COVID-19 took us all by surprise. Not only that, but it turned the world as we knew it onto its head. Many people think there’s no going back from this. Even the big industries are taking hits. One of them is the fashion industry.
The pandemic has disrupted big fashion brands in more ways than one. Stores are closing, supply and demand rates are dropping, people aren’t so eager to buy clothes anymore, etc. However, does that mean the end for fashion brands, or will they come back stronger than ever? Let’s weigh their odds and find out.
The Chain Reaction
The ongoing pandemic has affected all of us, and the big fashion brands are no exception. However, it’s not just the brand that takes the hit — it’s everyone involved with it that suffers.
First and foremost, people are no longer able to work in retail. Shops are closing down, and online shopping is encouraged now more than ever. That means that people are actively losing their jobs and being laid off without any sort of payment. That isn’t happening only to people in retail. Sadly, it’s happening on a much larger scale, which means no person of any specific profession is safe.
In layman’s terms, money is tight for everyone. Apart from paying for the product online, people have to pay for shipping too. Well, most of the time. With so many financial worries on our shoulders, buying clothes is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind right now.
That alone means that the fashion industry is taking a big hit. That’s especially the case for fast fashion. Things need to be kept in motion, and clothes need to be produced fast because fashion itself is changing quickly. However, that is nearly impossible with the current situation.
At this point, nothing is certain. Nobody knows what tomorrow brings, and that especially rings true when it comes to jobs. Because of this uncertainty, people are becoming frugal.
Global supply chains are also taking a hit during this pandemic. Nobody needs a fresh batch of zippers for jeans if nobody is buying the jeans they already have up for sale. That causes some to offer products at a much lower price. Some profit is better than no profit at all, as they say. These are only some of the effects of COVID on fashion supply chains.
The Hit On Luxury
If you’re wondering how COVID affected luxury brands, just think logically. Many people suddenly don’t have money for everyday essentials, let alone luxury. That’s one of many ways in which luxury fashion suffered during the pandemic.
Another problem is the rise of secondhand luxury. What does that mean? Imagine you got fired because of the pandemic. You don’t have an income, and you’re unsure what to do next. Suddenly, you remember having a Hermes bag sitting in your closet for a while now, and it’s in mint condition. So, why not sell it? You’re not using it, and someone might want to buy it. Of course, you can’t sell it for the same price point as the brand new bag, so you knock a few bucks off.
Now, imagine being a person looking for a luxury item in these crazy times. Why would you buy a brand new one when you can get the same one, in the best condition possible, for a lot less money? However you look at it, luxury brands are losing a lot.
You might think that there aren’t many people willing to spend a lot of money during this time of crisis. Still, you never know other people’s coping mechanisms. Some like to blow their money shopping, and that’s how they distract themselves from everything that’s going on right now. Supply and demand for luxurious items really swapped places during the pandemic.
When it comes to fast fashion brands, things cycling fast is what they’re all about. They produce an incredible amount of clothing at great speeds to satisfy their customers. The hunger for the newest fashion was at an all-time high before COVID struck, and now we’re watching it come crashing down. It’s no wonder, though. People don’t really care much for dressing up these days. It’s not like we’re going anywhere.
As we know, fashion changes fast. It comes and goes in seasons. This season, stripes are chic, but what about the next? Maybe polka dots. This rapid pace results in people mass-buying and discarding clothes just to stay fashionable. That’s not the case anymore.
Everyone’s working from home now, and money is tight. That means people focus on what they already have in their closets. Brands have tried to remain relevant and up to date with all things fashion, but people haven’t been paying much attention. If anything, they show outrage because of the audacity of these brands to act like absolutely nothing is happening. Nobody blames them for that. However, because of how covid affected fast fashion brands, things are not so fast and furious anymore.
Will Fashion Make a Comeback?
In all honesty, there are several viable scenarios for fashion after COVID passes. We can’t really tell the future with certainty, but we can imagine what comes next.
In one of those future scenarios, the fashion industry bounces back and is bigger than ever. During the pandemic, brands buy and stock up on the materials they need, even if they’re not using them. What does that mean for their comeback, though? They’ll be able to mass-produce clothing items faster than ever before.
Plus, people will finally start going out. That means they’ll want to be seen in whatever’s in fashion at that moment. Of course, brands will be right on it and deliver customers what they want. Supply and demand will skyrocket once again, which means that fast fashion will be back and running at full speed again.
In another scenario, the fashion industry realizes how mass-production can potentially be harmful and changes its ways once and for all. That would imply a willingness to stop moving and changing things so fast, and sustainable fashion would become a thing. People would start recycling more, or they just wouldn’t care about what anybody else is wearing anymore. Why? Because if we can survive in our sweatpants for so long, why would we want to change that for fancy outerwear ever again?
There are so many things that can happen. So, we can’t tell for sure which one of them will come true. What we do know is that there’s no way that a giant such as the fashion industry won’t bounce back and recover. If anything, they’ll find new ways to appeal to customers, and people simply won’t be able to say no.
There’s no way to tell how fashion will come back after the pandemic, but we know for sure that it’s taking a major hit right now.
The pandemic has cost people their jobs, salaries, savings, and futures. It’s only natural that not a lot of folks think about buying clothes to distract their minds from what’s going on in the world.
What we need to keep in our minds is that this too shall pass. We’ll be able to live and adjust to the new normal. We will bounce back, and so will everything else. The same goes for the beloved fashion brands that we simply cannot live without. We need them just as they need us. So, all we can do is sit and wait for the tables to turn and everything to be back to normal again.