Pakistan is a great place, and it has incredible potential as far as the fashion industry is concerned. But why can't Pakistani textile businesses compete in international markets? What is it that keeps them from breaking through in other countries? Why do our exports continue to plummet?
The private sectors say that the textile industry struggles to grow due to a lack of government funding, costly inputs, power shortages, and poor management. On the other hand, the government blames past policies such as currency overvaluation, limited product range, and less industry investment. But I thinkour biggest downside is incompatible and inadequatemanagement skills.
This article will state all the facts about why Pakistani fashion fails to conquer the global market and how to grow our fashion industry.
Pakistan- Largest exporter and producer of cotton
Pakistan's textile industry has been the country's heart and soul since its independence. Pakistan is Asia's eighth-largest exporter of textile materials. It is the world's fourth-largest cotton producer globally (after China, India and the USA), accounting for 5% of global spinning capacity.
The Textile sector's value in Pakistan is illustrated by the fact that it accounts for 67 percent of exports, hires 40% of the employees, and contributes 10.20 percent of GDP. Because of its growing demand and value, many students joined the fashion designing courses.
Pakistani youth is getting more involved in fashion design, fashion shows, and fashionable garments. The number of fashion graduates has increased in Pakistan. Is this a sign of a changing lifestyle?
Pakistan's fashion and clothing industry is booming, and its youth seem to be the driving force behind it. Talented artists are projecting Pakistan's cultural heritage with creative innovations and globally competitive projects. The fashion and clothing industry is demonstrating dynamism and diversity.
Pakistan's fashion industry has great potential. Our youth can show wonders in the fashion world if provided with the opportunity to demonstrate their designs worldwide.
Why Pakistan stands last in the fashion world?
Being one of the top countries producing raw cotton, why Pakistan ranks the lowest in the fashion world? Why does itstand so low in the global market?
We need to take Pakistan's fashion industry to the global market. It will allow this vast labour industry to expand significantly and help Pakistan's economy increase expeditiously. This way label 'Made in Pakistan' can become a symbol of a reputation for us, but it needs to be fiercely pursued.
In addition to quality, durability, and reliability in the fashion industry's delivery schedules, good communication infrastructure, export processes, and transportation facilities are also needed to stand out in the global market. Stable enforceable contracts with foreign investors are required as well. Otherwise, rather than a rise in market share, retaining the same market share would be impossible.
Why don't we have brands like LV, Chanel and Gucci?
We have extraordinary fashion designers but no global recognition. Why?
The textile and garment industry is the most important sector of Pakistan's economy. Still, we have no prominent brands like LV or Chanel. These brands have marked their place in the global market.
Louis Vuitton became the most valuable luxury brand globally. In contrast, Gucci became the fastest growing brand, with a growth rate of 23 percent, since 2018. At the same time, our brands are only limited to regional levels.
Suppose the Pakistani fashion industry succeeds in attracting the interest of western customers as well. In that case, it has anenormous possibility to gain large sums of money by exporting fashion industry products.
The relentless demand for "fresh" products ensures that many stores have an unavoidable drive to expand the number of "seasons," i.e. pace at which the whole merchandise is updated in a shop. It keeps the brand running.
Why has no designer been able to come upwith a single signature print?
Given the country's fascination with lawn prints, it's surprising that no artist has created a single signature print. SaniaMaskatiya has produced several different patterns over the years, with digital print becoming one of her most well-known. Maheen Khan's newspaper and Google prints are distinctive of her Gulabo brand.
But these prints didn't become the brand's signature theme. They've come and gone as seasonal patterns. Unlike the Burberry plaid or the Missoni zigzag design, they were not constant. We need identification that is reinforced by quality, especially when it comes to prints, which are a staple in Pakistan's massive textile consumption.
It is the requirement of time now where we are in desperate need of a brand identity. Our brands need to design signature printsthat one can immediately recognize.
Are we behind because we're poor?
This industry had its ups and downs over the years due to various factors. High production costs, frequent power outages, faulty strategies, and a lack of government funding policies have contributed to the sector's struggles. The industry is also challenged by a global slowdown, global conflicts, outdated infrastructure, obsolete technology, and a lack of quality competence.
Despite having low-tariff access to textile and clothing sectors in the European Union, the United States, Japan, and China, Pakistan's profit margins are very small. It indicates our inability to utilize our position as a textile-dominated economy completely. It allows our regional competitors to seize our vital opportunities for growth.
How will we grow our fashion industry globally?
Our major competitors, India and China, used all platforms and tools to conquer the global market for apparel and textiles. In contrast, Pakistan's textile industry has competed in the worldwide market without a roadmap or support.
We need complete guidance and government support to highlight Pakistan's fashion industry. We need to understand the benefits of global marketing of Pakistani brands and how it canefficiently grow our economy.
Research and development centers should be developed to experiment with emerging technologies and create new ways of producing and manufacturing high-end goods. We should increase micro-enterprise financing of technologies and infrastructure, as well as the uninterruptible supply of required raw materials and fast access to loans.
Pakistan can also take advantage of China's strong ties to advance textile technology by collaborating with them. And advertising the designs through electronic media could help grow the business to the next level.
The textile industry could grow by improving manufacturing procedures by boosting promotional campaigns and establishing distinctive brand marks.
Without a doubt, Pakistan's textile industry is suffering primarily due to a lack of government officials' responsibility. It has demotivated and hindered entrepreneurs from spending further,expanding their operations and quality standards and increasing precision demand from international importers.
To showcase Pakistan's fashion industry, we need full guidance and government funding. We have to understand our fashion industry's necessity to grow if we want to nurture economically as a state.