T Time, Any Time

The “casual” T-Shirt isn’t taken by any brand or retailer at all — it remains a major part of sales volumes, if not the core of the product portfolio. Subir Ghosh is exploring trends. 
Many people think, not incorrectly, that the best and safe bet to start a clothing company is to use t-shirts. This category of products has hardly seen any noticeable sales decline – since the 1950s, when Marlon Brando and James Dean popularized them, hip and chic.

There are far too many points to look at, and many of them are still true — some of them more true than before. T-shirts remain essential, timeless, and fashionable. They remain a medium of expression just as Disney-like t-shirts were when over 50 years ago, the markets of America stormed. T-shirts are used to make political statements and avert social commitments more than ever before to hammer a usual cliché. Do it with a t-shirt if you have to tell it.

As societies around the world more and more formally throw away the casual, the t-shirt pierce is a choice. It remains user-friendly, far cheaper than other categories of clothing, and just as easy to discard. As companies relax hydrant clothing standards in offices and sports activities see a steady boom, t-strokes become a prerequisite for most brands. You can buy organic products, round necks, or make of spandex. There is a lot of diversity around them. You also have to choose from countless price points. Better yet, for yourself, you can customize one.

Cotton Remains Mainstay

In practice, the story starts with the fabric, and the indicators of the fabric are clear — cotton continues to be the preferred fabric, whether in its pure organic form or as combinations. According to Sanjay Arora, director of the industry advisory firm Wazir Advisors, the majority share in the domestic t-shirt market remains cotton and cotton mixtures, a gross share of 94%. “The domestic t-shirt supply chain (like other commodities) is dominated by cotton. However, t-shirts based on man-made fiber (MMF) have grown rapidly (with spandex). In the west wear and athletic segment, the drivers are highly increased, “he says.

Arora’s observations find both brands ‘and sellers’ empirical resonance. “Cotton is still the most common fabric used by textile manufacturers in India,” says Rishabh Oswal, Managing Director of Monte Carlo. Because of their costs and convenience, cotton blends have become even more popular – they do not tap or fold as easily as pure cotton. The polyester-cotton mixtures have seen an increase in popularity, with India’s middle class growing by 19.4% annually in the t-shirt sector itself.

Founder and managing director Kamal Khushlani agrees that cotton remains the preferred fabric in T-shirts. Because of its comfort, stretch, and feel, new products such as blends in linen, lycra, polyester, and rays continue to be the most sustainable fiber on Earth. “This phenomenon of casual, relaxing, yet chic, wear has been added to athleticism — global trend,” he said.

One reason cotton has been lost to other fibers for some time is that a 100% cotton t-shirt is very likely to fade away. As Kamakshi Kaul, Max Fashion’s design vice president, put it, “most consumers are going to cotton mixtures. Biotopes also have a major influence on the market since people concentrate more on sustainable living.

Poly-cotton / rayon (cotton blends) with a ratio of 30:70 can be the best material to create a t-Shirt, as the hand is softer and the color doesn’t fade. It is a very subjective thing, and all the brands offer teas in cotton and in cotton. There is no better fabric as such. Each person has their own fabric favorites, which depends on how they fit their body and skin sensitivity.

Kaul has a personal preference point. But also, as Khushlani maintains, it is about the athletics trend, which is growing in blends and other products. At Huetrap, cotton is its customers’ most favorite fabric. “Cotton is more popular in India in general than synthetics (T-shirt market),” says Chief Executive Cibi Karthic. The expanding demand for synthetics and mixtures can mainly be attributed to the enormous increase in demand. Synthetics and mixtures improve both performance and durability consistently. You are also getting very comfortable. The dry-fit fabrics that were available a decade ago were not as comfortable as today.

But when the utility factor should be retained for a moment, there is a total difference between the brands and manufacturers promoting cotton — organic cotton, precisely. For one, no nasties commit themselves to cotton, which is 100 % organic and Fairtrade. “We are right to help reduce the suicides in cotton-growing communities in Indian countries, by sensitizing them to the problems facing them and by providing a solution via our organic Fairtrade cotton clothes,” states Founder Apurva Kothari. Blending soft and cold cotton with any petroleum fiber is meaningless because it does not match our mission and is nevertheless not planet-friendly.In India, cotton is most useful with our large cotton farmers and our warm climate.

