A large number of Indian shoppers face difficulty finding clothes that are tailored to their body measurements, as brands follow size charts from other countries.
To address this issue, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) will conduct a National Sizing Survey to develop a comprehensive size chart for the ready-to-wear industry based on the body measurements of the Indian population.
The project, estimated to cost Rs 30 crore, will be carried out under the Ministry of Textiles. 25,000 men and women will be sampled for the survey in six locations of the country - Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Shillong - over a span of two to three years.
"It is a scientific exercise where anthropometric data will be collected from a sample population in the age group 15 to 65 years to create a database of measurements that will result in a standardized size chart which is representative of the Indian population and can be adopted by the apparel industry," the Ministry said in a statement.
Using 3D whole-body scanners, computers will extract hundreds of measurements from a scan. The data created as part of this project will be confidential and secure, it added. Once the chart is ready, brands in India will have to carry the India size on garments.
Using size charts of other countries has resulted in an increased exchange of products. With the growth of e-commerce, a standardised chart will also help the domestic textiles and apparel industry.
"Indian apparel industry uses size charts which are tweaked versions of size charts of other countries so returns of the garments are in the range of 20% to 40% and is increasing with the growth of e-commerce and the main reason for returns are poor garment fit. Providing well fitting garments in the absence of standardized 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," the statement said.
"Clothes that are tailored following a size chart specially developed for the Indian body size and shape will make Indians look more beautiful and feel more confident. It would also lead to more business and lower rejections," Sarada Muraleedharan, Director General, NIFT, told BusinessLine.
The findings of the survey will also impact various other sectors such as automation, aerospace, fitness and sport, art and computer gaming "where insights from this data can produce ergonomically designed products which are suited for the Indian population."
As of now, 14 countries including USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Korea, China and Australia have successfully completed national sizing surveys.