According to reports, the global pet wearable market was estimated at US $ 1.6 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach US $ 1.8 billion in 2020. Pet apparel industry is one of the fastest growing markets in India. 5-6 years back, the market was not explored potentially. However, this industry has now grown tenfold and continues to grow each year. From 2015 to 2019, That Dog In Tuxedo, one of the most renowned names for bespoke wear within the category, has recorded a 300-400 per cent year-on-year growth.
The demand has increased exponentially and customers are now more exposed to product options, the brand informed Apparel Resources.
“We have a continuous demand to introduce new products in accordance with trends, seasons and occasions besides the usual festive apparels. More and more pet parents are approaching us to shop not only for fashionable options, but functional apparel and walking gears too. That Dog In Tuxedo was born out of love for our street and indie dogs. We wanted to create a platform where besides online shopping, we can also provide more exposure to adoptions and rescue of dogs. Our brand ambassador, Santa himself is an indie dog, who was rescued, and so we wanted to inspire others as well and share their pet adoption stories on our platform. We are happy to see that after almost 5 years now, several companies are taking initiatives in spreading this awareness,” said Shikhar Agrawal, Executive Director, That Dog In Tuxedo.
Choices make for a great purchase
After having worked with pets for almost a decade, Sakshi Bawa founded her own brand Mutt of Course.
“I have closely observed the industry growing over the years, and the pet parents too are demanding the best for their pets. This industry is certainly unorganised and lacks that uniformity, but a lot is being done and the evidence is the birth of new brands for pets, which has now become a very normal occurrence. Initially, when we entered the industry, we understood that the consciousness for breeds, especially Indies, was very less. However, the idea has drastically changed, and since the start, we emphasised on focusing on each and every breed with more care and attention. We only use cotton and organic fabrics for all our products. The consciousness for comfort is now more of an added concern and all our dog collars, leashes, bow ties, bandanas, beds, jackets, mats and other products are meant to bring that smile on every pet. We have also got a lot of queries from customers regarding pet masks and are researching the same and will only release it in the market once we are sure of the comfort and convenience factor,” Sakshi told AR while elaborating on how she is seeing the industry shaping up amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
In the context of pet masks, Shikhar said, “It’s a question many people are asking. Experts say there’s currently no evidence that dogs or cats are at risk of getting sick from coronavirus. As of now, we are still researching the usage of pet masks. There is currently no demand for them from our customers. Moreover, vets also do not recommend using masks on dogs. Covering their mouths with masks may result in respiratory issues, as dogs pant with their mouths open that helps in body temperature regulations. However, given the COVID-19 and hygiene concerns, we are doing everything we can to ensure that all our processes are governed by hygienic norms as stated by the WHO. Also, due to COVID-19, there’s a natural shift from offline to online shopping for the pet products. So, the sales of everything – from raincoats to bandanas to harnesses – have gone up! The orders are coming in so fast that our stock is literally flying and that’s how high the demand is right now. We’ve grown 800 per cent on Pet Essentials and Apparel categories, predominantly the must-have products, as compared to last year.”
Customised products are in demand
Since 2015, That Dog In Tuxedo has been offering a product line of bow tie collars, bandanas, tuxedos, sherwanis, lehengas, dresses, kurtas, tux vest, etc. They were the first in the industry to bring out the coolest and quirkiest collections for every occasion, be it Diwali, Holi, Rakhi, Christmas, weddings or birthdays. ‘Bespoke Canine Craftsmanship’ is the brand’s tagline and USP. “We have built our brand keeping in mind four aspects – quality, choice, price and convenience. We understand that each pet is different, not only in size, but also in behaviour. For example, some pets can easily wear fully covered clothing, while some cannot. And for this reason, we offer our bespoke services to make sure that each pet is comfortable in his/her clothing and accessories. When it comes to sizing, we always give the option to get the customised product at no additional cost. Our bespoke process is quite easy and hassle-free. Customers know he/she is investing in the right size and quality for their pooch, and hence, shopping online for TDIT bespoke products is truly safe and convenient for them,” Shikhar further added that in order to highlight how customisation is what the customers demand more as compared to ready products.
With customisation taking the centrestage, Lana Paws is yet another favourite with the pet parents. A lifestyle pet accessories brand that celebrates the joys of responsible, informed and involved pet parenting, Lana’s collections range from statement dog accessories such as dog bow ties and dog bandanas to fit any occasion or mood, as well as highly comfortable dog mats, dog blankets and dog beds among others.
Vidha Shukla, Founder, Lana Paws, while speaking on the industry, said “We have come across two sets of pet parents since the start – one group comprises the regular shoppers who always love to pamper their pets. Secondly, people who shop occasionally. However, the business and orders have grown blurring the lines between these two segments. More than before, during the lockdown, we have started getting orders for customised products. I would say that staying at home, spending more time with pets has made customers more demanding and conscious about non-essential purchases for pets, which necessarily has brought up the apparel orders. Added to this is the ‘vocal for local’ sentiment that has certainly helped us local start-ups grow during the lockdown phase. We are hopeful that with Rakhi and the festivities starting off, the business will gain momentum and we will certainly see the purchases increasing.”