As Coronavirus sweeps around the globe the knock on effect for many industries has been devastating. The stay at home mantra has forced shops to close their doors, construction companies to halt their diggers and office workers to set up office at home.
The pandemic has made us all adopt a new ‘normal’ and many businesses are taking the huge shift in the way work to start changing work behaviours. People and businesses around the globe are recognising how their previous lifestyles were impacting the planet and large corporations are already starting to talk to their staff about how they can remain working from home forever if they so wish – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52628119.
The fashion industry pre-pandemic had been put under the spotlight for the toll the industry was having on both people and the planet. So, what lessons can the fashion trade take into the new world post-pandemic?
Buyers and brands flew to four cities for two seasons a year creating (according to a study conducted by ZeroToMarket – https://www.ordre.com/en/static/pdf/ZeroToMarket.pdf) 241,000 tons of CO2 in just 2018. Certain cities were making the transformation over to digital, but the coronavirus pandemic has proven that changes can be made and that the show can, and will, go on. For instance, fashion weeks have now been proven that they can be streamed live online using a variety of platforms to showcase lines as well as hold lectures. Instead of flying around the world buyers can view samples in virtual showrooms to also reduce travel emissions.
Slow the fast fashion mind set
The pandemic closed factories across the globe, not only reducing emissions in mass producing countries like China but also around the world as deliveries for this seasons clothing drastically reduced. This much needed slowdown has been welcomed hugely and consumers are learning to live with less. Loungewear items have come to the forefront as people are dressing more casually as they stay at home. It is expected with the shift of behaviour there will also be a shift in mindset as consumers become more morally aware of eco-friendly products. Consumers have started to adopt the buy less buy better approach, looking for not only organic products but ones that will last for years to come. For instance, if you’re looking to buy a pair jeans that will stand the test of time and not just this season and are also sustainable have a look at Edwin a Japanese denim jean company.
Using the leftovers
Retailers worldwide answered the pandemic call as they switched their factories from producing fashion apparel to making PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for frontline staff. For certain items produced, material that would have otherwise ended up in landfill has been repurposed and made into washable and reusable protective gear. As governments around the world start introducing guidance around wearing facemasks however this piece or protective equipment is turning into a fashion item. With many retailers no doubt wanting to tap into this growing trend you can help slow the spread of not only the virus by wearing a mask if needed, but also help the fashion world make that change and start buying sustainable from now.