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The COVID-19 pandemic affects the global fashion industry as governments close down manufacturing plants, and through store closures, and event cancellationsto slow the spread of the virus. The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on fashion brands worldwide. At the same time, the fashion industry faces challenges in consumer demand. New opportunities are also presenting themselves as fashion brands shift to making fashionable coronavirus face masks. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is inevitably changing the fashion world forever. Domenico de Sole, chairman of Tom Ford International, remarked that “I have seen a lot of difficult situations in my long career and this has been the most devastating event, not just for fashion and luxury, but all industries.”
Manufacturing issues include lack of fabric availability and order cancellations, but brands that prepared originally by importing fabrics and have them stored at a safehouse will benefit from the pandemic.The unfolding situation of the pandemic has affected the people who make our clothes, the most vulnerable and lowest paid people in the fashion supply chain. "The global trade union which works to give workers around the world a voice, says that millions of garment makers have already lost their jobs as a result of the virus and have no access to social or financial safety nets to help them weather this storm." This has affected many fashion brands directly, as they face challenges by no longer having their manufacturers to rely on. Brands typically pay their suppliers weeks or even months after delivery, rather than upon order. Suppliers, though, need to pay upfront the cost of materials and fibers used to make the products they have been asked to produced from brands. The issue is that with the unfolding situation of the pandemic, fashion brands and retailers are cancelling orders, due to low demands of clothing, and cancelling payments for orders that have already been placed with their manufacturers. Hence, fashion brands take no responsibility for the impact this has on the people working under their supply chains; their manufacturers who have already worked on crafting their products at their own cost and no longer receive anything in return. Given the situation, factories are left with no other choice than to keep hold of unwanted goods already made or destroy them, and laying off workers to afford the crisis or shutting down their factories indefinitely. With this scenario happening all over the globe, fashion brands are highly affected when it comes to the manufacturing of their goods.
As retail stores shut their doors and stay-at-home orders kept people inside, there was a dramatic shift towards digital commerce that is likely to continue post-pandemic. Consumers had to increase their use of services like social commerce and curbside pickup and retailers had to offer digital solutions in order to survive.Sales from physical brick-and-mortar stores and department stores are down and expected to continue decreasing while direct-to-consumer online retailers are on the rise. Some dressmakers and seamstresses have shifted to making masks, including specialized masks for Sihks and wearers of turbans, hijabs, and hearing aids, as well as those with full beards. "To survive, retailers must anticipate consumer purchase behavior changes and deliver contactless yet engaging customer experiences."
Apparel is a leading discretionary purchase. Furthermore, inasmuch as many people are staying at home there is less occasion for dressing for formal contexts. Most any people make clothing purchases ahead of special occasions, such as weddings and vacation, but as many of these events have been canceled or postponed that need no longer exists. Layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts are also affecting sales.Additionally, the pandemic has definitely played a contributing role to consumers looking for a more comfortable, relaxing denim. The demand for tracksuits, pajamas, hoodies, sportswear, and other leisurewear highly rose. Baggy jeans, for example, are replacing tight ones. The fashion needs and interests of people are highly shifting, as they prefer comfortable clothes over high design. Consumer changes in tastes in accordance to apparel and styles have led businesses to pivot towards a greater focus in loungewear and activewear, ideal for a stay at home situation. Moreover, with the shift in customer attention to safety, health and wellness, retailers are facing the post-pandemic challenge of capturing new customer needs with a greater focus in hygiene and safety to retain their clientele.
As businesses adapt to the technological shift to e-commerce, they are adopting social media as an alternate method for customer shopping. The evolution of social media is driving CMOs to innovate and adjust their marketing strategies. A great decline is seen in traditional advertising spending, as companies are seeing a historic return on their social media investments. As an article by Harvard Business Review stated at the start of the 2021 year, CMOs are anticipating a high percentage of their marketing budgets going into social media investments.In adjusting to a more social media centric approach, fashion companies and brands are increasing their online and digital presence greatly. About 61% of CMOs indicated that they have “shifted resources to building customer-facing digital interfaces” and 56.2% are planning to “transform their go-to-market business models to focus on digital opportunities”.
There has been a great range in variety of taste preferences that have grown with the onset of social media. The astonishing growth of the TikTok platform, for example, rewards people for “retreating into their own niches and discovering new interests”.The coronavirus brought a new surge of TikTok users, with exactly 2 million users downloading the app just within the week of March 16, 2020. The app's compelling content and engaged community is driving brands and advertisers to invest in this social platform.
