Cooped up Indians purchased more knitwear during last fiscal which saw garment makers from Tirupur earn Rs 30,000 crore. And for the first time, domestic sales pipped exports which remained unchanged at Rs 25,000 crore in a truncated fiscal which saw lockdowns for nearly 2 months due to the Covid pandemic. Garment production increased 12% by volume.
With nearly six lakh workers, Tirupur exports knitwear to global giants. With Covid induced lockdowns during March 2020 and sputtering restart a couple of months later, export of garments took a beating. “Domestic market turned buoyant as more Indians preferred leisure wear for their WFH, pushing the sales of T Shirts and track bottoms. On the exports front, the demand for ‘knee drop’ T shirts for women sold like hot cakes as more women combined WFH and home wear. “Knee drop was a big hit and sees continued traction among overseas buyers,” said Raja M Shanmugam, president of Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA). For the domestic market, garment makers received a price mark-up. “We don’t know if there was an increase in tag price, but large garment brands increased procurement prices by 10 to 12% while we asked for a 15% increase to compensate for the unprecedented rise in yarn prices,” he said.
Remaining optimistic, TEA has projected for a 20% increase in both exports and domestic sales for the current fiscal. “While second wave of the pandemic is worrying, going by the current orders, we may see a 20% growth this year,” Shanmugam added.