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The potential and growth of India’s cotton home furnishing industry

The cotton industry in India continues to flourish today ever since its establishment 3000 years ago. Love for the fabric is never-ending!

The potential and growth of India’s cotton home furnishing industry

Cotton is one of mankind’s greatest discoveries. It is one textile commodity which is extensively used in the fashion industry. India is the largest producer and exporter of cotton yarn, currently at 18% of the global total.

Cotton plays an important role in the Indian economy by contributing around 5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 11% to total export earnings. Moreover, the cotton industry is the second-largest employer in the country after agriculture. It provides employment to over 51 million people directly and 68 million people indirectly.

Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh are the leaders in cotton production.

The history

Cotton industry’s history in India dates back millennia. India has been producing cotton for about 3000 years and has held a global monopoly since then. In the ancient times, cotton served as a medium of exchange in the barter economy system. Eastern and European markets have been importing cotton since the middle ages.

Post the industrial revolution, the first cotton mills were set up in 1818 in Kolkata. The 1870s saw an exponential growth in the cotton textile industry in India. Majority of the cotton mills were constructed in Mumbai. Since then there has been a continuous increase in cotton mills and the production of cotton.

Market Growth in India

Cotton has a strong overseas demand and hence the cotton production has been on a rise since the mid 1800s. The Indian government has also supported the textile industry by creating several export promotion policies and allowing 100% FDI.

The current textile industry’s market estimate in India stands at Rs 17,000 crore and is growing consistently at 9% annually. India also sells all the four varieties of cotton, which has helped India in maintaining the lead cotton producer role globally.

India’s textile market is growing by leaps and bounds. Another reason for this growth is the shift of people’s focus on home furnishing and decor. Growth of housing, office, hospitality and healthcare sectors has fuelled cotton’s demand as well. Indian customers are not hesitating to spend money while investing in home or office decors.

Over the past few years, the demand for furnishing products like bedspreads, curtains, rugs, carpets, cushion covers, table covers, linens, and other such accessories has doubled. This is the reason that home textiles and furnishing sectors have become an important part of the textile industry.

When lockdowns were enforced in countries due to the COVID pandemic, homes were converted to offices and schools. This led to a more than 200% rise in growth of the home furnishing industry. The rise is synonymous to an increase in demand for cotton. Some trends that have been driving this growth are:

Home or Office

The post-pandemic world has created a new-wave of buyers who would be looking for a home plus office kind of a setup. Even many companies are trying and testing hybrid models where a part of the employee population works from home permanently. So, the new homes would have to be remodelled, redecorated, and redesigned to accommodate new lifestyles.

We, at Thoppia, have tapped into innovation by amalgamating traditional weavers’ skills with modern design to provide a one-stop hoe décor solution to their customers.

Luxury & comfort

With the rise in the affluent population, luxury home items are no longer limited to the rich. There is an increase in demand for crafted furniture, ethnic rugs, hand-woven home décor items and many such unique and innovative items.

People are not hesitating to spend more to make their homes look more luxurious and cosy as it’s a reflection of their lifestyle. Moreover, people are spending a lot of time in planning, thinking, and researching the products that would suit their home.

Kitchen items

The pandemic has brought with it an increase in the demand of kitchenware and appliances. People are looking for unique and smart solutions to make their tasks simpler in the kitchen. Moreover, customers have high expectations even in small products like linens, towels, mats, aprons, and other such items.

Marketing to Millennial

The next generation is moving out of their house for work opportunities. As per the current market trends, millennials are looking for fully-furnished homes to save themselves from the hassle of buying home décor items. This group focuses on quality and has the finances to invest.

The millennials are also amongst the most travelled and hence their inspiration comes from experiences they live in other countries.

Digital Revolution

No one can underestimate the power of the digital medium as it is very appealing to a large customer base. It has helped grow a lot of businesses by providing them a global platform. Even small scale businesses from Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities have their e-commerce website to sell their products globally.

The textile industry has also leveraged the benefits of the digital platform by providing smart solutions to customers. By introducing ready-to-use products, the product purchase has become simpler. This has increased the demand of cotton home furnishings online which in turn triggered an exponential market growth in this industry.

All the tech-savvy customers who are looking for beautiful and stylish home décor solutions are benefiting from online stores.

Thoppia has also entered the digital domain and given a platform to traditional weavers to showcase their products. It has a complete range of home furnishing products from kitchenware, living spaces, bedrooms, washrooms, and other home décor accessories.

The bottom line

There is definitely a growing trend in the cotton home furnishing industry which might have slowed down due to the pandemic. But the industry is again picking up and demand for smart, unique, innovative, durable, and sustainable products is increasing. The buyers have many choices in front of them due to the e-commerce boom.

But, it’s always advised that they should pick the brands that offer superior or premium quality products. And as it’s said, ‘Home is where the heart is’, so choose products that are worthy of your home and lifestyle.

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