The fashion industry is well ranked as one of the world's largest polluting industries. Its impact on this planet has only been getting worse, as the industry has grown throughout the years.With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is facing a stage of reassessment and is searching for new alternatives that are mindful of our people and planet. Just recently, the State of Fashion Report of 2019 claimed the industry was undergoing a "year of awakening" as consumers demanded greater social responsibility from fashion retailers big and small. Nonetheless, with the rise of the pandemic at the start of the 2020 year, the fashion industry's sustainability efforts began to slow down. Sustainability was becoming way less of a priority for fashion retail, as fashion retail businesses were undergoing a state of emergency and fighting for survival. Now though, as the crisis aligns consumer, environmental, and ethical interests, the spotlight on sustainability has been brought back to light. Numerous reports and studies have shown the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on focusing our minds towards helping to create a better, healthier planet. Consumer fashion purchasing behavior has evolved and people are leaning towards more environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and/or ethical purchases. The resale apparel market, which includes online resell as well as thrift and donation stores, is set to skyrocket in a post-COVID-19 world. Many collaborations and projects have arisen within brands, to support recycling, resale, sustainable collections, or material innovations. In addition, many brands have published their accelerated sustainability goals in terms of plastic, carbon, and energy reduction. With the impact the pandemic has had on consumer purchasing behavior, environmental awareness, and sustainable consumption, several efforts are being carried out globally to build a sustainable fashion future.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still undertaking, consumers are anxious about health and finances. The pandemic propelled an already existing surge for secondhand fashion. The resale, or sale of "pre-loved", clothing has become more of a trend globally, and is seen across several social media channels. Trying to overcome the financial distress, consumers started to rethink about ways to gain something out of the unused clothing sitting in their closets. While some do decide to donate their apparel, others view their wardrobe as a tradable, valuable asset and decide to sell.From a high end perspective, you get to sell that Gucci or Hermes bag that has been sitting on your closet shelf collecting dust and unused, through an online second hand retail site, such as The RealReal, ThredUp, or Poshmark, and get cash from it. Viewing it from the buyer's side, you get to purchase brand new or barely used clothing and accessories at a more affordable price, functioning just ideal for consumers during these times
Designers have adapted with producing and showcasing their fashion products by streaming presentations online without a live audience present.The British Fashion Council made an announcement in April 2020 that it would develop a digital “cultural fashion week platform” that designers could use in any way that they thought would work for them rather than facilitating the typical format and setting of a fashion show. Shanghai and Moscow fashion weeks were presented digitally in late March and April 2020. Ermenegildo Zegna coined the word "phygital" to describe "physical space and digital technologies" as its new way of showcasing fashion.
As art galleries and museums were closed, First American Art Magazine organized a virtual art exhibition and asked the Native art community to submit masks. More than seventy artists handed in 125 masks, from functional masks to decorated ones.
The on-going COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably change the fashion industry forever. The necessity to purchase clothing on a frequent basis no longer exists, and numerous brands and historic department stores have closed for good.
That said, face masks have been trending as a fashion statement during the COVID-19 pandemic.It has been suggested that possibly "no other piece of clothing has had a trajectory like face masks — something that began as purely protective transforming into a fashion statement in no time at all." The Trikini in Italy, for example, consists of two piece beachwear and a matching mask. More broadly they have appeared on the catwalk as a part of the haute couture's industry turn towards a utilitarian flair, and furthermore with the global rollout of effective vaccines thought is now being given to "the post-COVID look."
H&M is a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children. As of November 2019, H&M operates in 74 countries with over 5,000 stores under the various company brands, with 126,000 full-time equivalent positions. It is the second-largest global clothing retailer, behind Spain-based Inditex. Founded by Erling Persson and run by his son Stefan Persson and Helena Helmersson, the company makes its online shopping available in 33 countries.
Zara SA, stylized as ZARA, is a Spanish apparel retailer based in Arteixo, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. The company specializes in fast fashion, and products include clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, beauty, and perfumes. It is the largest company in the Inditex group, the world's largest apparel retailer. Zara as of 2017 manages up to 20 clothing collections a year.
PT Matahari Department Store Tbk, doing business as Matahari, is an Indonesian company working in the retail business for several types of products such as clothes, accessories, bags, shoes, cosmetics, and household appliances, which provides management consulting service.
Dov Charney is a Canadian entrepreneur, clothing manufacturer and advocate for immigration reform in the United States. He is the founder of American Apparel, which until its bankruptcy in 2015, was one of the largest and most influential garment manufacturers in the United States. Following his departure from American Apparel, Charney subsequently founded Los Angeles Apparel.
Fast fashion is a term used to describe a highly profitable and exploitative business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, mass-producing them at low cost. The term fast fashion is also used to generically describe the products of the fast fashion business model. The fast fashion business model was made possible during the late 20th century as manufacturing of cloth became cheaper and easier, through new materials like polyester and nylon, efficient supply chains and quick response manufacturing methods, and inexpensive labour in sweatshop production and low-labour protection bulk clothing manufacturing industries in South, South East, and East Asia. Companies like H&M and Zara, built business models based on inexpensive clothing from the efficient production lines, to create more seasonal and trendy designs that are aggressively marketed to fashion-conscious consumers. Fast fashion applies an extreme version of planned obsolescence to clothing. Because these designs are changing so quickly and are so cheap, consumers buy more clothing than they would previously, so expectations for those clothes to last decrease. Stealing designs is also common.
Visual merchandising is the practice in the retail industry of optimizing the presentation of products and services to better highlight their features and benefits. The purpose of such visual merchandising is to attract, engage, and motivate the customer towards making a purchase.
Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. It addresses the whole system of how clothing is produced, who produced it and how long the life span of a product is before it reaches landfill. This means dealing with interdependent social, cultural, ecological, and financial systems.
M&Co. is a Scottish chain store selling women's, men's, and children's clothes, as well as small homeware products. Its head office is in Inchinnan, Scotland, though its main buying office is in London. Previously, its head office was at Caledonia House in Paisley.
India has an Internet user base of about 696.77million as of May 2020, about 40% of the population. Despite being the second-largest user base in world, only behind China, the penetration of e-commerce is low compared to markets like the United States, or France, but is growing, adding around 6 million new entrants every month. The industry consensus is that growth is at an inflection point.
Fashion forecasting is a global career that focuses on upcoming trends. A fashion forecaster predicts the colors, fabrics, textures, materials, prints, graphics, beauty/grooming, accessories, footwear, street style, and other styles that will be presented on the runway and in the stores for the upcoming seasons. The concept applies to not one, but all levels of the fashion industry including haute couture, ready-to-wear, mass market, and street wear. Fashion trend forecasting is an overall process that focuses on other industries such as automobiles, medicine, food and beverages, literature, and home furnishings. Fashion forecasters are responsible for attracting consumers and helping retail businesses and designers sell their brands. Today, fashion industry workers rely on the Internet to retrieve information on new looks, colors, celebrity wardrobes, and designer collections.
Digital Fashion is the visual representation of clothing built using computer technologies and 3D software.
AG Adriano Goldschmied or AG Jeans is an American clothing company with a focus on denim apparel created with sustainable manufacturing methods. Founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, California, the company is owned by its co-founder Yul Ku, whose Koos Manufacturing previously produced jeans for several well-known brands. AG Jeans was also co-founded by Italian designer Adriano Goldschmied who left the company in 2004 and sold his share of the business, as well as his namesake brand, to Ku. The company has 16 retail stores across the United States and a new location on Madison Avenue in New York expected to open in late 2020. Since 2010, AG Jeans has implemented a number of sustainability measures at its facilities including a water-filtration system that allows it to operate almost entirely on recycled water.
Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit global movement represented by The Fashion Revolution Foundation and Fashion Revolution CIC with teams in over 100 countries around the world. Fashion Revolution campaigns for reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Starting in 2013, Fashion Revolution has designated the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh as Fashion Revolution Day and holds events each year. Between 2014 and 2020, millions of people around the world called on brands to answer the question Who Made My Clothes? The hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes became the no.1 global trend on Twitter. They have faced criticisms specifically about the Transparency Index.
The retail apocalypse is the closing of numerous brick-and-mortar retail stores, especially those of large chains worldwide, starting around 2010 and continuing onward. In 2019, retailers in the United States announced 9,302 store closings, a 59% jump from 2018, and the highest number since tracking the data began in 2012. Over 12,000 physical stores have closed due to factors including over-expansion of malls, rising rents, bankruptcies of leveraged buyouts, low quarterly profits outside holiday binge spending, delayed effects of the Great Recession, and changes in spending habits. American consumers have shifted their purchasing habits due to various factors, including experience-spending versus material goods and homes, casual fashion in relaxed dress codes, as well as the rise of e-commerce, mostly in the form of competition from juggernaut companies such as Amazon.com and Walmart. A 2017 Business Insider report dubbed this phenomenon the "Amazon effect," and calculated that Amazon.com was generating greater than 50% of the growth of retail sales.
Boohoo Group plc is a United Kingdom-based online fashion retailer, aimed at 16–30 year olds. The business was founded in 2006, and had sales in 2019 of £856.9m. It specialises in own brand fashion clothing, with over 36,000 products. Growing rapidly, the company has acquired the brands and online presence of several defunct high street retailers, and also seen controversy over working conditions at some of its suppliers.
FIGS is an American healthcare apparel brand based in Santa Monica, California. The company sells scrubs that come in a variety of colors and styles, as well as a number of other products for healthcare professionals. It was founded in 2013 by Heather Hasson and Trina Spear who both serve as co-CEOs.
The worldwide disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in numerous positive effects to the environment and climate. The global reduction in modern human activity such as the considerable decline in planned travel was coined anthropause and has caused a large drop in air pollution and water pollution in many regions. In China, lockdowns and other measures resulted in a 25 percent reduction in carbon emissions and 50 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions, which one Earth systems scientist estimated may have saved at least 77,000 lives over two months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching economic consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself and efforts to quarantine it. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread around the globe, concerns have shifted from supply-side manufacturing issues to decreased business in the services sector. The pandemic caused the 2nd largest global recession in history, with more than a third of the global population at the time being placed on lockdown.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been largely disruptive, adversely affecting travel, financial markets, employment, shipping, and other industries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a sharp economic toll on the retail industry worldwide as many retailers and shopping centers were forced to shut down for months due to mandated stay-at-home orders. As a result of these closures, online retailers received a major boost in sales as customers looked for alternative ways to shop and the effects of the retail apocalypse were exacerbated. A number of notable retailers filed for bankruptcy including Ascena Retail Group, Debenhams, Arcadia Group, Brooks Brothers, GNC, J. C. Penney, Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus.