In­dian re­tail brands mark strong in­ter­est in den­imwear

Apparel Online - - Fair Review -

The sec­ond edi­tion of the In­dia Chap­ter of the Den­ims & Jeans show only re­it­er­ated the grow­ing im­por­tance of the In­dian re­tail mar­ket and the in­creas­ing fo­cus of com­pa­nies to es­tab­lish links with lead­ing do­mes­tic brands. This how­ever does not un­der­mine the im­por­tance of in­ter­na­tional brands that have built a strong base in In­dia, both for their global op­er­a­tions and In­dian stores. No won­der, the event saw par­tic­i­pa­tion from 18 coun­tries like Italy, Turkey, Korea, Sin­ga­pore, Bangladesh, China and Switzer­land, be­sides In­dia. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of these global par­tic­i­pants from com­pa­nies like Jeanolo­gia, Archroma, Hyosung, Blue­sign, and Tonello are quite up­beat about the In­dian denim in­dus­try and are ex­pect­ing good busi­ness from the coun­try in the com­ing days.

Apart from lat­est denim fab­rics, yarn, dyes, chem­i­cals, wash­ing tech­nol­ogy, soft­ware and trims man­u­fac­tur­ers also par­tic­i­pated in the event. Lead­ing In­dian denim mills like Arvind, Ray­mond, Oswal Denim, LNJ, Mafat­lal, KG Denim, Nan­dan Denim, and com­pa­nies like Reliance In­dus­tries, dis­played their lat­est of­fer­ings at the show which saw vis­i­ta­tion from top re­tail­ers like M&S, VF Sourc­ing In­dia, Levi’s, Land­mark Group, Monte Carlo, Be­ing Hu­man, PVH, Arvind Brands, In­mark Re­tail and few other brands, be­sides ex­port houses like Gokaldas Images, Shahi, Tex­port and many more.

As a denim fair, the ma­jor con­cen­tra­tion of all par­tic­i­pants was on in­no­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity – the two growth driv­ers for the seg­ment today. Whether the ex­hibitor was a fab­ric man­u­fac­turer, a chem­i­cal provider or an ac­ces­sory com­pany, the fo­cus for all was com­mon – to of­fer some­thing unique. How­ever, this is eas­ier said than achieved and dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion was of­ten seen in the ‘ser­vice’ rather than the ac­tual prod­uct. “While we con­tinue to in­no­vate, the re­spon­sive­ness of our ser­vice from de­liv­er­ing on time to cus­tomi­sa­tion is also a key com­po­nent of our growth,” said Ram Srini­vasan, Head Ap­parel Fab­ric Sales, KG Denim Ltd. The com­pany in­tro­duced the ‘re-fi­brea’ con­cept for the first time within their sus­tain­able con­cept, which ba­si­cally means the use of re­cy­cled fi­bres. The spe­cial­ity at LNJ Denim was the fab­ric made from post-con­sumer re­cy­cled denim which has the

GRS (Global Re­cy­cle Stan­dard) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The com­pany is the largest sup­plier of this con­cept to H&M, with own fac­tory to re­cy­cle old and used jeans. “Though the pro­duc­tion of cot­ton is not in­creas­ing, the de­mand for gar­ments is on the rise, so sus­tain­able op­tions of pro­duc­ing the same from al­ready ex­ist­ing re­sources is a need. We have spe­cialised in fab­rics from re­cy­cled clothes and this has be­come one of our USPs,” said Pra­bir Bandy­opad­hyay, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, LNJ Denim & Fab­ric Busi­ness.

