With volatile cotton prices, Major Brand names are using cheaper garments to attract consumers

Karachi:  Several apparel brands, including Marks & Spencer and ITC Wills Lifestyle, are using cheaper and blended garments to woo back consumers chasing low-cost options due to rising apparel prices.

With volatile cotton prices squeezing the textile industry’s profit margins despite up to 40% increase in retail prices, 100% cotton garments are being pushed out of shelves by those blended with man-made fibres such as polyester. “There is a lot of value engineering happening on apparels. Apart from passing on the price rise to uers, brands experimented with playing with different blends to come with a winning formula,” says Mansoor Lakhani, CEO Lakhani Textiles.

Cotton currently hovers around Rs 40,000 per candy. Polyester, one of the most common man-made fibres, is still 15% cheaper than cotton, hence the rush for blends.

Retail prices of apparel made out of cotton are 40% higher than last year in the case of local brands and 25% dearer for national brands. “Although cotton would continue to rule, price fluctuations have encouraged fabric manufacturers to innovate and blends have walked in, especially in the bottom of the pyramid where the consumer is extremely price-sensitive,” says Mansoor Lakhani.

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