Not for no reason does cotton continue to rule despite competition from others for its utility or color fiber. The backdrop is kept in mind by Amit Kandhari, Chief Executive of Soul Space: “In the past, clothing was made of many materials and has been. The cloth is either woven or knitted and can be made from a wide range of naturally occurring cellulose or synthetic fibers. But they are all covered with cotton, especially if we consider t-shirts. Although many t-shirts are used, cotton is the most popular tissue. It’s soft, robust, and respiratory.

“It’s also ideal and casual for daily wear. We promote organic cotton, which is produced using non-environmental methods. Organic cotton production, for example, maintains soil fertility and reduces fertilizers and pesticide requirements. Even though the fashion industry, consumer trends, etc., have been affected by globalization and industrialization, I strongly believe that cotton is here to stay; it was and always will. Cotton is the best fiber at Soul Space, but sometimes we use lycra to make your garment more functional. Because sustainability is central to Soul Space, the entire cotton we use is certified biologically and fairly.

The argument echoes Harsh Shah, co-founder of the Fynd shopping portal: “Cotton shirts breathe better than robes made from synthetic products, and are less susceptible to odor retention and form loss. For most t-shirts on the website, Cotton is the main material. It’s India’s most favorite material, mainly because of the climate. We do not see a drift of preference for any other selling category on our website.

Materials but cotton. “This reflects in sales with cotton topping preferences.

Bustling Activity

The growth of activewear as a visible category of lifestyle has significantly boosted the T-shirt product sector, especially in this decade. If, however, you split your hair, many people would be very different if T-styles were part of a particular product segment or part of the overall activewear lifestyle category.

Fitness, emphasizes Kandhari, leads the clothing industry in fashion and activewear. “The increased popularity of sportswear, starting with a greater awareness of health, is driven by various social and demographic factors. Even in everyday situations, sport-influenced clothing is ever more versatile and worn. In addition, athletic brands are much best positioned as traditional retailers. Sportswear is a high-performance product that requires extensive research and development, which makes it difficult for knock-offs to acquire traction.'” In under-penetrated emerging markets, where economic growth has a strong correlation with consumer spending on clothing, chances are most brilliant,” says Kandhari.

Arora argues that the overall market situation in the sportswear/activewear segment is particular because the fast growth in this section has driven the overall increase in MMF spandex-based shirt consumption. “In India has a faint supply chain with very few high-quality spandex t-shirt manufacturers on its manufacturing front,” he continues. Imports fulfill most of the high-end demand. These t-shirts are the top-selling items on the front of the brand. Many brands have developed their own product name with particular qualities to create a competitive edge. “According to Arora, the historical growth rate for activewear is 12 percent (with an annual growth rate compounded over ten years or CAGR). For t-shirts, the corresponding figure is 8%.

ShopClues thus distinguishes and classifies casual and active wearing t-shirts independently of this noticeable distinction. “The two areas of positioning, promotion, and sales are mutually exclusive,” says Elaborates Taneja. “Zero intersection” can be said. Each time we intend to promote smart mode, casual t-shirts will be promoted on all the best paths, and any promotional campaign with a fitness theme will be promoted (sports/yoga/workouts, etc.). Both here at ShopClues have separate stores.

New trends are calling for recalibration, even if actively wearing is no longer so new. That is what Mufti did when he launched a knit t-shirt with stretch and breathability inherently. “Mufti’s range has a combination of regular daywear for the intelligent casuals and has taken into account the current trends as well as future trends.

On the other hand, No Nasties began as an eight-year-old T-shirt brand and has become a fashion brand offering t-shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses (all of them from 100 % cotton). “The awareness for the ethical and sustainable model is increased more by middle and older segments (30–50 years) than the younger college crowds, as the active wearing segment is growing,” Kothari adds. This older segment does not just want t-shirts; we have thus expanded our range of products. T-shirts continue to be an important part of our business, but they are mostly sold as a B2B product for business and tourists in our portfolio”.

This portfolio component needs to be taken seriously by Brands. “The demand has grown for activewear, and everybody falls to the number of celebrities who sport these clothing,” says Rajat Khurana, managing director of ASICS India. Moreover, it has also made the clothing line popular due to the increased number of marathon events. Currently, clothing and accessories account for around 15-20% of India’s ASICS turnover, which should reach 20-25% over a period.

Athletics growth is also increasing, stresses Oswal, as advanced production technologies and innovations have been adopted, thereby helping lower prices of the otherwise costly products. “T-shirts designed specifically for gymnastics and workouts, but with sufficient style and comfort to bear on the streets, have seen growing popularity with fitness regimes. Rock-It has received an exciting reply from a subbrand for our premium sports and fitness range, in particular via e-commerce platforms.

