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Global knitwear market to continue fast forward growth, touch $156.8 bn: Report

Global knitwear market to continue fast forward growth touch 156.8 bn


The rise of knitwear from its traditional role as innerwear to a fashion statement has been remarkable, capturing the attention of both consumers and designers. The fabric's exceptional versatility has empowered designers to break barriers and explore novel trends, with emerging fashion creators enthusiastically embracing its flexible and unconventional characteristics. The period of global lockdowns in 2021 and 2022 underscored knitwear, as consumers gravitated towards its comfort and adaptability. In a noteworthy shift, knitwear appears poised to outshine its conventional counterpart, woven fabric.

Global surge in knitwear market

Maximize Market Research Private Limited (MMR) has been diligently studying the global knitwear landscape, and its recent report predicts a substantial growth in the global knitwear market, reaching $156.8 billion by the end of the decade. This growth is expected at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8 per cent. Within realm of knitwear, men's knitwear is projected to lead with a robust CAGR of 6.7 per cent, solidifying its position as the largest segment.

The increase im knitwear's popularity can be attributed in part to the widespread accessibility facilitated by e-commerce. Online sales of knitwear products, integral to the clothing and fashion industry, have experienced a notable uptick. This trend is particularly pronounced in emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS), where the penetration of online knitwear sales is steadily increasing. Notably, China stands out as the foremost manufacturer and exporter of knitwear globally, closely followed by Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam. In Europe, Germany and Italy emerge as pivotal players in both manufacturing and exporting knitwear on a significant scale.

In essence, knitwear's popularity is a testament to its enduring appeal, accentuated by the convenience of online sales and the ingenuity of designers who continue to push the boundaries of this versatile fabric. The projected growth outlined by MMR underscores knitwear's ascendance as a dominant force in the global fashion landscape.

Reasons for its popularity

In recent times, a discernible shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly fashion has shaped consumer preferences, and within this landscape, knits have emerged as a favored choice for environmentally conscious individuals. Known for their versatility, knits are commonly crafted from natural fibers like cotton or wool, presenting a biodegradable and renewable option. What sets them apart is the potential for production through sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices, aligning with the conscientious choices sought by eco-minded consumers.

The enduring popularity of knits spans decades driven by its timeless charm and adaptability, ranging from classic cable-knit sweaters to contemporary oversized cardigans, T-shirts, loungewear, athleisure garments, dresses, and beyond, knits offer a diverse array of styles to suit various tastes. Their availability in a broad spectrum of colors, patterns, and textures further widens the scope for creative expression, allowing individuals to curate unique and personalized style portfolios.

Integral to knits is their inherent comfort and convenience, making them a practical and desirable choice for everyday wear. This attribute, combined with their eco-friendly profile, positions knits as a responsible and stylish option for the modern fashion-conscious consumer.

Geographically, major markets driving knitwear consumption include the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, China, Japan, India, Australia, and Brazil. Till 2022, North America stood out as the predominant consumer market, closely trailed by Europe and the Asia Pacific region. This evolving consumer preference towards sustainable fashion underscores the enduring allure of knits as both a timeless and conscientious wardrobe choice.

India’s knitwear industry growth pegged at 9 per cent

From 2019 onwards up until 2029, as per government stats, knitwear segment growth is expected to reach 9 per cent. Tirupur remains the country's knitwear hub with its main focus being exports, whereas Ludhiana and Kolkata, are also knitwear hubs that mainly cater to the large domestic market. Tiruppur produces around 80 per cent of India’s total knitwear exports and contributes 4 per cent of India’s total export trade.

As per the MMA report, outerwear is main application segment, outperforming innerwear in knits. Sportswear and innerwear are projected to run neck-to-neck in terms of growth until the projected period of this report which is 2029. Key players operating in the global knitwear market are Nike, Adidas, GAP, Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, Marks & Spencer, Abercrombie & Fitch among others.

Knitwear represents the New Age choices that consumers are making, from environmental consciousness to affordability. In years to come, due to its flexible nature, many man-made innovations will continue giving knitwear the fuel to keep growing. 



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