Mafatlal is a responsible denim producer – Mr Dayal, MD
On the sidelines of the 'International Conference on Denim', Fibre2fashion held a series of interviews and discussions with experts from the denim and jeans sector, in which we caught up with Mr Rajiv Dayal, Managing Director - Mafatlal Denim.
Earlier, on the first day of the conference, Mr Dayal had made a scintillating presentation by presenting an “Overview of the Indian denim business” and dealt upon four main points concerning the sector in India; growth of the industry, current status, the next decade and finally, the challenges.
We began the informative chat by asking Mr Dayal to reveal more about his company, its production capacity, its markets and the varieties of denim produced by Mafatlal Denim, to which he informed, “Mafatlal Denim was started in 1997 and our current capacity is 20 million meters per annum. We do not have a large composition of basic denims in our product portfolio, as we are essentially producers of value-added denims, which totals to 85 percent of our denim fabric output”.
Giving more details about the various denim fabric varieties he said, “Within the value-added category, we manufacture specialty mercerized denim fabrics like ring denims, coated denims, tinted denims and even stretched denims. We sell these fabrics to mid and upper segment brands in the domestic markets to the likes of Spykar, Pepe, Wills Lifestyle, Mufti and Levis, which adds up to 70 percent of our revenues and the Indian market is our focus market, since it is growing.”
“The rest is exported to global US and European brands, again to the likes of Levis, Pepe, VF Corp, Next, H&M, M&S and others. These denim fabrics are exported to other countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, etc, where these brands and retailers have their contract manufacturing facilities”, he concluded by saying.
Next we asked him as to whether Mafatlal Denim is planning a foray in to organic denims, considering that it is the next big growth opportunity, to which he replied by saying, “We are already present in the organic denim fabric category and we do offer a range of organic denim products to our buyers”.
Informing about initiatives in sustainable denim production, Mr Dayal said, “We are a responsible textile manufacturer and confirm to all ecological standards. We have effluent treatment plants, confirm to Oeko-Tex and Eco-Tex standards, along with which we in our own way try to reduce water consumption, by recycling water and we are now also planning to install a recycling plant for harmful chemicals. We are continuously working towards reducing the carbon as well as what I would call water footprint, and trying to be a more responsible and ecological producer of denim fabrics”.
When asked for the reasons for India ranking below smaller countries like Nicaragua and Guatemala by volumes in global denim fabric exports, he observed, “There are, what I would say two categories in denim exports. One, where exports emanate from a country to another country with which it has a free trade agreement, like the FTA's between the US and South and Central American countries like CAFTA and NAFTA under which, the countries can export duty free products to the US, along with which lead times are also shorter, which makes them more competitive.