Global brands have begun sharing model of fashion masks in cotton and blends with Indian marketers.

Lifestyle and fashion brands are knocking at India’s door as the facemasks have become the essential in wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Global brands are sharing images and models of fashion masks with Indian suppliers who are awaiting for a permission from the Centre to export non-surgical masks.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has reached the Centre guidelines and clarification on export of non-surgical grade of masks, gloves, coveralls, gowns and other protective wear.

Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) and Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) both have made representations seeking clarification pertaining to non-surgical masks of cotton and various blends that may be supplied to international buyers.

The ITF which represents the textile value chain of Tamil Nadu has approached the ministry of textiles seeking removal of ban on export of fashion cloth masks. It said textile clusters of Coimbatore and Tirupur have received information for supplying fashion masks to global brands and importers with an immediate need for at least 50 crore masks.

This alone can generate business of ₹1,000 crore immediately and ₹4,000 crore over a period of one year,” said ITF convenor Prabhu Dhamodharan.

AEPC chairman A Sakthivel in his letter to the commerce ministry said exporters are unable to export any kind of mask, including those not mentioned in the notifications – like knitted masks or plain cotton woven masks, which are not for surgical purposes.

In his representation to textiles ministry, TEA president Raja M Shanmugham said Masks will not just be an accessory; it will become an essential component of a garment. Brands have begun discussing prototypes of how masks would go with particular garment. To begin with, brands have been asking for masks in solid colours in cotton and in blends, but eventually, the masks will sync with the design of the garment.