The Indian fashion trajectory is a wide, rich structure of folklore, mixed with modern sensibilities, navigating through various phases while maintaining its integrity through every touch points of its evolution.
Starting from the mellifluous Darzi era, petering through pride in retail stitched garments, being surrounded by the flux of e-commerce and creeping into age of customization; fabric has been there and seen it all, says Anupam Arya, director, Fabriclore.
Hence, according to Arya, what we see today is a beautiful amalgamation of "something old, something new", creating an immersive experience for all to follow in awe.
# A snapshot
The Indian Textile Industry is said to be vividly varied, with the hand-spun and hand-woven textile sector at one end of the spectrum, while the capital intensive sophisticated mills at the other end of the spectrum. As widely known, the decentralized power looms/ hosiery and knitting sector forms the largest component of the textile industry. The close ties interwoven between the textile industry and agriculture for raw materials such as cotton, has led to interdependency in both the sectors. The ancient culture and traditions utilized in terms of textiles make the Indian fabrics unique in comparison to other countries, adding to the rise in demand from nations like United States of America, England, Russia and others. This need to create a global platform has facilitated the rise of online platforms selling internationally.
# Role of Ministry of Textiles
Ministry of textiles is actively working towards supporting the artisans in every possible way- be it through Pehchann (providing government mandated identity cards) or Adarsh gram. Also initiatives by the government to promote Indian handlooms are on full swing, through events such as Textile India 2017 "Symphony of weaves". To establish an online proliferation, the campaign #cottoniscool by Smriti Irani has gathered great traction, garnering a viral status in the process. The Government is utilizing the digital medium for spreading awareness about the Indian handloom and as a result, entrepreneurs are dawning up to the incorporation of textile for modern trade.
# Technological Advancement
With the recent advancement of digital mediums, technology is playing a greater role in how humans go about their daily- including that of business operations. Technology is effectively bridging the gap between the two ends of the supply chain i.e. Artisans and the Customer through building a platform for curating and showcasing the rich diaspora of Indian fabrics. Young generation of the artisans is resorting to the use of digital interferences and mediums of selling, bringing a sense of tech-suaveness to the age-old practices, while actively taking part and benefitting from the government schemes.
# E-Commerce Boom for Designers and Manufacturers
The above technological advancement has paved the way for fabrics to witness firsthand, benefits of an e-commerce boom. With the rate at which businesses are opting for an online vertical, it is time for the fabric industry to sweep in and take up the cause. It is an open fact that new-age audience is technologically sound and can be better tapped through online platforms. This, especially for the designers has become a profitable medium as now; even Social Media has been transformed into a veritable source of business. This e-commerce explosion also has made curation of fabrics a pleasurable task as designers stand exposed to a plethora of fabrics, at the click of a button.
#Customization and Change in Taste
The buying habits of people have molded itself around the current advancements, with consumers becoming selective when it comes to apparel. The talk of the day revolves around customizing- with fusion and boho outfits ruling the roost. Having fabrics being available from across the country at one-single platform, promotes the scope of improvisations to another level, as awareness about crafts and handlooms increases as we speak. Also availability is a huge factor- the incredibly busy schedules are resulting to a greater reliance on online platforms, right from their daily needs like groceries to specific needs like customized garment stitching.
Although there may be a long way to go before complete digitalization of fabric industry takes place to the fullest effect, yet the above positive points are playing their role to nudge the industry to a positive growth.