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How COVID's impact on imports has seen a boom in Australian made socks

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Socks manufacturing has a notable share in the global apparel industry. As of 2021, 26 billion pairs of socks are manufactured worldwide. The apparel manufacturing hubs in the world were struck hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were markets that sunk into depression i.e. Indian clothing industry. This created an opportunity for socks manufacturers in the countries whose clothing industry wasn’t hit too hard by the pandemic.

Though the apparel industry in China, the world’s largest textile producer, managed to stay afloat, other major textile hubs like Pakistan, India, Turkey, Brazil, the United States, experienced a great decline in their annual production due to countrywide lockdowns that lasted for over a year. Due to the pandemic, the import and export scenarios changed throughout the world. The leading exporters of textiles ended up losing billions of dollars due to the closing of factories.

Before the pandemic, Turkey had a noticeable position in the global socks industry and was the second-largest exporter of socks in the world after China. Turkey has more than 300 socks factories, most of which have large-scale production capabilities. With 85% of factories operating only in Istanbul, Turkey has been a leading socks producer for a decade due to its massive export capacity, modern technology, and large-scale production.

Turkey produced 10% of the world’s socks before the pandemic and China’s exports met 40% of the world’s demands for socks. However, the pandemic engendered massive changes in the global socks industry. In 2020, the demand for socks fell drastically across the world. The three largest buyers of Turkish socks i.e. France, Germany, and the U.K. decreased their imports. This adversely affected the socks industry of Turkey as the industry is export-oriented. 75% of the socks produced in the country are exported. Before the pandemic, Turkey exported an average of $86 million worth of socks every month. Following the decline in global socks demand, socks manufacturers across the country decreased production. As the leading exporters of socks decreased production during the pandemic, the socks industries in countries where the lockdown wasn’t very strict experienced a boom i.e. Australia.

The Australian garment manufacturers managed to keep operating in many cities, even during the early months of the year-long lockdown engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though many garment manufacturers across the country went into debt due to the lockdown, many managed to stay afloat and keep their production rate intact. Additionally, many sectors of the Australian clothing industry recognized the gap between supply and demand that existed in the global clothing industry i.e. Australian socks industry.

There has been a great demand for custom face socks throughout the world. With amazing print-on-demand services available in Australia, the Australian socks industry dominated the global socks market with its creativity. Though the production of socks in Australia has not increased significantly after the pandemic, the exports have skyrocketed. Many countries across the world including India have increased socks imports from Australia.