During the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time for the fashion industry to reinvent itself. The industry is suffering from the prolonged global outbreak. Lockdowns, business closures, and self-quarantine have caused billions of pounds worth of major orders to be cancelled. With major retail stores closed temporarily in many areas as a result of lockdown measures, two seasons of fashions have been lost.
With that being said, we are going to take a look at some ways that the fashion industry will change once the pandemic is under control:
On-Demand Manufacturing- the global fashion industry is a £2.5 trillion business, but the pandemic has exposed a structural issue within it. Designers and manufacturers are producing new seasonal clothing and accessories without getting proper market feedback. Overproduction has been an ongoing issue in the industry which could reach up to 40% in each season. With an on-demand manufacturing model, designers and manufacturers don’t have to produce things that they won’t sell. There’s no extra cost for raw material, production, or warehousing. On-demand production is also sustainable and more economical.
More Focus On Local Productions- global trade is complex and the pandemic has triggered a crippling bottleneck in many areas. If there’s a demand, local manufacturing will be a better solution because it will ensure more balance between supply and demand. Cost advantage is a common rationale given for manufacturing products abroad. However, although fashion products are manufactured in areas with lower wages, the price for end users will eventually be close to standard market prices in the area where they live. Usually, the decision to manufacture abroad is not really to reduce prices for end users, but to increase the company’s net profit.
Less Importance Of Fashion Seasons- seasonal trends and productions will remain, but they will make less sense for leaders in the fashion industry. Seasonal productions regularly cause brands to be stuck with a significant amount of inventory. Any hiccup in sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, or retail may throw off the financial success of the whole line-up. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant surplus of fashion products from the spring and summer 2020 seasons. The situation won’t be much better for autumn, although manufacturing and retail activities are already picking up in certain areas.
Increased Online Transactions- many customers performed online transactions for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic and they will continue to do so. The Internet has allowed direct interaction between brands and customers. Through official web stores, social media, and other online platforms, it is possible for designers and manufacturers to better understand the current personal preferences of their customers.
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