The Role of the Fashion Industry during Coronavirus Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing social and economic closures needed to contain it are posing unprecedented challenges for the apparel, footwear and textile industries.
This crisis is shaking up the fashion industry in general. Retail businesses have been temporarily closed, brands like Vlone are adjusting to declining customer spending, and workers in countries such as India, Bangladesh and China are on sick leave due to reduced or canceled orders.
As if that were not enough, the impending economic crisis is expected to wipe out more than 30% of the fashion industry’s business in 2020 alone.
Sustainable Fashion: Booming Trend before COVID-19
Before the coronavirus crisis, ambitious sustainability programs and commitments were becoming the norm in the apparel, footwear and textile industries in various segments such as luxury, sports, fast fashion and retail. Less.
Consequences of COVID-19 in the Fashion Industry
After travel and tourism, fashion and luxury are the most affected by the crisis of all consumer goods and services, as retail stores are closed and consumers buy basic necessities, which has meant that sales are down 60-70% in the global fashion and luxury industry.
As a result of the situation, liquidity and cash preservation are now top priorities for all fashion companies, even financially strong ones.
Directions to the Industry for These Difficult Times
In order not to capsize in the current crisis and position themselves to obtain commercial advantages in a transformed industry, the report recommends that companies focus their sustainability initiatives differently in the short, medium and long term.
During that time, companies like travis scott merch will also be able to rethink and adjust their approach to business risk and business continuity, particularly with regard to environmental and social decisions.
The report offers a series of indications on how companies in this industry should act to overcome the COVID-19 crisis always with sustainability in mind, and which can be summarized in four main recommendations:
Protect critical assets to survive the economic crisis: Fashion companies must protect workers, capital, value chain associations, channels, and the trust and support of their customers. This time is an opportunity to eliminate unnecessary cost and complexity in preparation for reinvestment.
Solve immediate inventory issues in partnership with suppliers: Leaders will need to recognize the importance of open dialogue and constructive partnership throughout the value chain in order to find shared solutions to protect workers’ livelihoods and maintain trust. Cancellation of completed orders should be a measure of last resort, while cancellation without consultation or collaboration will be an unacceptable practice.
Integrate sustainability into business recovery strategies: Sustainability will be an imperative for strong companies after the crisis. Leaders will make sustainability a central element in decision-making after the pandemic, while laggards will view sustainability as an effort to resume once it is convenient.
Accelerate transparency and increase sustainability ambitions: Companies must take advantage of digitization, innovative business models and comprehensive solutions (with transparency at the core) to assess and demonstrate positive environmental and social impact to stakeholders.
Reading the report shows that the pandemic is making us recognize that economic, environmental and human health are deeply interconnected, and that it will only be possible to find meaningful solutions to challenges such as those derived from COVID-19 (and also climate change) if integration, collaboration and transparency are at the forefront of a new industrial paradigm.