With the word ‘organic’ trending as a USP in markets across the globe including urban India, apparel manufacturers are switching a percentage of their production to organic following gradual rise in consumer demand. The United States and Europe are major markets of organic apparels for Indian textile manufacturers. Recommended By Colombia Anticipating a bullish market for organic apparels that is growing at around 10 per cent annually, textile units are gradually increasing production for organic and sustainable products with eyes set on both overseas and local niche market, HS Jha, Corporate HR head at a leading textile mill in Pithampur said, “Demand for organic apparels is growing gradually from our customers.
We have witnessed an increase of around 12 per cent in demand for organic apparels from our customers.” Jha said every year they are increasing procurement of organic cotton from farmers to meet increasing demand. The textile company has adopted over 30,000 organic cotton farmers to supply to them. There are a handful of textile units in the region that manufacture organic apparels. Madhya Pradesh is fourth largest producer of cotton in the country. According to apparel manufacturers, India is a niche market for organic clothes but countries like Europe and the US are rapidly switching to organic, especially in women and kidswear. Amidst the growth, there are problems too. Despite increasing demand in overseas market, resistance by brands in increasing prices for organic products is hitting margins of manufacturers. Ashok Akade, Technical Vice-President at a textile mill said, “In our company, 30 per cent of manufacturing has been shifted to organic and sustainable fibre because market is there but margins have squeezed because international brands do not want to increase prices wherein cost of organic manufacturing is higher than normal clothes.”
According to industry experts, cost of manufacturing organic apparels is about 5 per cent higher than normal due to higher cost of procurement, certification and other charges. They said high competition from other manufacturing countries and negligible scope to hike prices in international market is hitting profitability of textile mills.