India has a very rich history of crafts and textiles. Every region of the country has its own special craft and traditional craftsmen who are creating some of the most astonishing pieces, reflecting the culture of the country. Moreover, more local homegrown brands have sprouted in different parts of the country. These brands are conscious, eclectic, supremely fashionable, and are getting global attention too.
When globalization began, foreign brands came into the country and Indians embraced them with open arms. Large fashion houses found a new flourishing trade in our country, where everything that was coming from the West held a special value in the eyes of the customers. Gen-Z and millennials were obsessed with high-street fashion brands like Zara, H&M, Mango, Promod, etc. These brands were trendy, launched new styles every week, were pocket-friendly, and made India a part of the larger global fashion movement.
But come the pandemic, customers across the country understood the true value and ramifications of these high-street, low-cost, uber fashionable brands. They were deemed insignificant and not aligning with the needs of the new age-conscious customers.
When our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi rallied a cry to support small, local, ‘Make In India’ businesses - the youth joined hands with him. With the social media revolution in the last ten years, small-scale businesses have taken the spotlight away from fast fashion organizations and have brought them right to homegrown, ‘Make In India’ brands.
Homegrown brands today need all the opportunities they can get to survive and flourish, some of the big advantages to support homegrown brands are -
● These brands make clothes in smaller batches, hence ensuring better quality, higher customization. This tends to be more ethical than the hoards of products created by global giants.
● Homegrown brands are supporting local artisans who were forgotten. Their efforts are reviving traditional craft techniques that were supported through patronage in the old time.
● Local businesses generate employment opportunities within the community or region. They are more conscious about their effects on the environment and the larger community. They empower and uplift local communities while creating fashion.
● Since these businesses work at a smaller scale, they have a direct connection with their customers and can address their issues more effectively.
‘Make in India’ or homegrown fashion brands are bringing about a fashion revolution for the new-age-conscious fashion enthusiasts. These brands understand the needs of the customers, understand the cultural nuances of fashion, the inhibitions of the customers hence proving more successful than their global counterparts. Also with social media playing an important role in commerce in today’s time, shopping from homegrown brands inculcates a sense of community which is largely lacking in global companies because of their foreign origins.
Indian customers are now more cognisant about the origins of their clothing, they are more aware, they do their research. We are living in an age where information is power. Customers want to know how their clothes are made, who is making them, the kind of impact their purchase is making. Moreover, they are taking pride in adorning ‘Make In India’ brands.
Some of the most popular homegrown fashion and apparel brands that have carved out a niche for themselves are Bunaai, Hidesign, The Cai Store, Needledust, Jodi, The Indian Cause to name a few.
If you look for an instance of this ‘woke’ fashion revolution in popular culture - on Instagram, one of the most popular trends in India was ‘Which are the brands you can buy from other than Zara’, a rallying cry to skip global brands and give opportunities to more homegrown fashion labels and be Vocal for Local!