Denim sales drive India's casual wear boom
As the denim market experiences growth year after year, the casualization of both men’s and women’s fashion reflects a growing middle class.
In 2016, the size of the clothing market in India was 290,000 crore rupees (approximately 43,590 million dollars) and it is expected to grow, as a whole, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.7 percent which means it could reach 748,000 crore rupees (approximately 112,434 million dollars) by 2026 according to India Retailing. Men’s casual wear currently has the highest stake in the casual wear market followed by women’s and kids’.
Increased urbanisation and a growing middle class with disposable income to spend have helped to contribute to a swift increase in casual wear’s share of the fashion market. Moreover, many city offices are relaxing their dress codes to allow for more casual wear and premium brands such as Zara, Mango, and Arrow have introduced more casual wear into their stores to follow this trend. Other brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Esprit have experienced continuous growth in their casual wear sections and more and more brands are launching in the sector.
Denim is arguably the driving force behind casual wear’s rapid growth as, in 2016, the denim market’s estimated value was approximately 20,205 crore rupees (around 3,037 million dollars) and it is expected to rise at a CAGR of 16 percent, far higher than the expected growth for casual wear as a whole, and could reach 77,999 crore rupees (around 11,724 million dollars) by 2026 (figures from India Retailing). However, it is predominantly men’s denim that occupies this market share, with women’s denim still in its infancy.
Not only are new technologies being consistently brought into the country, the popularity of denim in rural areas is continuing to rise. The rise of e-commerce in India goes hand in hand with the rise in casual wear and both look like they will only continue to grow in the coming years.
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