The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has opened up opportunities for textile companies to come up with innovative fabrics.
Siyaram’s, a textile brand in men’s fashion, will launch anti-viral fabric in the market soon. “The fabric is ready. We are yet to hit the market, so once trade channels start it will be available on the shelves,” Gaurav Poddar, President and Executive Director, Siyaram Silk Mills, told Moneycontrol.
The company is in the process of getting the fabric certified. It has, however, not clarified if by claiming that the fabric is 'anti-viral' it means that the cloth can resist coronavirus.
“Anti-viral fabric is made from special chemicals, we are in the process of getting it certified,” Poddar added.
The company is hoping to elicit good response through this launch due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Siyaram Silk Mills, which has its factories in Tarapur, Silvassa and Daman, produces over 80 million meters of fabrics annually with a diverse range of fabrics such as polyester, viscose, polyester cotton, 100 percent cotton, 100 percent wool, and 100 percent linen with some of the popular brands such as Siyaram’s, J Hampstead, Cadini, Oxemberg, and Casa Moda.
Retailers in India started feeling the heat immediately after the announcement of nation-wide lockdown in India and are still coping with a complete pause in their business.
Due to COVID-19 lockdown, the company has been non-functional since mid-March owing to which it has lost almost 25 percent of the business, said Shridhar Soni, Vice-President of Cadini Italy.
However, the management is hinging its hopes on the festive season for a revival of demand.
“It will take 3-4 months for everything to come back on track. We are hoping things will start getting better and larger demand will come from October onwards because of Diwali, followed by marriage season which will prompt fabric sales to rise,” Soni added.
Siyaram’s is also planning to expand its online business, which currently contributes 10 percent to its total business.
“Because of COVID-19 challenges such as social distancing, customers will avoid going to shops and there will be less footfalls. So, we believe online is the way to go and we have allocated a higher budget for expansion of our online platforms,” said Poddar.