You may soon be able to walk into a shopping mall and try on clothes with the 'India Size', tailored to suit the body measurements of the country's populace.
The government will also begin collating information for "trend forecasting" for textiles this month, using commercial intelligence to determine what could be in vogue in the near future, a move bound to exert a major influence on global fashion trends, a top official said.
In March, the government will launch an exercise to measure a group of people to prepare a comprehensive 'India Size' chart, which can be adopted by the country's apparel industry.
"We want that we should have Indian size for two things. It can boost our retail market. South Asian size will also get a fillip, plus our own diaspora which is outside, we will become influence drivers for foreign companies also. We are actually rolling out the exercise in March itself," Textiles Secretary Raghvendra Singh told PTI.
He said the government is trying to complete the "sizeable" project as soon as possible so that a standardised size chart can be prepared for the ready-to-wear industry, based on body measurements of the domestic population.
The project approved earlier by the government will entail measuring of 25,000 male and female Indians in six cities across six regions of the country: Kolkata (East), Mumbai (West), New Delhi (North), Hyderabad (Central India), Bengaluru (South) and Shillong (North-East). Using 3D whole-body scanners and computers that will extract hundreds of measurements from the scan.
Providing well fitting garments in the absence of standardised size chart is proving to be a big challenge for the domestic textile and apparel industry, which is projected to reach USD 123 billion by 2021 and holds 5th position in apparel imports.
At present, India's apparel industry uses size charts which are tweaked versions of sizes of other countries, so returns of the garments are in the range of 20 per cent to 40 per cent and increasing with the growth of e-commerce with the main reason for returns being poor garment fit.
A large percentage of shoppers face difficulty in finding clothes that fit perfectly according to their body measurements, as there is no standard size chart at present.
Moreover, there are differences in anthropometric built of people in different geographical regions across the country.
Once ready, the standardised size chart will impact various other sectors like automotive, aerospace, fitness and sport, art and computer gaming, where insights from this data can produce ergonomically designed products, which are suited for the domestic population.
Till date, 14 countries have successfully completed national sizing surveys: the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Korea, China and Australia.