The Indian Home Textile Industry Is Gaining Global Foothold

Two decades back, stylish interiors or beautiful indoors were in minds of only a few homeowners. Most of the houses had limited stock of bed linen and bedsheets, which were washed and reused again and again. Home textiles and furnishings were majorly seen in the market during festivals only.

Now, thanks to the increasing number of households, growth of Indian retailing, rising disposable incomes, growth of the housing, hospitality and healthcare sectors along with mounting consumerism, we are witnessing a change in Indian middle-class lifestyle. People now, especially the young working couples, spend a considerable amount on interiors to give a trendy and modern look to their homes. All these factors have increased the demand for home textile products by 30-40% per annum.

Further, with e-commerce giants adding home segments to their websites, home furnishings and textiles have become even more appealing to the public. Be it cut-length curtains or readymade home textile items, the whole process of shopping has become hassle-free. A growing demand for high-quality home furnishings on e-commerce websites from around the world can be seen clearly.

India, in particular, is a home to some of the biggest home textile manufacturers including the likes of Welspun (3rd largest towel producer), Dicitex (5th largest furnishing fabrics producer) and Trident (largest terry towel manufacturer). Additionally, several Indian brands such as Spread, Birla Century, Super Net, ABN, etc. are renowned globally and growing at a healthy pace. Even some of the international brands, such as UCB, Espirit Home and many others, have witnessed a growth rate of 20-30% in the Indian home textile market.

The home textile industry in India is varied in terms of pricing, colours, design and even consumers. There are some who prefer international brands with no constraint on price while there are consumers who look for high volume at reasonable prices. Today, a consumer is becoming highly aware of the environment, safety and hygiene and thus, the demand for features like stain-resistant, fragrance, flame retardant in home textiles has gone exponentially high.

In 2014, India’s share in global home textiles was 11% that suggested a strong potential to grow. Indian textile companies get some favourable advantages in the rising global market. These include the huge availability of low-cost cotton, cheap labour, promising Government policies and the current trend of depreciation of Indian Rupee vis-à-vis foreign currency. All these factors have supported the potential of Indian textile players to reach great heights in the segment.

Mayank Mohindra is an author on apparel, fashion and textile industry. His articles are based on latest apparel industry news, textile news and/or analysis of the dynamics of global apparel trade, and fashion industry.

Traveling to Ushuaia – A Journey To The End Of The World

4 a.m. around 100 km north of Río Gallegos. I haven’t slept for 32 hours, but the vast Patagonian landscape of veldt you are traveling through fills you with excitement and numbness at the same time, that makes it impossible to find rest. The hours pass, you stare out of the window and it’s as if you would glance at a prehistoric, untouched landscape and realizes how our planet might have been looked a million years ago, before mankind started to cover the earth with highways, urban sprawling and industrial sites.

I could have taken a plane. I could have avoided effort and pain. I could have saved time and money. I could have chosen the nice and easy way. But ever since I have seen the unfamiliar name of Ushuaia, the most southern town in the world, on a map I knew that traveling over land to this destination on tip of the American Continent would be the only way for me. The journey is the reward.

On the bus I met Ricardo, a student from Puerto Montt/ Chile. Together we have been listening to Gustavo Santaolalla’s great song “De Ushuaia a la Quiaca” over and over again, and it seems as if the Argentinean composer has created the perfect soundtrack for traveling trough Patagonia: a hypnotizing melody of distant, superjacent guitars containing this piercing twitch of solitude. A music that intensifies the delirious state on the edge of being awake and falling asleep I’ve been for almost 2 days. As further we are traveling south I realize that we are approaching to the end of the world, to a point were you can’t go any further.

The landscape changes, it’s getting sparser. Sometimes from the middle of nowhere turns up a sheep farm or some remote village consisting of three wooden houses and a church, but as soon as we have passed, there’s pampas, solitude and loneliness again. The incredible vast sky is melting with the horizon and suddenly you wonder if you will ever reach your destination or if this fragile dream of rough beauty might continue forever. And maybe it doesn’t matter anymore, because you have already crossed a hidden frontier and reached an inner point of no return.

But suddenly it all ends, Magellan Strait, the last barrier that had separated us from legendary Tierra del Fuego, has been crossed and we actually reach Ushuaia. The bus spills out its tired, exhausted and happy freight and it feels like a rebirth, like an awakening. Windy roads lead me to the port where giant cruise ships and rotten fishing boats are swaying in Beagle Channel. I’m glancing at the nearby mountain range, forming part of the National Park Tierra del Fuego, when a sudden thought rises up: maybe this isn’t the end of the world; maybe it’s just the beginning.

Safer Cars Does Not Mean Safer Roads

These days, it is pretty standard for cars to include top of the line safety features. These range from rear-view cameras, lane departure warnings, traction control and even blind spot detection.

Driving a safe vehicle can also mean more money in your pocket as drivers can save on car insurance cost. A car insurance company is generally able to provide more affordable car insurance if your vehicle has safety features. However, safer cars do not necessarily mean safer roads across the country.

From January to June, approximately 18,720 people have died on U.S. roads. As a result of a growing economy, people are driving more miles compared to recession level data. Less unemployment means more cars are on the road getting people to and from work and more money for leisure activities. In 2017, Americans traveled 3.22 trillion miles according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Factor in more miles driven along with speeding, drug and alcohol impaired driving and distracted driving and the fatality rate is at an all-time high.

South Carolina leads the nation in traffic fatality rates per miles traveled. In 2017, the state had 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, which is almost two times the national average. Illinois reported 1,090 traffic deaths.

This trend prompted Governor Rauner to declare August 17 as Traffic Fatality Awareness Day at the Illinois State Fair through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Health, Illinois Secretary of State and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

States across the country have launched similar awareness efforts like Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s goal is to strategically eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for everyone.

Reducing speed is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the fatalities. Speed increases the distance it takes a car to come to a complete stop. The speed of impact is also directly correlated to the risk of death. The higher the speed of impact, the higher the probability of a passenger dying becomes.

Even with lower speeds, it is hard for police officers to enforce these lower limits. Automated cameras are already unpopular and adding more would also be costly.