ISLAMABAD: It is a rather known phenomenon that when Eidul Fitr draws near, Eid shopping gains immense momentum.
Over the years, one business that has been benefiting from high turnover all through Ramazan is that of tailors. However, the trend seems to be changing this year in the capital where people have varied demands and expectations pertaining to their clothes.
Tailors across the twin cities seem to have lost ground to various pret wear clothing options available to women. Catering to different economic segments, readymade clothing stores display their Eid collections way ahead of the big day to attract customers.
The days when tailors had immense workload during Ramazan and started refusing orders from the month’s first week because of pending work are long gone.
“Ready-to-wear has become extremely common these days. People prefer it over the option of buying unstitched cloth and getting it stitched. Readymade kurtas and shirts have not only become common but are in fashion and are considered a status symbol too. This is why the business is suffering,” said Naseer Ahmad a tailor who has a shop in Sector F-11.
Ready-to-wear has always had a prominent place in the market but its sales have increased over the years particularly because it has become quite affordable. “Getting clothes stitched used to be an economical option but now it is a luxury. One needs to take time out to purchase the cloth, get its embroidery done, buy laces and then go through the hassle of getting it stitched, whereas local brands offer beautifully embroidered kurtas that can be worn with pants or tights at a rather economical price,” said Sana who prefers pret wear over customised clothes.
Despite the drop in work, brands will not be able to completely replace tailors anytime soon. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS
This is precisely the reason that the brands have realised the potential of pret wear, are making great use of the opportunity and generating sales.
However, the tailors are in a fix. “Load-shedding has made us suffer immensely and there is nothing we can do about it. Generators cost a lot and their affordability is an issue. Now we have lesser orders because of ready-to-wear brands,” said Kamran a tailor from Sector I-8 who believes striving in the market is getting harder with each passing day.
Jabbar, a tailor who works from home in Sector G-10, told The Express Tribune that till a few years ago he used to get a lot of work close to Eid but things have changed now. “Tailors who work from home and don’t have shops suffer the most. Sometimes we have to retort to other means of earning income because the orders are so less,” he said.
However, despite the sad state of affairs for tailors and growing trend of pret wear in Islamabad, brands will not be able to completely replace tailors and the need for customised stitching anytime soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2015.