Innerwear brands are targeting specific consumers like millennials and GenZ. They are fighting age-old norms and beauty standards around intimate wear. For instance, innerwear for women used to be a hush-hush sector with zero options for comfort, or customization.
The worst part is that women’s innerwear in India used to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ affair and almost never catered to different body sizes and shapes. But a lot of inclusive innerwear brands are creating unique loungewear and innerwear products for both men, women and even the LGBTQIA+ community.
Innerwear brands in the spotlight
XYXX is a start-up that offers men’s innerwear and loungewear made from naturally-sourced, eco-friendly fabric. The start-up is challenging the status quo as a homegrown brand and achieved a growth of 300 pc in 2020 which has brought them into the high-growth stage as a start-up.
Clovia is a women’s intimate wear brand in the D2C segment that has grown significantly. They have experienced a sharp and significant rise, even once achieving 100% growth in a span of 6 months. They are currently working to expand to international markets. Clovia’s growth numbers have been nothing short of tremendous with INR 52.5 Cr incoming revenue achieved in 2018. Their product range is diverse encompassing lingerie, personal care, lounge wear and sportswear.
Tailor and Circus
Tailor and Circus is a highly inclusive unisex homegrown brand that’s been achieving year-on-year growth and making crores in revenue. They target niche customers like astronauts, menstruating and wheelchair bound consumers, and the transgender community with their anti-microbial, self-cleaning underwear products.
Zivame is a well-known women’s intimate wear brand that’s also the largest Lingerie Retail EBO (Exclusive Brand Outlet) network in India. They penetrated the Indian lingerie market at a time when women’s innerwear was an underserved category. Through their D2C approach, Zivame is continuing to achieve 2X growth as well as double digit month-on-month growth percentages. They also achieved a growth of 50-60% in their website traffic post covid.
Smugglerz Inc is a men’s focused growth stage brand that’s offering loungewear essentials like boxer shorts, lounge shorts, pyjamas and innerwear. They are making fun products with attractive themes like ‘Back to the ‘80s’ and are also collaborating with pop culture brands like Warner Bros and DC Comics.
A few other noteworthy domestic brands include Fabpoppy, Modern Crew, Almo, Buttercups and PrettySecrets.
Future, market size and opportunity in the Indian innerwear market
The inclusive innerwear market has high growth potential as more domestic brands are venturing into both men and women’s intimate and loungewear. However, the women’s innerwear market is currently the most lucrative with a RedSeer’s Report estimating a potential of $12 B in the coming 5 years.
Innerwear is currently one of the fastest growing apparels in India. The female innerwear market will grow in Tier II cities due to increasing brand awareness about economical products. Target consumers in smaller towns will mostly be from the young, high-income, social media savvy demographic.
The market comprises lingerie, athleisure (including loungewear and activewear) as well as ancillaries like shapewear and swimwear. You can venture into any or all of these categories.
The Indian Innerwear market especially for women’s innerwear is expected to be a $12 B opportunity by 2025. E-commerce and D2C channels are seeing high consumer loyalty and the opportunity is strong for online brands.
Through their D2C approach, Zivame is continuing to achieve 2X growth as well as double digit month-on-month growth percentages.
What’s in it for me?
Reinvention is the key word when it comes to the innerwear segment in India. Brands taking the reinvention approach are achieving tumultuous growth. Men and women have suffered due to the lack of innovation or inspiration in loungewear and innerwear categories.
Aspiring entrepreneurs need to do their bit to change this scenario. Start-ups venturing into innerwear need to adopt sustainable fabric and manufacturing approaches. Plush, ultra-soft and cosy products are in high demand as customers in the work-from-home segment demand higher levels of comfort and ease in loungewear. The premium and luxury segment have high potential in men and women’s innerwear since Tier II and Tier III city consumers are willing to purchase from premium brands.
Inclusive marketing campaigns and targeting niche segments will work very well for brands. If you are interested in women’s innerwear, expect high competition. But the opportunities are massive especially for innovative product offerings that address women’s intimate wear challenges.