Fashion is always evolving. The Indian fashion industry certainly makes this ring true. While the growth may have been subtle, it has been steady and the Indian clothing market has been growing in leaps and bounds.

This is in stark contrast to the worldwide slump reported by stalwarts in the fashion industry across the globe with such brands as Forever 21 (the US retailer that helped popularise fast fashion), Diesel USA, and Gymboree all declaring bankruptcy in 2019.

The McKinsey Global Fashion Index a 2019 Forecast predicted a further slow in the global fashion industry revenue in the year 2020 down to between 3 and 4%. Only the Asian industry, which includes India, was exempted. Rather, the Indian clothing market was expected to grow its net worth to about $53.7 billion to make it the largest globally.

Rapid urbanization, changing lifestyles, social and mass media penetration, increased fashion awareness and growing global demand have all contributed to this positive trend in the Indian clothing market. In addition, favorable trade policies, increased penetration of organized retail activities provide a ready opportunity that more and more investors are tapping into to take advantage of the Indian clothing market.

The Indian Fashion industry certainly looks to be sailing on high tides and the cloth market is perhaps the single largest driver of the industry and nothing looks capable of stemming the tide. Speaking about this trend, Anil Singh Shekhawat, Director of Pretty Woman believes the women’s ethnic wear category will remain the fastest-growing category for at least another five years. This is corroborated by the GlobalNewswire market forecast report for 2020-2025.

Currently, the women’s ethnic wear has an 81% share of the total market in the ethnic wear category which according to a 2018 report by Statista takes up to 24% of the total clothing industry market. It is closely followed by the men’s ethnic wear and the kid’s wear.

Statista projects that the revenue in the fashion segment will reach US$13,160 m in 2020 and at a compound annual growth rate of 14.1 %, result in a projected market volume of US$22,291 by 2024 with the largest segment of this market volume made up by the clothing market

What is Influencing the Growth of the Market?

– Brand Creativity and Innovation

The willingness of brands to explore merging traditional Indian clothing with western trends produced a new line of clothing that hit the world by storm. Compared to the purely traditional Indian clothing that was difficult to carry and could not be donned anyhow, the fusion wear provides an easy to wear option that is suitable for use for festivities and special occasions, as well as everyday wear suitable for use in offices. E-commerce platforms also allowed these designers.

 – Social and Mass media Penetration

In 2018, India saw the largest absolute growth in the number of internet users while social media usage in India continues to grow at an astonishing rate of about 25% also. This increased penetration of social media provides an avenue for consumers to be introduced directly to Indian fashion brands outside of the informal market structure that may be contributing to the declining market in other places.

 – Youth population

India has the largest population of young people globally, and with the increased exposure that’s coming from internet usage and an improved economy, that ensures the average youth has more to spend, the buying power of many young people has been increased making it possible for them to make luxury purchases of clothes and accessories.


With IMF projecting India as the fastest-growing major economy worldwide, the Indian certainly clothing market looks to be on course for continuous and steady growth.

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