industry gives a ray of hope and helps the industry to increase its investment rate in the ongoing year as well. 

Other themes that caught the attention of the investors in the industry patent applications were the 3D printing attaining the 14th rank by having an investment growth rate by 26 spots followed by a 12 spots increment in composite materials placing itself on rank 28. This growth of investments even after a complete downslope in the industry is a positive growth that will capture the attention of many investors in the year 2022.
 
Being one the broadest industry sector, the growth in investments has been a matter of appreciation and has managed to gather the attention of a lot of investors. So, it is important to keep a watch on the above-mentioned investment themes that are vital for future growth, as they all have the potential to grow exponentially.
 

 

Next Story
Also Worth Reading