IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section


How do you visualise the new trend of customised t-shirts catching up? Is this going to change the way in which the t-shirt industry operates?

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.

Customised t-shirts is not a fad that will pass away with time due to its increasing demand in the fashion market. The global custom t-shirt printing market is expected to witness significant growth, as shifting trends towards fashionable apparel particularly among the younger generation is expected to drive the demand for custom printed t-shirts. 

Customised t-shirts are not just fashion essentials; they are a medium of expression and ageless insignia of the young and the young at heart. Every retailer today knows that consumers buy products that are all about their sense of style, humour, and individuality.

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).

The majority of the market share is held by non-customised t-shirts, and I don't see this changing soon. On the other hand, I also don't see customised t-shirts to be just a fad; they will always be a part of the market. There is definitely an opportunity there.

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

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