Summers are like Christmas for most Pakistani women, whereas, the same season leaves most of them unqualified in the race of designer lawn. Women living below the poverty line find it extremely hard to make ends meet on their limited incomes and in the face of rising expenditure, not many women can afford to buy designer lawn. In the debt of 1,240 million dollars from World Bank, Pakistan is still struggling hard to plan effective policies to cater the basic needs of its citizens.
Customers, shopping in the main commercial area of Rawalpindi, Saddar, complain that the price of lawn is increasing while we have to compromise when it comes to the quality. Summaira Shafaqat, a student at COMSAT, said “I remember buying a suit (a really good one) for my mother for 500 Rs in 2007 from Saddar, than it went up to 750Rs, 1000Rs, 1500Rs, 2500Rs and this summer I got my mother a good suit for 3500Rs”.
Many people choose to buy the duplicate copies of designer clothes to survive in the wave of inflation. A customer named, Faiza Sheikh said, “the original is very expensive so I prefer the duplicate ones”. When asked about their availability in market, she replied that “after 20-30 days of opening the copies of lawn prints are easily available at niche markets”, she even mentioned that the copied lawn prints are available at half of the price when it is compared to the original ones.
Shopkeepers agreed that about 40 percent of their customers have declined over the past three years. “The rapid increase in clothing prices has affected our business on a large scale – the customer rate has declined and so has the profit” said Muhammad Farooq, owner of a known clothes shop in Saddar Rawalpindi. Another shopkeeper, Rana Irfan Ahmed said, “there is no board or governing body to standardize the price range of clothes – Shopkeepers and designers have their own rates according to their expenditures and designs”.
“We consider only elite class our target audience” said Adnan Bashir, Branch Manager of a popular
lawn brand, Kayseria, in Rawalpindi. Majority of the branded shops hold the same opinion at Saddar Rawalpindi, owning to that their minimum price range starts from 2500 for 3-piece lawn
In a country like Pakistan there is a huge discrimination, on one side there are people who wear clothes worth thousands of rupees, and on the other hand there are people who cannot even afford to buy one suit throughout the year. Then there are people like Farzana who have family income of Rs 6000-5000 only. Farzana, earns about four thousand rupees a month, and spends all her savings on her children. She said that I use all the money to fulfill my children’s needs instead of buying new clothes for my own self. ‘I spend my Eids in used clothes that people give me’, says Farzana.
Byline shared with Amna Sabahat (Contact Amna on the following web address: http://amnasabahat.wordpress.com/)