When people go shopping for their children, the first thought in their minds is comfort. From comfortable, stylish clothes and shoes lead to relaxed, happy kids, so why should innerwear be any different?
In India, the innerwear category has broadened from basic requirement of commodity wear to designer wear with emphasis on styling and comfort. The Indian innerwear market holds immense growth potential and is slated to grow phenomenally over the next five years. When it comes to kids, the definition of innerwear is more refined. Innerwear for children is bifurcated on many factors – product type, category type, material type, and age group to name a few, Pradeep Arora, Director, Zero, one of the country’s foremost kidswear brands, says innerwear for children is need-driven and performs multiple functions. “The same garment is used as innerwear in winter and outerwear in the summer in a country like India. For instance, the child wears only a sleeveless vest as outerwear in summer, and innerwear in winter.” Arora owns a fleet of brands namely Zero, Teddy, Simply and Smarty. Showcasing clothes made from 100 percent cotton, all his brands offer an extensive array of products for newborns up to 12 year old children.
India is a price sensitive market and when brands like Zero offer good quality products in latest designs at affordable prices, it appeals to the prospering Indian middle class. According to Arora, the kids innerwear market stands at Rs 5,000 crore and it is growing at CAGR 25 percent. “Since the customer is quality and price conscious one has to do justice with the product,” he says. His brand is of the firm belief that educated and informed parents want the best for their kids and will settle for nothing less. “We have already set the trend of giving the best quality at a reasonable rates,” he asserts. The brand takes pride in having a pan India presence and supplying to the most remote of locations through the online medium. However, in case of kids innerwear, Arora says that offline stores have much more traction since parents are very conscious about the quality of the fabric they buy, so they go to shops to see the cloth for themselves and buy something only when they are satisfied. They could also check the cloth in offline stores and then order the same online.
Fabric Innovation & Technology Adoption
Fit, comfort and feel are crucial when manufacturing kids innerwear. Preferring 100 percent cotton over other fabrics, Arora says, “Every year, we add new fabrics to every brand. For manufacturing clothes for brand Zero alone, we use 40 types of fabrics. In our group companies we have more than 60 types of fabrics or even more. Additionally, every year we introduce new shades in all colours. Every year the patterns and designs change.” His brands use latest technology at every stage of production including yarns, knitting, processing and printing. Arora concludes on a high note saying that his manufacturing units have just added new machines in knitting and processing.