The Economic Times reports South India’s cotton knitted garments capital, Tirupur, is leveraging the $2 billion business opportunity to make PPE equipment. About 200 units in this in Tamil Nadu town are currently making (PPE, mostly to serve needs within India. Industry body Tirupur Exporters Association has been pushing local manufacturers to improvise on products to meet global standards.
An incubation centre for textiles and apparels in the city is also trying to develop a reusable, biodegradable, antibacterial facemask. This will be cotton, three-layered mask which will be developed with the outermost layer being water repellent and anti-viral, the middle layer filtering the virus and the innermost layer will be finished in a way that provides comfort to the mask wearer.
Meanwhile the magnitude of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and Europe and its impact on the economies have left these exporters worried, as those are their biggest markets.
The garment cluster manufactures textiles worth Rs 60,000 crore per year for exports and domestic markets. The knitwear industry here has provided jobs to about 8 lakh people (800,000), half of whom are migrants. Local executives said they were managing their units with just about three lakh people now, as the rest have gone home when the lockdown was clamped.