The global image of Linen apparel is considered as the premium range apparels, and generally business class and corporate world are the main users of linen apparels due to its rich nature. Also linen is used more for men's ware as compared to women's ware but the trend is gradually changing as because of a number of women have joined the corporate world compare to few years back. The most popular linen items for women include blouses, dresses and office suites. For men, its drawstring pants, casual suites (for summer dates), casual short-sleeve shirts and long-sleeve dress shirts.
The fact that linen apparel is fashionable, great for summer and provides cooling comfort is globally accepted. Initially the performance aspect, i.e. - wearability and maintenance that prevented linen apparel from being more popular. However, at the turn of the century, there have been significant changes in the linen by mixing the portions of rayon, silk, viscose and other fibres that helped to improve linen's performance as well as its aesthetic appeal. Since then conveniently a new trend has appeared that is becoming the main market driver for linen clothing. Gradually the linen was getting associated with "green fiber" as linen is the most "green" of all textile fibers - vegetable in origin, successfully cultivated with minimal use of fertilizers, and made-up into an end product which is 100 percent biodegradable.
According to IKON Marketing Consultant's Global Market Outlook for Linen Apparels : 2007-2014, the global market for linen apparel was estimated at around US $ 13000 – 14000 mn in 2008 and linen has immerged as green fibre across the globe. For global retailing/distribution trend in linen apparels represents mix trend. Generally, the modern channels are being used, like Multi Brand Retail outlets, Malls, Departmental stores, Company showrooms getting priority over the traditional channel. In the USA the trend towards retailers becoming manufacturers, and manufacturers becoming retailers, or creating one-stop shops, is still ongoing. It is allowing the industry to create new efficiencies by eliminating middlemen.
The research estimates that the USA and Western Europe are the two biggest markets for the green product like Linen from among other BRIC and Eastern European countries. The recent market trend shows that the Firms that only 10-15 years ago relied solely on "fashionability" to sell linen clothing are now investing in various "green" and organic certifications and putting a variety of eco -labels on their clothing. Brands that previously avoided linen are starting to buy the fabric because of the combination of environmental concerns and fashion. Further, it is estimated that in the coming years India and China are going to create huge demand for Linen made apparels leaving behind USA and Western European countries.
The overall global trend for the linen apparel market is on the rise since 2010 leaving behind the global economic slowdown effect. The trend will gradually pick up in the years to come due to its green nature. Also the major factors pulling the growth seem to rise the environmental concern across the globe resulting in rise of new Eco friendly consumer class and shift towards modern channels for retailing and distribution of apparels.