The world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic in unified isolation, and in order to curb the transmission of the virus, governments have closed down manufacturing plants, stores, and malls.
This has created unprecedented challenges for the fashion industry—one of the biggest industries out there, amounting to nearly $2.5 trillion in revenues. At the same time, the industry is facing theadverse effects of the pandemic due todeclining consumer demand and disrupted supply chains.
Every aspect of the fashion and clothing industry is being wrung out to dry, and fashion houses, influencers, retailers and fashion magazines are pivoting in surprising and unexpected ways.
While some brands found new opportunities during this crisis by shifting to manufacturing masks, others closed down stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The outerwear giant Canada Goose reportedly laid off 125 workers, while Zara closed down 1,200 of its stores.
Bloomberg reportedthat nearly 1,000 garment factories in Bangladesh reported COVID-19 related cancellations worth roughly $1.5 billion. Moreover, nearlya million Bangladeshi garment workers were laid off or furloughed without pay.
Essential Items Became The Main Focus While Fashion Became An Afterthought
With people working from home and stay-at-home mandates in place, getting dressed and keeping up with fashion trends lost its importance.
Celebrations, vacations, parties, and fashion shows got cancelled, making another dent inapparel demand. In fact, studies show that the market capitalization of the fashion, apparel, and luxury brands dropped down to almost 40% between January and March of 2020.
Shift to a Sustainable Fashion Industry
Experts believe that the post-pandemic world will be a “green” wake up call for textile companies as consumers become more environmentally aware. Consumers want to be reassured that the products they buy are sustainable and responsibly made throughout the whole process, from the raw materials through to the final product.
The COVID-19 outbreak has revealed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, forcing the entire industry to review plans and strategies.McKinsey identified that sustainability should be one of the top priorities of the fashion industry.
Since the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries worldwide, manufacturers must focus on adopting printing practices that reduce water consumption and substitute hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives to help the industry survive in the post-pandemic world.
Experts believe that digital printing could be revolutionary for fashion and the clothing industry—namely, the dye sublimation printing method.
The sublimation method uses heat (instead of water) to create glossy prints and vivid patterns on polymer materials. Not only is the process waterless, but it results in minimum wastage, thereby emerging as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional printing techniques.
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