Ac­cord­ing to many of the ex­hibitors, knit­ted denim is re­ally big this sea­son and some In­dian com­pa­nies shared that since all ma­jor play­ers have en­tered the seg­ment, there is a huge over­sup­ply of the prod­uct, which is lead­ing to a price war. Reliance In­dus­try, with its R-Elan per­for­mance fi­bres, has gained pop­u­lar­ity with many denim sup­pli­ers; and many of the ex­hibitors were dis­play­ing prod­ucts from the range. RIL has en­tered into a part­ner­ship with VF Cor­po­ra­tion of US, owner of the

Wran­gler brand and the largest denim player glob­ally for R-Elan. Re­cently the brand launched the In­fi­cool denim range, made from R-Elan Kool­tex fab­ric, for Spring/Sum­mer 2018. Though all the In­dian denim man­u­fac­tur­ers at the event had new­ness in their fab­ric, whether at­tained by us­ing spe­cial­ity yarns or wash­ing tech­niques, yet denim in­dus­try veteran and Chair­man of Di­ag­o­nal Con­sult­ing, PR Roy, who in­au­gu­rated the show felt that In­dian denim com­pa­nies need to fo­cus more on prod­uct development, as the mar­ket was get­ting very com­pet­i­tive and only those com­pa­nies would be able to sus­tain in the long run that had some­thing new to show. “In­di­ans should start fo­cus­ing on PD from ed­u­ca­tional level, then only we can take In­dia to a lead­er­ship level,” he opined.

Among the In­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, the tie-up be­tween Vi­cunha Tex­til from Nether­lands and Den­i­mach, Bangladesh at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion. Us­ing the highly sus­tain­able fab­rics from Vi­cunha, Den­i­march pre­sented denim gar­ments that were trendy and in-line with global fash­ion. “Our Eco Denim range con­tains re­cy­cled cot­ton and uses water sav­ing tech­nol­ogy that speaks of our com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­ity. Today many brands are look­ing for such con­cepts and I am happy to note that even in In­dia, lo­cal brands have shown great in­ter­est in this range,” said Ad­bel Amouche, Coun­try Man­ager, Vi­cunha.

Archroma with its lat­est chem­i­cal so­lu­tions was an­other crowd-puller, more so as the com­pany is recog­nised for its sus­tain­able ef­forts and is a leader in sup­port­ing the in­dus­try, not only with lat­est for­mu­la­tions but also with tech­ni­cal knowhow. The Earth Colour range of tex­tile dyes – Dire­sul, made from agri­cul­tural waste was of in­ter­est to many of the vis­i­tors, as was the Archroma ad­vanced Denim range that claims to give bet­ter results with min­i­mum re­sources. “We want to be much more than just chem­i­cal so­lu­tion providers. We are look­ing to tie-up with pro­gres­sive com­pa­nies to cre­ate new trends and con­cepts that are more en­vi­ron­ment-friendly and aes­thet­i­cally ap­peal­ing,” said An­jani Prasad, MD, Archroma In­dia. Pro­vid­ing ex­tra stretch span­dex for denim, Korea based Hyosung

TNC Co. Ltd., the man­u­fac­tur­ers of Cre­ora, were very happy with the re­sponse at the fair. The com­pany with its part­ners is very de­ter­mined to dis­perse the no­tion that span­dex is only about ly­cra. “We have been fo­cus­ing more on qual­ity and tech­nol­ogy till now, but now that we have a prod­uct range that is truly global, we will be con­cen­trat­ing on brand build­ing to cre­ate aware­ness of our prod­uct,” said Sang­baek Lee, Span­dex Marketing Per­for­mance Unit, Hyosung. The range of span­dex in­cludes var­i­ous de­niers, as also chem­i­cal, chlo­rine and heat re­sis­tant op­tions which are suit­able for the denim in­dus­try as the fab­ric passes through many wash­ing tech­niques and still re­tains its core prop­erty. The In­dian team is very up­beat as many com­pa­nies have shown in­ter­est in their prod­ucts.

The Coats booth wit­nessed good vis­i­ta­tion for both its threads and zip­pers (Opti) un­der the sus­tain­abil­ity theme. With its wide range of of­fer­ings for the denim in­dus­try, the match was per­fect and the team led by Ra­jesh Lakhan­pal, Com­mer­cial Di­rec­tor, Coats In­dia, who has re­cently joined the team, were kept busy with en­quiries through­out the two-day event. “This is my first in­dus­try event ex­po­sure in In­dia and it is heart­en­ing to see that value prod­ucts are gain­ing mo­men­tum with the in­dus­try here,” noted Ra­jesh.