Naturally, this will continue to grow. Kandhari continues: “There is a significant room for growth in general, although there are social and cultural differences between individual countries. The most rapid growth is expected from Asia-Pacific, according to analytics. We are also expected to receive $184.6 billion of the international sports equipment market by 2020 and are part of this global trend. This contributed to strengthening the company’s market position in various areas. We make t-shirts, but a lot also focus on other stylings, such as leggings, tanks, bras, sports, etc. “Space Soul specializes in yoga and leisurewear.

“The constant innovation in performance manufacturing means that we will experience greater variety and growth in the activewear market. From both production and retail standpoints, this is very exciting. We will soon be introducing a series of products on this market for our customers, “Karthic reveals.

The expansion of this idea is another picture. The wardrobes of consumers — both in India and worldwide — are shifting from official to more fashionable, casual clothing. “T-shirts are not only an essential fashion — they are an expression medium and an old insignia for the young and young in heart. What evolved from underwear is now an omnipresent piece of clothing all over the world. It’s comfortable, easy to wear, stylish, finds a room on most occasions, and therefore everybody has it, “Kaul says.

The Biggest Block

Not surprisingly, T-shirt sales for most brands and retailers, therefore, represent a substantial chain.

According to Khushlani, Mufti’s t-shirt collection saw steady growth in sales during the last decade. “Selling t-shirts is adjacent to selling denim. The new global casualwear trend will open up new selling paths in this category, even in the working environment.

The total product distribution at Fynd comprises around 35–40 percent of T-shirts. “It is our websites’ biggest selling category. This has grown over the years because our customers always need to purchase t-shirts “says Shah.,” says Shah. T-shirts make up 40% of the orders for men at ShopClues. According to Taneja, ethnic clothing (saris and suits) is the leader of a diagram, and tops/tees account for just 10% of the orders. No Nasties only offer T-shirts 15–20% of the B2C product portfolio, but they make up 90% of the B2B product portfolio.

“Only 10% of our portfolio is t-shirts on Soul Space, as the brand focuses on yoga wear, so we create a great many bottoms and sports arms. India manufactures 11% of its global production of t-shirts. In the last decade, our country experienced the most significant increase in the production of T-shirts. And in our T-Shirt exports, we saw an average growth rate of 3.7%. Consumption of t-shirts continues to grow as world economies change, urbanization continues, population growth, and revenue levels increase. The world market for t-shirts has grown and is $180 billion.

The proportion of Huetrap’s t-shirts is up to 70%. “But this number fell for us despite the increase in sales. This is because other segments like knitted shirts, loungewear, shirts, hoods, leggings are showing very positive growth, “Karthic said. In the financial year 2017–18, Cotton’s products made up 61% of the output of Monte Carlo, most of which was through t-shirt sales. Since the last fiscal year, the proportion has grown, Oswal says.

For ASICS, the brand thinks it will grow even if the proportion is small at present. According to Khurana, “The total price of t-shirts is about 3 percent compared to the total products we have in the range. Demand grew year by year, and the increase in the number of shops increased the percentage purchased annually by roughly 10%.

The t-shirt market in India, Kaul believes, still has great opportunities for players from industry, as smaller towns and rural areas, medium-aged customers, and women are increasingly penetrating the category. “The pricing points mainly begin at €249 and rise to €1,299 for the organized segment. Depending on the style, material, and brand positioning, the price points continue to increase. Slogan tees captured an enormous portion of the market last year itself. A trend that has created waves in the fashion world and is in demand is that t-shirts are used to describe social issues or make statements about equality.

The worldwide t-shirt industry has developed and has driven trends in fashion, like simple t-shirts, custom-made t-shirts, graphic t-shirts, vintage shirt designs, and custom-built long sleeve shirts. “The speed with which e-tailing penetrated the fashion industry, in general, had a positive impact. The category of t-shirts has been more acceptable for e-tailing and has particularly been designed and custom printed. Another important trend shaping the market demand is the dominant trend of Friday dressing. The demand for casual clothing is stimulating, especially t-shirts. T-shirts are aimed especially at young people. One of the principal reasons young people are so popular is that T-shirts match the creativity concealed within each adolescent. Teenagers can choose each element, including color, design, clothing, logo, and so on, of the t-shirt, making it possible for them to take over when they design a t-shirt that matches their personality and style, and attitude.

