Survival of the Innovative: 3 Ways That Fashion Businesses Can Stay Alive in the Face of Crisis

Survival of the Innovative: 3 Ways That Fashion Businesses Can Stay Alive in the Face of Crisis

The COVID-19 has presented one of the biggest global modern-day challenges. The pandemic has brought much uncertainty and has forced major changes to be made, world-over. It is evident, however, that much of the severity of this crisis has yet to be felt or measured, especially within the fashion industry.

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As an industry, the world of fashion is at one of the most interesting times in its history. So much of what was being alluded to as "trends" and "shifts," have now hastened to the forefront. As a golden opportunity, we are noticing that the COVID-19 impact grants us the spring-board into reshaping and resetting the value-chain of the fashion industry. We are being forced to scrutinize the values by which our actions as a global supplier of necessary goods are measured. Here are three trends that we predict will impact the fashion industry in the coming year-and-a-half:

1. Global Economy: Survival Instincts

With a common, global-enemy, stress levels are heightened. Couple that with concerns over job security escalating, it is likely that we will see the purchasing habits of many shifting towards an alignment with their survival instincts. Companies that have taken this into account with their strategic planning are far more likely to come out less-scathed than the rest who make it through. With 30% of employees in the fashion industry perceiving that their employers are not effectively planning for their post-crisis recovery, resilience planning and adaptation are key. 

2. Consumer shifts: Discounting & digitalization 

Digitalization 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese e-commerce website Taobao has seen an increase of over 700% in their live streaming. Across the board, lockdown and social distancing practices have highlighted just how vital digital purchasing has become across entire value chains in the current times. In the longer term, the demand in the online space will continue to be in demand. If companies are not able to adapt fast enough to meet these needs in the current market, it is likely that they will suffer in the longer term.  

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Discounting 

In the 4 weeks leading up to the 29th of March 2020, 56% of consumers noted that they had made their garment purchasing decisions based on specials and promotions. This discounting trend came as a result of retailers having an excess of stock and need to shift it as soon as they could prior to the global trend of country-wide lock-downs. This mind-set is likely to have a continual effect as this glut in inventory matches with cash-strapped consumers. This also offers an opportunity for brands to tap into a more frugal consumer market, and invent ways to enhance the value of their offering.  

3. Fashion System:

The importance of innovation 

Harnessing the opportunities and innovations that are being presented on a daily basis, the fashion system itself as a whole needs to figure out what parts are working and discard those which are not. This involves the integration of innovations as they are being developed and being fearless of making radical and enduring changes. This will especially be important as the dust settles following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Survival of the fittest and the fastest: 

With some physical stores having to close their doors indefinitely in accordance with the legal implications of lockdowns, we are seeing those companies that are able to adapt and act boldly and efficiently come out on top. There is a space for merging and acquisition, as well as the consolidation of practices that were initiated in the digital sphere prior to the outbreak. It is estimated that 80% of fashion companies would be in distress after more than 2 months of store closures, so it is essential that the adaptation needs to happen fast and effectively for businesses to stay afloat.

Those forecasted "trends" that were once only thought of as mythical futuristic thoughts are now fast becoming reality in the textile and fashion industries. The overall move towards slower fashion that is more sustainable in nature - to the environment, to employees, and the overall supply chain - has become evident, while, at the same time, advances such as digitalization are swiftly forging ahead. 


Photo by Gin Patin from Pexels

Photo by Gin Patin from Pexels

Those forecasted "trends" that were once only thought of as mythical futuristic thoughts are now fast becoming reality in the textile and fashion industries. The overall move towards slower fashion that is more sustainable in nature - to the environment, to employees, and the overall supply chain - has become evident, while, at the same time, advances such as digitalization are swiftly forging ahead. 
What is likely to come from this is that the roots of the industry will deepen, strengthening those values that are core to the overall wellbeing of the world itself, while the vision of the creative minds and entrepreneurs who are seeking out opportunity is likely to broaden immensely.

In this way, THE GUESTLIST is excited to step into the future. With initiatives such as the Cashmere Spa, which ensure that a circularity is maintained and nourished, and coming collaborations with top creatives in their respective industries, we are excited about what the world of fashion will hold in times to come. 


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