Women's traditional wear market reinvigorated, report says

Indian clothes shoppers are spending more money in the traditional and ethnic wear segments which are experiencing renewed vigour, states an ET Bureau report.

Ethnic wear brands like Biba (pictured) are seeing impressive sales growth - Biba- Facebook

Ethnic wear brands Biba, TCNS (W and Aurelia), and Vedant Fashionsn (Manyavar) all saw sales growth of 19 percent during the last fiscal year, according to filings at the Registrar of Companies seen by ET Bureau.

Anita Dongre and Soch posted seven percent sales growth but this was attributed to limited store expansion.  The double digit growth of these brands shows the growth of the ethnic wear sector at large which is “mainstream”, according to the report.

The brands have almost doubled sales totals over the previous three years with TCNS leading growth with a revenue total for the previous financial year at Rs 845 crore ($127 million) up from Rs 702 the year before. The fact that many apparel companies saw revenues fall in the previous fiscal year due to the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) gives this increase yet more significance.

With a younger market interested in ethnic wear, brands are increasing the fusion wear section of their products. Younger customers like to pair ethnic wear with tester wear and fusion wear bridges the gap between the two styles of dressing. The ethnic wear section of India’s womenswear market is 71 percent, impressive as it is still largely unorganised and up against international fast fashion brands like H&M and Zara.

ET Bureau further attributes the rise of ethnic wear to the fact that women are wearing it in the office. “Ethnic wear is still considered formal wear for women,” Rajiv Suri, managing director at Shoppers Stop, told ET Bureau.

The rise of traditional wear is further encouraged by the current government policy. Many handloom textiles often used for ethnic wear have been made GST exempt and the government is also working to increase exports as part of its “Make in India” campaign.

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