Brands themselves also have an opportunity to grow. Arora says, “India’s home clothing market remains largely unorganized. The unorganized industry ($1.1 billion) accounts for an estimated 60–70% of overall t-shirt sales. But there is a gradual increase in the share of the organized market. “One indicator of this is that many large and small international and domestic brands have entered the Indian retail sector over the last decade. The branded sub-segment t-shirts will, therefore, continue to grow.

Also, on the global market, Arora looks. “In the last decade, the worldwide trade in cotton-based t-shirts has declined marginally. With the European Union ( EU), the US, and Japan as the top importers, the cotton t-shirt market remained. China remains the unchallenged leader on the supply front. Vietnam and Bangladesh, however, have become big suppliers, while India has remained one of the top five cotton T-shirt suppliers over the past 10 years.

Between 2007 and 2017, the international trade in MMF-based t-shirts grew at a CAGR of 1.8%. The emergence of new markets like the United Arab Emirates ( UAE) continues to be the main importers on conventional markets like the EU and the US.

Asia-Southeast Asia, such as China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh, are dominant in the supply fronts. The US-China war of trade supplies from China to Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, and Ethiopia is expected to continue.


The custom t-shirts one of the other palpable drifts is. According to Arora, this trend is currently largely limited to the Indian e-commerce world. “There are changing social dynamics, particularly among urban young people, social media culture, the increasing presence of sports associations and so on which support the growth of this segment. Due to the small size of this segment, it appears not to be a chance for large providers and can not be identified as a threat to the conventional T-shirt market for the same reason. In the coming years, however, this segment will grow significantly.

However, Kaul feels a chance. She stressed, “It’s not a fad, because of the growing demand in the fashion market, that will pass with time. The worldwide customer t-shirt printing market will grow considerably, and trends in fashionableness are expected to drive demand for custom printed t-shirts, especially among the younger generation. The emerging trend in occasional clothing has led to the development of casual clothing. T-shirts have an unknown presence, and they also have an alley between people who are not so fashion conscious. Karthic agrees to some extent,” Most market share of uncustomized t-shirts are held, and I don’t see that changing very soon. On the other hand, I don’t think that custom T-shirts are just a fad; they are always part of the market. Surely there’s a chance there.

Kothari sees a major addition to its customer’s product offering in the DIY (do-it-yourself) t-shirt options and in the on-demand digital printing services provided by several online vendors. “It provides creativity and innovative design without limiting the minimum screen printing order quantities. It is an exciting space that we have also experienced in the past. Nevertheless, they do not yet have a comparable print quality and color resistance to screen printing. So, because of several customer complaints, it’s not something we have persisted in.

“Customized t-shirts are great for sustaining interest in the casualwear product. Oswal has similar opinions. It makes more reason to invest in customizing shirts according to trendy consumer preferences for large producers, such as Monte Carlo, which are engaged in expanded production. We still provide customers with plain prints that customize the message or graphics on their DIY T-shirts.

However, Shah argues that this is nothing new: “T-shirts customized were ever on the trend when t-shirts came out. Thanks to its attractive appearance and size availability, t-shirts have easily and quickly captured the world of fashion. Online marketing and shopping have facilitated the lives of many fashionable fans. The popularity of tailored tees has a lot to do.

One is that these customized T-shirts contact every person’s creativity. Consumers can select from the color, pattern, garment, words, or images that appear on their shirts and so on each of their items of the custom shirt. Thus, they can take over their creativity by creating a t-shirt that matches their attitude, style, and personality.

“Custom t-shirts are not only essential in the way they are. They are a medium of exposition and the ageless insignia that the young and the young at heart have to offer. Their creativity is a matter of course. The creativity hidden inside each person is one of the main reasons behind the popularity of individual t-shirts. You want custom-designed art, and you can choose any element of your customized shirt, including color, design, garments, logo, etc., that enables your creativity to take over when designing a T-Shirt that matches your personality, style, and attitude. Therefore, each retailer knows that consumers buy products all about their sense of style, humor, and personality. Custom t-shirts are therefore certainly the best option for customers.

But the DIY trend is not accepted by all. Khushi argues that Mufti’s T-shirts are mainstream, offering the best in fashion and trends. “The focus on new-age prints, weavings, mixes and techniques, and the use of textured and sensorial waffles gives customers a greater experience with DIY.” On the other side, ASICS, as a sportswear brand, tends to offer clothing in India, focusing on both men’s and women ‘s wear, in emerging segments, such as athletics.’ Although the market has also seen a rise in preference for custom t-shirts, we see it not as a threat because the clothing line was popularized by an increasing number of celebrities from the sports industry,’ says Khurana.

