Customised t-shirts is not a fad
The t-shirt remains a garment of choice for people, globally. One of the other palpable drifts, however, is that of customised t-shirts. How is this trend faring? Fibre2Fashion asks a cross-section of the industry.
Customised t-shirts are great for sustaining interest in this casualwear product. For large manufacturers like Monte Carlo who engage in an enlarged scale of production, it makes more sense to invest in customising t-shirts according to trending consumer preferences. We still provide plain prints for customers to personalise the message or graphic that appears on their DIY (do-it-yourself) t-shirt.
As a sportswear brand, ASICS is currently inclined towards providing apparels in India in emerging segments such as athleisure, with a focus on both men's and women's wears. Though the market has also witnessed a rise in preference for customised t-shirts, we do not see it as a threat, as an increasing number of celebrities sporting apparel from the athleisure segment have made the clothing line popular.
For Mufti, t-shirts are mainstream which provide the best of what fashion and current trends have to offer. Focusing on new-age prints, weaves, mélange and techniques and using waffle textured touch and feel fabrics give the customer a more enhanced experience over a DIY.
Customised t-shirts have always been in trend, right from the time t-shirts emerged as a trend. Because of their attractive appearance and availability of sizes, t-shirts captured the fashion world easily and at a fast pace. Online marketing and shopping have made the lives of many fashion geeks easier. There are many reasons behind the popularity of customised tees. One is that these custom t-shirts get in touch with the creativity hidden inside each individual. Consumers can choose every element of their shirt, right from the colour, pattern, garment, words or images that will be printed on them, and so on. So, they are able to let their creativity take over as they create a t-shirt that matches their attitude, style, and personality.
The DIY t-shirt option, as well as the on-demand digital printing services offered by several online vendors, is a great addition to the product offering available to customers. It allows for creativity and innovation in design without having the limitations of the high minimum order quantities of screen-printing. It's an exciting space and one which we have experimented with too in the past. However, the printing quality and the colour-fastness of these aren't yet comparable to screen-printing. So, it's not something we persisted with due to a large number of customer complaints.
As of now, the trend of customised t-shirts is largely limited to online retail landscape in India. The key drivers backing the growth of this segment are the changing social dynamics especially among urban youth, social media culture, growing presence of sports leagues, etc. Due to the limited scale of this segment, it does not seem to be an opportunity for large suppliers and due to the same reason, it cannot be identified as a threat to the conventional t-shirt market. However, this segment will have a considerable growth in the coming years.
The existing e-commerce customer policy (i.e. easy returns) does not allow sellers to work on the concept of customisation where customer holds 100 per cent right to return the product. Second, customisation may take longer than usual time to produce or develop a product which does not fit well with the current e-commerce shipping policy (dispatch lead time is one day, where seller is supposed to ship or dispatch within 24 hours after receiving the order).
Published on: 25/02/2019
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 Fibre2Fashion.com.