Chapter of The New Beginning
Who would have thought a little virus would lock the whole world down and make significant changes in our lives? Apart from the drastic changes in socio-economic and political changes, the Covid-19 pandemic also hit hard in all Fashion Industries. Billions of dollars of clothing orders around the world have been cancelled. Considerable physical retailers have been closed. Global sales are decreasing as much as 60-70%. And as a consequence, these let to change people’s behavior, mindset and preferences in clothing. These changes will reinvent people’s fashion sense and reshape the fashion industry.
What was the fashion tale before Covid-19?
It is nonetheless in the spotlight that before Covid-19, top leading garment exporting countries, especially in Asia, made a huge hub for production of high volume of necessary clothing at a lower price. This issue also led our country to become the second largest garment exporter in the whole world with about $32.3 billion export products just in 2018. Furthermore, global luxury brands made high-quality expensive apparels to define the upper class. But of course, the ongoing pandemic changed the whole plot!
Image 2: A Histogram on the pre-Covid era of the Asian garments industry in 2018.
Let’s have a look at how people’s sentiments and behavior will switch the fashion industry.
- People’s demand for sustainability and purposeful brands
From the beginning of pandemic, 54% of brand sustainability professionals felt there has been more demand on sustainable fashion. From Mckinsey, 57% of consumers said that they had made symbolic changes to their lifestyles to decrease their environmental impact. Shoppers will support brands with a purpose and their least possible concern will be sustainability.
As environmental impact is becoming a major concern for people, the post-pandemic era would give greater importance to natural and regenerated fibers. In modern days, aside from using cotton, wool- some countries are using lotus fibers to produce high quality clothing, cactus to produce leather. This mixed usage of common and underrated natural fibers could lead towards a more healthier fashion industry; satisfying both customer demand and new fashion trends.
- Beginning of multiple closed-loop in the industry!
The introduction to circularity in fashion industry is a much needed system for the post pandemic era! What does exactly multiple closed-loop serve to the customers? This system provides the reuse of raw materials from previous life cycle, also enables customers to not to throw away the apparels purchased from the previous season or trend. This can be done by redesigning old clothes and reinventing the production process for waste reduction.
- People like to grab simple clothing that is easy to wash
When people are busy with taking care of someone who is ill or busy with oneself to survive this pandemic, the household work is then quite a burden to them. Eventually, they will go for washable clothing like cotton, linen, washable silk and washable merino wool. But they will neglect beadwork and lace, fabrics like rayon or regular silk that shrink and get stained by water.
- Luxury would be neglected
In this ongoing pandemic, not only did people lose their close ones but also many of them are jobless specially in thriving countries. Hence, there will be a change in status for many after the pandemic. Many of the wealthiest women are dressing more simply than last year, as they felt luxury is in bad taste these days.
Image 3: A depiction on people’s dream on luxury wear- now a past trend. Courtesy: Unsplash.
- Fashion trends will slow down
“People are going to be eager to buy stuff, if they can afford it. But I don’t think they will jump on something new. they’ll just want something that will be reassuming to them”, said Nancy Deihl, Director of costume studies at New York University. Many designers including Rick Owens, Donatella Versace, Guram Gvasalia have already looking forward to slowing down fashion and creating seasonless clothes. This means clothes will be designed in a manner where the garment themselves will not be outdated!
- We will be back in Love with House Dress!
At this time, nobody really knows how or when the pandemic will end and the fashion industry like every other business sector, is struggling to make it through. One thing is definitely certain though, everyone has changed their lifestyle. Quarantine has made people recover the enjoyment of staying indoor. Lockdown period may sound like bad news, but it also indicates that this period has made faster rise of a brand new apparel category: loungewear. Since, fashion is focusing on seasonless garments, loungewear is getting higher attraction. That means another cause of this is global lockdown made consumers opt for loungewear, with users staying home for long period of time and spending less money, traders can expect home wardrobes to become the new trend even after the pandemic. So, we can say that as staying in is becoming the new going out, loungewear may be a genuine challenge for every elegant fashion brand, like they’ll have to merge the raising market requests of comfort, flexibility, longevity and aesthetics.
Image 4: A style of loungewear, perfect for staying indoor, job and socializing. Courtesy: Pexels.
- Movies than influencers
For the pandemic people are spending most of their time into movies, tv series etc. They are getting influenced by the outfits of fashion projected on the movies. Since the lockdown influencers around couldn’t connect to people so much as they cannot go outside. So, after Covid there will be noticeable change of taste in fashion. We will get another type of fashion sense with a lot of creative ideas.
- Consumers will shop less, be picky when they do
As we all know, during this pandemic, the sentiments and behaviors of consumers also changed. After covid the situation would have a scenario where consumers would shop less and they will be picky for whatever they want to buy. Whereas whole spending will turn down, interest will expand in activewear, casualwear, beauty products and household categories, at the cost of such categories as handbags and formalwear. Rather of conspicuous consumption, people would think of inconspicuous spending.
- Online shopping at its best!
The pandemic has strived more shoppers than ever to move to the online route. It has made a new relationship with clothes through online marketing. The survey of online shopping shows that online purchases have increased 6% to 10% across most products, where fashion leaders also play a good role on clothing.
Fashion brands and retailers organize their online page so professionally that attracts the customer. Shopping clothes online gives everyone the chance to check over for various items in different stores at the same time, providing one with a big collection of clothing choices to select. If one store doesn’t satisfy with what you need, you can also check other stores for those items that you need just sitting in your comfy couch! And this will be very helpful after Covid. The best fashion ecommerce sites are Tabitha Simmons, Verge Girl, Natori, Olive Clothing, Revelry, The Mountain etc.
Image 5: Online shopping- a new digital hope for brands, retailers and consumers. Courtesy: Pexels.
- Masks as the new fashion trend
This factor can easily be considered to be one of the most important changes that Covid-19 would show to us. For the certain future, we will all be encouraged to wear masks in situations where social distancing isn’t possible. Especially in countries like Bangladesh, where dust and micro-particles are constant threat to us, masks are a reliable source of safety. As masks become such an important part of our wardrobes, fashion has grabbed this opportunity to create innovative masks to make them vogue. Brands like Collina Strada, have made masks from tie-dye patterns overtop. Other brands such as Reinformation have started styling their campaign images with masks too, showcasing floral masks to match their sundresses. Though there are various types of masks like tie-dye, floral, printed, crystal, disposable and so on, masks made of cotton and other washable materials have got the real attention.
Image 6: Printed masks- a possible new route towards successful business for the post-pandemic era. Courtesy: Unsplash.
Considering all the things, we can definitely say that this pandemic impacts almost every aspect of our lives. The fashion-retail sector is no less. This industry will mutate along with the change in consumer behavior and demographic causes. The retailers can, of course, grab onto these situations to change them into profitable opportunities by focusing on domiciliary opportunities that will help turn up business expectations in the COVID era and return the success of the fashion industry holds.
Mentor: Tasphia Zaman (TFD 44, ID: 2018-1-6-009)
Leader: Khadiza Sharmin (TFD 45, ID: 2019-1-6-015)
Executive: Nahema Haque Khushe (TFD 46, ID: 2020-1-6-002)
Image 2: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/—sro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_755630.pdf
Image 4: https://www.pexels.com/photo/light-man-love-people-6599077/
Image 6: https://unsplash.com/photos/cBxYfvm0P_I