Sri Sowbarnika Tex, based in Tirupur, makes clothing for pets in the US. The company venture into this space in a small way and mainly to keep workers engaged, when knitwear garment exports started to slide. A buyer in the US was impressed with the samples and since then there has been no looking back. The unit has in the last year alone shipped 2.5 lakh pieces. Brightly colored pieces are in demand.
Americans used to source pet clothing from China but now with sanctions in place have started looking to India. Barely a handful of Indian exporters are engaged in pet clothing. Exporters in North India have been supplying accessories such as pillows and bedspread for pets. When it comes to clothing, the stitching and other processes are similar. But testing norms are stringent. Margins are pretty low and the space is highly competitive.
About six lakh employees work for 6,500 knitwear and apparel units in Tirupur, helping to earn Rs 50,000 crores in exports a year. Exports of Tirupur in the last financial year have gone down by 5.6 per cent from the previous year. Among the reasons are the changes in duty and tax structure such as GST.