Can Automation Be a Boon for Fashion Industry?

With the world being changed with the wave of automation, fashion industry is also being take over by the robots. The need of fast growth, cheaper production and ability to fulfill the increasing demands, various countries including India are moving towards the automation of the fashion, apparel and textile industry.

The Need for Automation

One may question, what is the need for turning an age old industry run  by handicrafts-men and labor into automated ones?

Fashion industry is one of the most globalised industry where manufacturers from all walks of life are facing the need of creating such garments which are not only fashionable but are also produced in short period of time, using good quality fabrics and materials, in high number of stocks, while keeping the cost low. With increasing cost of shipping, energy bills, labor, and material, it is not easy for them. therefore, they find it rather easy to turn towards machines for increasing the production rate and lowering the cost considerably.

Losing Jobs

According to The Hindu, “Textile and apparel industry is likely to create only 29 lakh jobs compared to the government’s target of one crore new jobs, even as the sector’s market size is expected to grow by 40 per cent to $142 billion in the next five years, says a report.

As textile and apparel industry is moving towards automation, the industry is unlikely to create more jobs along with the growth in the industry. The expected job creation in the domestic textile and apparel sector would be 29 lakh in the next 5 years."

As per a World Bank report, 69 per cent of the jobs in India are at a higher risk of being replaced by automation.

Fashion, apparel and textile industry in India is facing a tough competition in the global platform, especially due to the major players such as US, France and UK already producing high quality finished products at lower cost. Manufacturers find it easy to turn toward automation for reducing the labor cost, increasing production while maintaining a consistent quality, which is not possible with manpower no matter how skilled they are. 

Customer Preference

Customers today wants to have affordable fashion available to them without any fuss. This has contributed towards the need of automation. As a customer myself, I love wearing fine fabrics, but paying for them an incredible amount is sometimes out of my budget.

This is killing the local handicrafts in India. Benarasi sarees, Hand woven silks, pachikari, phulkari and several such handmade fabric and apparel trends are finding it hard to survive in the fast moving fashion industry.

Credits: Gaatha

Being fine work, it takes days, sometimes weeks to finish a product which adds to its value but very few customers are willing to wait for that long and pay that much for the work. Automation is making it worse. 

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