At Jeanolo­gia, Spain, the fo­cus again was on sus­tain­able so­lu­tions for gar­ment fin­ish­ing – laser, ozone and e-flow. The con­cept was to go dig­i­tal and be en­vi­ron­ment-friendly. The de­sign soft­ware at MYR, Italy, which is a young start-up com­pany, was on sav­ing money, time and re­sources on the de­sign process from con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion to ap­proval, in­clud­ing pat­terns for pro­duc­tion.

Vis­i­tors in­di­cate grow­ing den­imwear mar­ket…

Qual­ity vis­i­ta­tion of top In­dian, as well as in­ter­na­tional brands to the show, was one as­pect that re­flected the in­creas­ing in­ter­est in the denim seg­ment. Ir­re­spec­tive of the scale of op­er­a­tion and mar­ket fo­cus, ‘prod­uct development’ and ‘sus­tain­abil­ity’ were the two main fo­cus ar­eas of most of the re­tail­ers or brands in the show.

Teams or rep­re­sen­ta­tives from these com­pa­nies were very much par­tic­u­lar about these two con­cepts. The team from Be­ing Hu­man who vis­ited the event, in­cluded Purvi Joshi,

VP, In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Sourc­ing and Sau­rabh Singh, Head of De­sign – Menswear. “Get­ting good and sta­ble ven­dors who can do the ex­act prod­ucts which we are ex­pect­ing in terms of qual­ity, de­liv­ery, price, al­to­gether is a chal­lenge,” said Purvi, and added, “Visit­ing such fairs to ob­serve col­lec­tions and also hav­ing the ad­van­tage of im­me­di­ate dis­cus­sion with other team mem­bers gives much more clar­ity.”

Sau­rabh shared that while do­ing any­thing re­lated to prod­uct development, they are equally eye­ing how it is go­ing to im­pact the en­vi­ron­ment from a sus­tain­able per­spec­tive. “Some of the in­ter­na­tional brands are do­ing good work in this area which is a mo­ti­va­tion to all, for the same,” he added. Roma Singh, Mer­chan­diser, and Nee­l­ima Ti­wari, Mer­chan­dis­ing Su­per­vi­sor, VF Sourc­ing In­dia also shared that they came to the event to find some sus­tain­able fab­rics, or any­thing which can add sus­tain­able in­puts to the fi­nal gar­ment. “We fo­cus a lot on CSR, and our busi­ness is also driven through sus­tain­abil­ity, so our pri­or­ity is fo­cused on such is­sues when mak­ing buy­ing/sourc­ing de­ci­sions,” said the duo. The com­pany is do­ing a lot of work to ed­u­cate its ven­dors re­gard­ing sus­tain­abil­ity.

Apart from re­cy­cled and or­ganic fab­ric, the com­pany is look­ing for sim­i­lar kinds of trims also.

Some of the brands are now fo­cus­ing a lot on mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion be­tween var­i­ous stake­hold­ers of denim in­dus­try to bring out the best prod­uct which is equally sus­tain­able too. Vipin Asokan, Tech­ni­cal Man­ager – QA, Team Splash (Land­mark Group), Dubai in­formed that be­ing a fash­ion brand and self-sourc­ing com­pany, which is look­ing at com­pet­ing in the Mid­dle East mar­ket, Splash is work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with value chain part­ners from de­sign con­cept to the gar­ment stage. “We de­sign and then share all as­pects with the fab­ric and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, as also other stake­hold­ers. So all of them work with proper co­or­di­na­tion and re­sult comes out to be the best,” says Vipin. The group is work­ing with nearly 70 ven­dors in In­dia.

