How the pandemic changed the fashion industry
There was an unanticipated change in all of our lives as the Coronavirus disease emerged in 2019. We were advised to practise social distancing and isolate ourselves in the comfort of our homes. We made changes that would correspond to the circumstances we were under. Whether you are a teacher, student, or an employee we can all agree that we went through a change that none of us saw coming. It took some time, but as with all things uncertain, we learn to accept and adapt.
Changes in the Fashion industry
You might have been wondering how fashion houses prepared their designs and executed them like they usually did? Or how fast fashion brands made sales amidst the pandemic? If these questions have popped into your mind, I can tell you that you have come to the right place.
Indeed, there was a drastic change in the fashion industry as manufacturing units were shut and Brick and mortar stores were closed. A lot of time and adjustment was needed to get online stores up and running. Fashion shows and events also remained to be cancelled. There was a need to organise digital alternatives in order to not miss events that possess vital importance in the industry. Yes, I mean Fashion week!
Digital fashion weeks and virtual shows.
A lot of thought went into how the collections should be showcased as it was not possible to hold big production catwalks in the fashion capitals of the world because this would lead to further consequences namely, the spread of disease. The world had to adapt to a new reality of travel restrictions and social distancing. With these circumstances in mind, do you think it would be practical to have a traditional runway show? The answer was a hard no.
To have the models, stylists, designers and buyers travel and gather collectively in large amounts was not a logical plan. Keeping in mind the situation we were dealing with, this was avoided and an online alternative was found. The British Council announced the adaptation to an online format.
As the industry quickly shifted to a digital mode to exhibit designs, the question arose whether going digital can be a long term solution in the industry?
It was decided that models walking the ramp in real would not be an option, but all the collections would be portrayed as 3D designs on avatars. This digitised collection incidentally reduced carbon footprint and solved the waste problem in the fashion industry!
Increase in online sales
The spread of the virus caused an inevitable change in the fashion industry. This again led to the increase of impulsive online shopping. As brick and mortar stores closed, online shopping was the most feasible option for consumers.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated online sales in fast fashion brands. A lot of us have desired to revamp and upgrade our style game as we had a lot of time to think and reflect on what we really like. Consumers' comfort with the digital world has given them various options and platforms to explore and revamp their styles. This again led to the increase of impulse online buyers. As brick and mortar stores closed, online shopping grew to be the most feasible option.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated online sales in fast fashion brands. Usually, when we shop we do not think about the value addition or the long term use of the items we buy, this can be referred to as impulse buying.
Consumers' ease of comfort buying online hassle-free Has resulted in sky-rocketing sales figures!
How the pandemic took a toll on sustainable fashion
The move to the online world has also changed consumer mindset about ‘sustainability’. This has led to a lot of consumers thinking about this topic. People are now looking towards spending their money on companies that have a mission and seek to do good in the world. (Sustainable fashion refers to garments that are made in a way that is eco friendly.)
During the pandemic, there was a lot of awareness created about sustainability and a lot of consumers decided to make sure that their wardrobes are as sustainable as possible.
What is Revenge shopping? Have you been revenge shopping post quarantine?
People are working from home and studying from home. Being in a closed space with the same materialistic items for a long time would lead to consumer dissatisfaction due to which he/she will want to go on a shopping spree and grab every item that could not be purchased as a consequence of being in quarantine all these months.
Owing to the fact that all work and educational spaces remained closed during this period and that made people feel like they haven't been getting the right chances that they would otherwise. While being stuck at our homes, we did not have access to certain goods and services as we used to when covid wasn’t in our lives. Suddenly people had the urge to go and massively shop as soon as they got access because the restrictions were lifted. Making up for the lost time when it comes to shopping and abruptly purchasing various products can be considered “Revenge shopping”.
Unknowingly many of us have been revenge shopping in the past few months. Do you feel yourself silently nodding? Yeah, us too.
Increase in influencer marketing
Have you wondered why influencers do paid collaborations? or Why brands partner with influencers to showcase their products?
Here’s a brief understanding of the same:
Influencers and fashion bloggers on the internet have had it big this pandemic. With an extra duration of time in hand, we can see how there is an escalation in influencer marketing. The growth of influencer marketing has been beneficial to both brands as well as influencers themselves. For brands looking to build upon their brand recognition and consumer trust, Influencer marketing with conventional digital marketing can be exactly what the brand needs to grow and establish their trademark.
Influencers can help the brand get a fair amount of visibility and reach. Brands can reach their desired amount of consumers just by partnering with the right influencers. As social media acts as a prominent role in establishing one's identity, If a brand is looking forward to improving sales, getting their social media marketing and influencer marketing right can be one of the first steps to take. We can see tons of brands who gained recognition through influencer marketing during this pandemic.
An increase in social media marketing
The Covid 19 pandemic has affected the usage of social media. Being holed up to our homes and having all the time in the world gave us more reasons to endlessly scroll on social media. Our lifestyle was stuck in chaos and stress. We were cut off from the idea of physically interacting with our peers, friends and family.
As result, we tried replicating the same through social media. Down side of that? We are now always glued to our phones. Being in quarantine, there has been an increase in the time we spend on social media. Consumers impact directly by the type of content they consume. This leads to the importance of how brands used these social media platforms and strategically plan in order to see an increase in sales at times like these.
The final takeaway
We can conclude by saying that there has been a momentous change in the fashion industry and the impact the pandemic has had on the fashion industry is unhinged. On the bright side, a lot has been learnt and now, the fashion industry is always striving and exploring options on how to sustain fashion digitally for the future of times.
Written by DesignerShala student,