Chennai: Cautious Indians purchased more knitwear during the last fiscal year, resulting in Tirupur garment manufacturers earning Rs 30,000 crores. And for the first time, domestic sales exceeded exports, which remained unchanged at Rs 25,000 crores in a truncated financial statement that was locked for almost 2 months due to the Covid pandemic. Clothing production increased by 12% in physical terms.
Tirupur, which employs nearly 6,000 people, exports knitwear to global giants. With Covid triggering a lockdown in March 2020 and restarting spraying a couple of months later, apparel exports were hit hard. “The home market has become bustling as more Indians have opted for leisure wear for their WFHs, which has spurred sales of T-shirts and sweatpants. On the export side, demand for women’s drop-knee tees sold like hotcakes as more women combined WFH and indoor wear. “The knee drop was a big hit and continues to attract the attention of overseas buyers,” said Raja M. Shanmugam, president of the Tirupura Exporters Association (TEA). For the domestic market, clothing manufacturers received a mark-up. “We don’t know if there was a price hike for tags, but big apparel brands increased purchase prices by 10-12%, while we asked for a 15% increase to offset the unprecedented rise in yarn prices,” he said.
Remaining optimistic, TEA predicts a 20% increase in both exports and domestic sales for the current fiscal year. “While the second wave of the pandemic is troubling given the current orders, this year we may see an increase of 20%,” added Shanmugam.