How the Fashion Industry evolving during COVID-19

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How the Fashion Industry evolving during COVID-19

The whole calendar was planned for 2020 by designers in the previous year 2019,  how the fashion industry will execute. But 2020 came with a black “swan event”, CORONAVIRUS!. Everything shut down, people gone through lockdowns, Industries faced major setbacks, etc. Like most other industries, the fashion industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A huge amount of money invested in placing clothing orders with manufacturers around the world has been canceled. But designers are staying positive and figuring out new strategies to keep their businesses upon the mark. The fashion industry is trying out to evolve in a new normal way of execution to be on track again whether it is trying virtual shopping techniques or making the online platform more robust and consumer-friendly as much as in-store shopping.

However, Being one of the most destructive business industries, the fashion industry is tranquil for change, and COVID-19 might just be the catalyst it needs to become a more sustainable and ethical industry. So it is high time for designers of the fashion industry to think about how they change things to get better financially and environmentally. The new normals after COVID-19 in the fashion industry could be milestones for magical change regarding the environment. Let’s have a look at the changes in the fashion industry after COVID-19:

 Impact on consumer behavior after COVID-19

  • Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of e-commerce across all industries. The fashion industry is also facing the same situation. Now consumers choose online shopping rather than stepping out into stores.
  • Consumers spending more time on mobiles searching for their clothes preference and opt for online payments with no contact deliveries
  • First and foremost in the current scenario, people buy the COVID-19 essentials like hand sanitizers, masks, gloves. These products are in the primary buying list of everyone nowadays
  • Being at home, consumers need as much as possible information about products to make an informed purchase.

Virtual stores/E-commerce to play a pivotal role

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion designers are looking forward to starting the business again, to reach out to people understanding their needs and priorities. Online shopping has been steadily growing over the past several years, but now the pandemic made a drastic acceleration to this change of process. As people are not going physically to stores, then virtual shopping to stores is going to be a new normal. It’s still in process, but designers will figure out how they can give a real feel of shopping online using artificial intelligence technology. Using this technology, the customer could try the clothes virtually. The technology uses algorithms that track the customer’s journeys to provide them the right products.

Workforce management is crucial

Every industry doesn’t support work from home. If we talk about the fashion industry, it requires the workforce to execute the production. As per the current scenario, it’s very challenging to get a sufficient workforce. The fashion industry moved on and tried to cope with the COVID-19 situation by taking proper precautions. Employees are back on work but with some new norms of working.

Vital Role of Technology in the Fashion Industry 

The fashion industry is the fastest growing industry around the globe but it also slows down during the pandemic. Technology makes the industry more creative and highly efficient.

The fashion industry depends upon the valuable customer, if the customer is happy then only the fashion industry has existence. So the priority is customers. To make people more comfortable with online shopping and virtual engagements, various technologies are being used like artificial intelligence, IoT(Internet of things), AR and VR, etc. such technologies enable the customer to view things more naturally and collect data according to their choices. 

After a long time of quarantine, fashion houses returned to work in France and Italy rethinking about how they proceed in the business. At this part also, technology plays an important role to execute the plan. Most of the fashion shows are going virtual through live streams, look books, videos, or other digital activations, the general public now has access to watch and participate more than ever before. The platform has been developed to engage the domestic and international press, consumers, and retailers, most of whom are unable to travel to the location during the time.

Online platforms like Amazon are providing a 7-day trial period for apparels so that you can try at home and return the product if it doesn't fit to provide the store-like environment online.

On-Demand Manufacturing

On-demand manufacturing is going to be a new normal for the fashion industry. It will be beneficial financially as well as environmentally. This strategy prevents the excessive production of products. With on-demand manufacturing, there is no inventory, no fabric waste, and no warehousing. On-demand is both more economical and sustainable. Clothing waste in the fashion industry is unrestrained and expensive. On-demand production allows fashion brands to minimize excess inventory. It might become like a milestone in the fashion industry. 

New Era of Slow Fashion

Fashion seasons are like getting new seasonal clothes onto racks of stores while putting past-season clothes on sale. This cycle repeats itself every quarter of the year. Before COVID-19, at the beginning of every season, a fixed amount of clothing showcased in stores and previous season clothes were put into markdowns. This way a large amount of clothing gets into landfills because of no sale. But after the pandemic, seasonless fashion or slower fashion model came into existence with fewer seasonal clothes and lesser markdowns. By doing so designers could spend more time thinking about what people want. It prevents unnecessary clothing from waste and over-consumerism helping the environment as well.

Comfortable clothing and DIYs Trends

After spending months at home in quarantine, people are liking more comfortable clothes than before but still want to be stylish. So it’s a challenge for designers to think about what would be a new fashion trend. Consumers are choosing those clothes that they can wear all the time and work comfortably. During quarantine, everything was closed and no -one was going out. So people tried some DIY methods to make the best out of old clothes like Printing some characters on t-shirts, tie and dye, cropping old shirts and skirts to look new, etc. Now the consumer is taking health beyond fashion. Masks and gloves become the most necessary clothing to wear. 

So concluding the whole discussion, it is very clear that consumer is the first priority for the fashion industry. Taking care of customer interests and priority are the long term account for the designers to grow further. After pandemic, going digital is the new trend to incorporate the direct relationship between fashion brands and consumers that will foster the fashion designers to understand the preferences and taste of their customer. In this way, they could make more sustainable clothing without any wastage. On-demand manufacturing helps the designer to make as much as the consumer wants.

Designers go for this new normal!!!!!

References:

  • George, Nina C. “New Normal in the Fashion Industry.” Deccan Herald, DH News Service, 27 June 2020, URL
  • Magnusdottir, Aslaug. “How Fashion Manufacturing Will Change After The Coronavirus.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 May 2020, URL 

Thomann, Zach. “COVID-19: There Is Hope for Fashion Yet.” Www.retailcustomerexperience.com, 24 June 2020, URL

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