“The existing customer policy (that is, easy returns) does not allow the seller to implement the customization concept in which the customer is fully entitled to return the product.” Taneja refers to certain logistics constraints. The second point: the customization of a product that does not fit into the current e-commerce shipping policy can take longer than the usual time (dispatch time is one day if the seller is supposed to ship or ship within 24 hours of the receipt of the order).

Too Fast For Comfort

There is a result of that craze for t-shirts. That is because quick mode, especially the t-shirt, was repeatedly accused of being the prime cause of ever-piling waste after consumption worldwide. Today, no brand or seller wants to consume slower, but all of them want to use or deploy “sustainable” materials. It will have to be the responsibility of the consumers from now on.

T-shirts are mainly an impulsive consumer purchase, according to Khushlani. “There will, however, be several times more consumption for a variety of purposes than other categories of clothing. Mufti produces according to requirements to be sustainable and to control waste management, with minimal residues. We’ll prevent changes – that’s why we’re sure that we are also price-sensitive, “says Khurana, too:” We’re (at ASICS) committed to decreasing waste and to increasing the use of it.

Sustainable materials in our products, like recycled, bio-based, and waterless dyed materials. Shifting to more sustainable materials and production technologies also contributes significantly to reducing our global carbon footprint.

For Kothari, the problem is how you use them: “Fast fashion and its unsustainable nature almost entirely depend on buying patterns, the durability and the durability of the garment. T-shirts are not inherently unsustainable, depending on how many times. The day we launched it eight years ago, I still wear t-shirts — I wouldn’t say that it’s the fast mode by any means. Several pairs of denim and even shoes have been overloaded. Karthic ‘s conception is no different: “Average or below average quality does not necessarily have to mean fast fashion.”As a brand, I believe that we have to provide high-quality products which last twice before dumping them.

Visibly Oswal’s involved. He explains: “We know very well that rapid fashion is a trend in developed economies like the United States and Europe. However, the practice of donating or donating old clothes to the needy is highly reusable in India. T-shirts are also reused as rags before finally being dismissed. However, by restricting the number of damaging colors, chemicals, and dysfunctional products of your T-styles and other products, Monte Carlo engages in responsible environmental practices. We also use a large amount of solar energy to reduce our carbon footprint in our plants and warehouses.

Kandhari ‘s views are rather similar. “Fast mode means that charitable stores receive too many clothes. The use of throwaway clothing contributes more than air and sea travel to climate change. Global manufacturing of clothing has doubled to satisfy demand in the last 15 years. But it left a trail of cast-offs, and in less than a year, over half of the fast-mode objects have been discarded. The world needs a new business model that can empower its customers to be more and more involved to have it all without generating waste. A carbon-neutral status is required.

“We really want to be a zero-waste facility in the long term. Fast fashion also means cheap fashion, with t-shirts sometimes not good enough to last, but only a few washers. At Soul Space, the emphasis is not on quick mode but on sustainable mode. And we are trying to turn our collections timeless, neutral and guarantee that products are excellent in quality to last so that the user doesn’t have to buy new clothing quickly.

Most agree that fast fashion is unsustainable but feel that it can not dictate to customers. Shah says: “We need alternative fabrics that don’t damage the environment and are also cheap and easy to reuse. ShopClues does not have a policy on the distribution of devices (especially t-shirts), but, as Taneja says, “we often engage in CSR activities (in conjunction with non-profit organizations) where we try to motivate people to donate progressive outputs. To support under-privileged products.”

Sure, it can be tempting to throw these clothes away and replace them, particularly as shirts could be quite cheap for new purchases. Says Kaul: “As a growing number of consumers call out the true costs and, swift fashion, sustainable and ethical fashion efforts such as instore recycling have been introduced by a growing number of retailers. These arrangements enable customers in ‘bins’ to drop undesired items in the shops.

“The real problem with the quick mode is how fast it is generated, putting enormous pressure on people and the environment. Recycling and small eco-clothing (if not just greenwashing) are insufficient to counteract “throwaway culture,” waste, natural resources stress, and the challenges created by rapid mode. It is necessary to change the entire system.

And, t-shirts can’t shy away from this responsibility.

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