Lud­hi­ana-based Monte Carlo Fash­ions Ltd. is hav­ing its de­sign and mer­chan­dis­ing of­fice in Ban­ga­lore with more than 24 pro­fes­sion­als. “Com­pa­nies from France and

Ger­many im­pressed me more here. Not only fab­ric, even trims and wash­ing ef­fects with fu­tur­is­tic ap­proach served my visit to the fair as a com­plete pack­age,” said Varun Ku­mar M, De­sign Head – Shirt Cat­e­gory of the brand. Shirts con­trib­ute nearly 12 per cent of the brand’s over­all busi­ness which is mostly out­sourced from good fac­to­ries. Though, to­tally dedicated to the do­mes­tic and com­par­a­tively low-cost seg­ment mar­ket, jeans man­u­fac­tur­ers from cities like Lud­hi­ana are equally ag­gres­sive on sus­tain­able and qual­ity prod­ucts. Ashok Ku­mar Jain, Part­ner, Miniking Knitwears, Lud­hi­ana who found some in­ter­est­ing fab­ric at the fair, em­pha­sised that it does not mat­ter who the cus­tomer is and what the price range is. “We are us­ing the best in­fra­struc­ture at ev­ery stage and in­putting best avail­able fab­ric so that we can give the best prod­ucts to our cus­tomer,” he averred.

The or­gan­is­ers of the event were over­whelmed at the pos­i­tiv­ity. “This show is our best show ever. It also re­flects how much hunger there is for unique­ness in the do­mes­tic mar­ket. The mar­ket has got so much of depth and breadth now; be­sides the num­ber of play­ers is also in­creas­ing and busi­ness is be­com­ing big­ger and big­ger. My cri­te­ria of suc­cess of the show de­pends on whether the show can help the in­dus­try to be more in­no­va­tive, can force them to­wards more PD and to im­prove their mar­ket… So based on all these pa­ram­e­ters, the show was quite suc­cess­ful,” con­cluded San­deep Agar­wal, Founder, Den­im­sand­

Pra­bir Bandy­opad­hyay (L), Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, LNJ Denim & Fab­ric Busi­ness; and Jayadev M. Shetty, Gen­eral Man­ager Marketing stand­ing in sup­port of ‘re-cy­cling’

Ram Srini­vasan (R), Head Ap­parel Fab­ric Sales, KG Denim Ltd. with his col­league Raviku­mar, Man­ager Ex­ports

(L to R) Anudeep Na­galia, Vice Pres­i­dent Marketing, In­dus­trial & Ex­ports; Ra­jesh Lakhan­pal, Com­mer­cial Di­rec­tor; Ashish Bansal, Marketing Man­ager; and Bala­sub­ra­ma­nian Ran­ganathan, In­dus­trial Prod­uct Man­ager rep­re­sent­ing Coats In­dia

Team Hyosung: (stand­ing L to R) – Nick; S B Lee; and Ku­nal; (sit­ting L to R): Vivek Ku­mar; M W Lee; Gau­rav Pra­jap­ati; and Di­nesh Keswani

Ad­bel Amouche (sec­ond from right), Coun­try Man­ager, Vi­cunha in dis­cus­sion with cus­tomers

An­jani Prasad, MD, Archroma In­dia

Seven pro­fes­sion­als from In­mark Re­tail vis­ited the show. Ran­ganath Kup­pur (third from left), Busi­ness Head, Wom­enswear, Kidswear and Lin­gerie shared that the fair was re­ally fruit­ful

Team Be­ing Hu­man: Sau­rabh Singh (sec­ond from left), Head of De­sign – Menswear and Purvi Joshi (third from left), VP, In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Sourc­ing.

Reliance In­dus­try, with its R-Elan per­for­mance fi­bres, has gained pop­u­lar­ity with many denim sup­pli­ers. Many of the ex­hibitors were dis­play­ing prod­ucts from the range

Yogi Sachdev (sec­ond from right), Di­rec­tor, SF Dyes with his team at their booth

Team Splash (Land­mark Group): Vipin Asokan (ex­treme left), Tech­ni­cal Man­ager – QA with his col­leagues

The Team from Monte Carlo: (L-R) San­tosh, Man­ager PD & QA, and Varun Ku­mar M, De­sign Head – Shirt Cat­e­gory

Ashok Ku­mar Jain (R), Part­ner, Miniking Knitwears, Lud­hi­ana with Ay­din Kum­baraci, VP, VAV Tech­nol­ogy, Turkey

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