EDGE Fast Fact | India, World’s Youngest Emerging Economy

What does this mean for the fashion community?

According to a report by Technopakin contrast to the increasingly aged populations in the West, Japan, and even China, India is expected to become the world’s youngest emerging economy by 2020, with around 64% of its population in the working age group” – median age 28 [compared to US 38, China 37, Germany and Japan 47 years]. 

India is one of the fastest growing developing economies.  The retail sector, of which apparel is the second largest contributor, shows sustainable long-term growth driven by increasing disposable income and brand awareness through mass and social media penetration.  This young consuming population makes India a highly lucrative market for both established and emerging brands in the fashion industry.

Local emerging brands are blending their heritage of India’s traditional textiles and arts into their contemporary [western wear] designs, while responding to this younger generations interest in ethically friendly fashion.

The younger consumer has new aspirations triggered by peer groups [working with multinational companies and having international exposure], the international fashion scene, and status symbol brands. With increasing disposable incomes, shifting buying behavior, and conspicuous consumption they are more open to experimenting with fashion brands.  “The younger consumer is much more experimental and are always wanting to explore and try out something new every time”, says Purvi Doshi, designer of the namesake brand based in the western state, Ahmedabad Gujarat.  Although the younger consumer is much more aware of high profile brands and what’s happening in the industry, Purvi says, “they are ethically conscious.  They are curios about fashion and the making of garments they want to wear and that is what has led the fashion industry to adapt sustainable and cruelty-free methods.”

India’s promising emerging economy and evolving fashion market is one to watch or be a part of.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s (JBK) trip to India and Pakistan: New Delhi, Delhi, India, fashion show at Cottage Industries Emporium | Cecil Stoughton, White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston” | 14 March 1962

Image Credit:  Cecil Stoughton, JFK Library [Wikimedia Commons] | First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (seated in center) attends a fashion show at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium in New Delhi, India. Indira Gandhi, daughter of Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, sits to the right of Mrs. Kennedy. All others are unidentified | 14 March 1962

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