IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section

Sector Pulse
Mr. Rajesh Dudeja
Mr. Rajesh Dudeja
Denim Club of India

Company Details

Business Area:
Community building & networking of denim professionals


How do you see world denim market faring currently? How has denim evolved as a fabric from the beginning till now? How do you see the road ahead?

Historically, denim market in the US has been cyclic in nature. After having been on a high for almost a decade, the denim jeans market in US slowed down in 2008. In the recent past, there has been slackness in demand from European countries as well. However, in the last few years, it was generally expected that owing to saturation in US and EU, the further growth and expansion of denim industry will be driven by the growing consumption in the developing countries. 

The cyclic nature will continue to prevail in the times to come, and at the same time, the denim industry will continue to grow. We are bound to see innovations, with a focus on sustainability at all levels, in materials and finishes, and hence in the end-product which is made available to the consumer across the retail counters. The popularity of stretch denim and jeggings illustrates that innovation will drive consumption, and that consumers will be more than willing to accept all such products which offer convenience, comfort and value for money. 

Although some experts have been voicing concerns about over-capacity in denim, the fact remains that there are many countries in which per capita consumption of jeans and other denim apparel can only grow during the next 10 to 15 years. There might be temporary imbalances, wherein the denim mills feel some pressure due to inadequate off-take by the converters, or the converters feel that the manufactured goods are not moving as fast as anticipated, but on the whole, more and more people will continue to buy more and more jeans and other denim apparel. The perceived non-availability of enough cotton to make the required quantities of denim in the times to come will be taken care of by the fast increasing non-cotton content of denim. 

Evolution of denim fabric - a different perspective 

Denim, which was primarily 100% cotton to start with, has already seen a whole lot of synthetic fibre being blended, and this trend will continue further, with many non-conventional fibres also coming in to take the place of cotton. The demand for eco-friendly and sustainable material will also lead to more innovations, and the use of recycled material is expected to grow continuously. This will further fuel the demand for such socially responsible fashion goods, and the total size of this market segment will continue to grow in the times to come. 


How do you see world denim market faring currently? How has denim evolved as a fabric from the beginning till now? How do you see the road ahead?

Denim, which was at some point in time identified with youth and rebellion, has evolved and changed its character significantly. The acceptability of denim has been growing in all age groups, in all cultures, and more and more consumers are going in for denim apparel due to its durability and ease of maintenance. In the coming years, as fashion designers and garment manufacturers use newer varieties of denim for more creatively designed garments and made-ups, the denim industry will experience unprecedented growth and expansion. 

In a recent initiative, Denim Club India introduced handloomed denim, which is much softer in feel, rich in looks and comfortable in wearing, and can be used for not just jeans but a wide variety of formal and semi-formal dresses, including coats, jackets, kurtis, as well as a complete range of cushion covers for homes and offices. The handloomed denim, available in various shades like beige, olive, in addition to the standard blue and black, is quite suitable for office wear. More such initiatives, which promote the use of non-conventional varieties of denim for apparel and other made-ups, will go a long way in further evolution and diversification of the denim market. 

The Road Ahead for denim industry in South Asia 

It is an interesting fact that the different countries in South Asian region have very typical strengths when it comes to denim. India and Pakistan have a huge production base for denim fabric, and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have excellent garmenting and washing facilities. It is very much possible that the four neighboring countries can offer the complete range of denim to the entire world, by joining hands and working in a collaborative environment. 


Published on: 18/06/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of