Masks becoming new trend and opening door for unexplored business

Hyderabad: The situation in the COVID has been more of a see saw for a common man.  On one side  has affected him financially to the extent that it has become unbearable for him.

Some women among the middle and lower middle class sensing the demand for the masks have resorted to stitching them hundreds and selling in the open market for Rs 10 or Rs 15 each.

But these classes are not alone in gauging the market demand. Those who have been in the business for long have also sensed the potential for masks and begun to bring the “chick ones” in the market. Each mask in this category could cost few hundreds to few thousand rupees.

Big players like Allen Solly, Peter England, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Phillipe,Van Heusen and others well known names have ventured into this market. Masks in this category of fashion category at the least start with a price tag of Rs 500 each and skyrocket up to a few thousands.

These are made of soft cotton fabric and are reusable. The advice that comes with some of these branded masks says that they should not be used for more than six hours continuously. They can be washed after each use up to 30 times.

According to market sources the those masks that range up to Rs 15 and up to Rs 100 have two broad categories. One, is use and throw and the other one is washable and can be reused for a few times.

Hyderabad based fashion Designer Gulati is manufacturing and supplying masks which are customized. His masks also have the name of the owner written on it to make people know who the mask wearer is.  

The onslaught of coronavirus has also shown another new trend, this time in clothing. The people have decided to celebrate wedding keeping view the prevalent situation. Athar, a tailor from the old quarters of the city, says that he is offering a mask of the same cloth as that of sherwani or suit that he is stitching for the client. That is being liked by the people.

Another enterprising tailor in the Old City said that he is using the left over pieces of cloths and turning them into masks and selling it in the market. These masks can be washed and worn for 10 to 15 times.

Mask in the recent times have become a part of clothing, just like socks that are worn to suit the trousers and shoes.

Well known names like Fabindia, Fable Street and Tjori are creating beautiful masks for women. Designers like Masaba Gupta, Payal Singhal, Anita Dongre, Nitya Bajaj, Shivan, Narresh  have added their own flavour to it.  Right from a casual hop out for shopping to a wedding dress–Sherwani for men and Jodi for women to a casual evening walk along with your pet you can find a mask of your choice. 

The cloth producing hubs of Southern India; Coimbatore and Tirupur in Tamil Nadu have emerged as the smarter ones by producing 10 lakh face masks and 20,000 PPE kits.  They are expecting additional revenue of $500 million from mask exports which is likely to grow to $1 billion as the wearing of the mask becomes new normal. India as a whole has established a market of Rs 10,000 crore in producing PPE kits in just two months.

Hussain Saify

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