The COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous industries all over the world. While some of these industries have been able to adapt to the present scenario and have even been able to come out stronger, some have also taken a big hit and are struggling to survive.
One of these industries that have had to adapt to different and creative strategies to survive, is the fashion industry.
The fashion industry, being highly reliant on offline activities and services for the most part of its existence, has been struggling to adapt to the changes brought on by the COVID Pandemic.
Ranging from shopping malls to runway shows, all brands have taken a major hit.
An Mc Kinsey consumer sentiment survey, conducted in April shows that there has been a significant drop in the intentions of the consumers to purchase. However, it was also shown that it was different in the case of offline and different in the case of online channels. In Europe and North America, the purchase intention declined about 70-80 percent for offline channels and 30-40 percent for online channels.
The same survey states that about 74 percent Chinese consumers have refrained from going to the malls.
Therefore, it can be easily ascertained that for the next few years to come, most of the consumers would be purchasing their new clothes through online shopping and platforms.
Amidst the lockdown, even in countries where physical stores are opened and direct shopping is allowed, brands, in order to stay profitable and not incur any losses, are pivoting towards fast and digital sales.
Most of the industries have moved towards digitalised versions of their services and products. Hence, the fashion industry is leaning that way as well.
Another technique the fashion industry is implementing now more than ever is ‘Sustainable Fashion’.
The demand for sustainable fashion has been increasing and is definitely going to be bigger than ever eventually. Consumers are now “woke” and look for brands and companies that align with their own virtues and values.
Brands and companies have taken their brand image even more seriously now. Sustainable fashion is what would be called, ‘Slow fashion. As compared to fast fashion, which is completely thoughtless and depletes resources and causes a lot of damage, slow fashion nurtures and protects the environment. This, in turn, gives the brand a more environment friendly and conscious image.
The fashion industry for the longest time wasn’t known as an industry that was aware and concerned with the realities and ongoings of the world. They were more concerned with their style, coverage, and glamour.
However, the occurrence of COVID-19, among everything negative has brought about a positive change in the fashion industry. Brands are more image-conscious and have taken up initiatives of CSR activities and have been pitching towards the relief efforts during the pandemic.
Even though many of these big brands in this industry are known to only do such brand development during the time of a world-changing event, there is hope that this brand consciousness may stay a while longer based on the responses, they’ve been getting from the consumers.