A study by Technopak Advisors, a retail consultancy, shows that market for lingerie, denim and t-shirts will grow the fastest among women’s apparel in the next decade in India. Whereas market for sarees—the quintessential Indian garment—will grow at its slowest pace. (Lingerie includes bras, panties and camisoles.)
While the saree market will expand at a rate of 6% over the next eight years the lingerie, denim and t-shirt segment will see a growth of 15% each, the data show. For the research, Technopak has analysed both the organised and unorganised markets in India.
Experts say this is an indication of changing demographics and lifestyle. India has the highest youth population in the world, according to the United Nations. These young men and women are not only more westernised and well-travelled than their parents, but also have much more disposable income.
“Denim has become a universal apparel in India, and is also more prominent in the low income markets,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman and managing director of Technopak.
“As far as inner-wear is concerned, young Indians are more conscious about their private clothing as sex is no longer a taboo for them, and is not restricted to post-marriage,” he added.
Even though its growth rate is declining, the saree market is still the largest by value in the women’s apparel market and would continue to be.
“Sarees are still a universal dress across India but the use is now getting limited to traditional or religious ceremonies, especially among young Indians. It will still remain the biggest in size, since the per unit cost is higher compared to say a denim jeans,” Singhal told Quartz.
Traditional sarees in India can cost Rs50,000 or more, whereas the price of a pair of Levi’s jeans usually varies between Rs2,000 and Rs4,000.