The onset of Navratri ushers in the feeling of festivity and excitement in the air. With numerous major festivals like Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas trailing behind each other, it is popularly called as the festive quarter of the year. This is marked with an increase in family get-togethers, house parties and of course binge shopping. The fact that this period also coincides with the most popular wedding season of the country also adds to the existing market rush. No wonder then these couple of months are labelled as the “Golden Period” for retailers with them raking in more moolah in these few months than probably the whole year combined.
However, the year 2020 has definitely put a dampener on the usually ringing cash bells of the garments and textile industry. The sector faces a huge sense of uncertainty and nervousness. With almost half the year having been spent in lockdown, manufacturing and supply chains have hit an all-time low. The fact that the overall mood has been gloomy due to the slowdown of the economy caused by the pandemic has not helped either. However, if there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it is to relish in the small joys of life. Hence, the festive season brings in a sense of hope and people are celebrating festivals across the country with their families; albeit in muted tones. We bring you the highlights of what are the popular purchase trends in this festive season.
With everyone keeping a tight leash on expenses, sensible shopping has replaced casual shopping. The consumer is aware of the importance of essentials in the year of this pandemic and this has led to them becoming more price-sensitive. People have understood the importance of purchasing long-lasting quality items over branded labels. The rows of shoppers in front of “Fresh arrivals” during the season of festive shopping have shifted to the “Discount sections” without any hesitation. Keeping this current trend in mind, even retailers have expanded their discount sections and are focussing on providing inexpensive but quality items to their consumers.
Quality & Comfort:
Normally, festive wear constituted of intricate Indian wear which looked beautiful but was not meant for regular use. In the wake of the pandemic, people have realised the importance of sensible shopping and this has impacted their purchases as well. Silk and cotton fabrics have taken predominance over net and velvet as they are long-lasting and more comfortable to wear. The consumer of the “New Normal” wants garments which look good but are snug enough to be worn frequently under recycled fashion.
Sustainability in fashion is definitely the mantra of the year as far as the fashion wear is concerned. With spending being limited due to the current scenario of losing jobs and depreciating incomes, people have resorted to recycling their wardrobes to give it a new twist. The silk sarees have been modified into gorgeous lehengas, the crop tops have become the new blouses and the old jeans have been given a sequinned revamp. People are opting to reuse the old items from their wardrobes to give them a fresh look by complementing them with new accessories like stoles and artificial jewellery. Mix and match have also become very popular as two existing outfits can now be modified to create three new ones. This has led to an increase in the sale of silk scarves, colourful blends of winter fabrics, gaudy belts and of course artificial and affordable jewellery like earrings and chunky neckpieces.
When it comes to festive wear, one can still opt for mix and match and recycling. However, weddings are the one arena where people usually go all out. No matter what the scale of the wedding, a wedding trousseau for the bride, groom and immediate family is considered an essential expense and near ceremonial. With the wedding season kicking in, families can be seen shopping in full swing. However, the extravagance has been replaced with caution. “. With wedding celebrations becoming smaller, wedding parties are opting to spend on timeless pieces which are affordable and can be recycled later. Affordability has replaced extravagance. Couture has been replaced by discounted brands which are offering attractive deals.
This year has seen the conversion of homes into schools, offices, entertainment zones and even ceremonial halls! Hence, it is no wonder that purchases in home decoration and home utilities have topped the charts. The slightly taken for granted home space which was but a place to sleep and spend some family time has now become the centre of the hub. Also, the importance of hygiene has never been as large in our lives as it has been in the wake of the pandemic. Home linen which was changed usually on a weekly basis in most homes is now being changed almost every alternate day. Frequent washing leads to a smaller lifespan for the fabrics and hence the sale of bed sheets, towels, floor rugs/mats, table covers etc. is being done in large volumes. Festivals are not just celebrations in India. They bring with them a reunion of the family, good times with friends and above all a sense of hope; something which is very much needed in this year of gloom. Whether you are struggling with your finances or are comfortably cushioned, shopping sensibly and purchasing cautiously is the way forward. So don that recycled kurti, purchase that beautiful silk stole which has moved from new arrivals to discount department and smile through your mask - because as Diwali symbolises light removing darkness, the human race will soon conquer the darkness of this dreaded virus and one day this pandemic will be behind us.
Wishing you a Happy and Safe Diwali!