Over the past year, fashion and apparel have taken several interesting directions. Trends such as these may remain for years to come due to the recent pandemic and cultural shifts.
Like other sectors, the fashion industry also faced significant challenges as the pandemic swept the nation last year. The pandemic was not the only factor at play.
It’s going to be a challenging year. Many markets are set to see slower growth and a decline in consumer confidence due to the winds of change blowing through the fashion industry.
As companies seek to boost earnings, embrace digital, and address sustainability, they are under increasing pressure. In an uncertain world, leaders must show they are resilient and leverage key trends impacting their industry.
Trends in the Business World of Fashion
It will become more important for companies to think locally, consider new international markets, and meet consumer demands for more sustainable practices in a globally integrated world.
Below are brief descriptions of trends in the business world of fashion.
1. Growing e-commerce
Due to COVID lockdowns, consumers were forced to shop online for many months. Many temporary closures failed to absorb the losses and bounce back, so they became permanent closures.
Despite the pandemic, many businesses could survive by shifting to almost exclusively eCommerce. As a result, businesses are less likely to prefer brick-and-mortar retailers as a way to sell again.
2. Clothes Become Genderless
Norms and constructs of gender are changing. Women and men are traditionally viewed differently. People are beginning to wear clothing they feel comfortable in rather than what is assigned to them according to their gender.
More genderless clothing has been created, and are now being discovered through everyday shopping and fashion stylist apps. There are only a few completely genderless brands, but many brands are releasing unisex “Basics” lines. There are several popular brands with the genderless appeal.
Fashion is generally classified into “men’s,” “women’s,” “boys’,” and “girls,’” but unisex items are enabling people to shun such categorization.
3. Increase in sales of comfortable clothing
COVID-19 has changed many people’s lives. Rather than going to school, adults work at home more often, and children learn remotely. Athleisure1 and loungewear are very popular since most people are at home.
In March of 2020, pajama sales increased by 143%2, but bra sales decreased by 13%. Right from the start, comfort became a priority.
Fashion retailers realized by the end of 2020 that comfort was a key factor, along with shopping from mobile devices continuing to rise higher. Their campaigns focused on the most comfortable items available.
As many companies continue to allow their employees to work at home, this trend may continue for a while.
4. Ethical and sustainable buying behavior
Fast fashion, in particular, has attracted the attention of more public figures in recent years.
Some people prefer clothing that is made of recycled materials rather than high-quality products that last for years.
Another ethical issue often raised is that of sweatshops. Factory workers making pennies for working in poor conditions do not sit well with many people. These trends may continue as people shift towards sustainability and the like.
5. Slow fashion takes over
Increasingly, fast fashion is looked down upon due to its ethical implications. It’s no surprise that slow fashion is becoming a popular alternative, and fashion brands with authority are stepping up to the plate.
It is designed so that consumers and designers are urged to buy pieces that will not go out of style after a few months. Brands can create long-lasting, high-quality pieces that can be sold at higher prices.
It will be interesting to watch how this trend develops since many fashion brands have yet to adopt this procedure.
6. Fashion influencers are growing fast on social media
As you can imagine, when it comes to anything in the world today, social media is the place where it happens first, and this is especially true in the world of fashion as well.
With more fashion influencers on Instagram than ever before, brands and advertisers are flowing into this space to build out their influencer marketing and building relationships with new audiences through social media and visual content.
We are seeing some massive numbers in social media fashion across all levels, and money is pouring into this space for micro-influencers as well.
A Quick Glance at the Fashion Industry Today
Recently, there have been some interesting shifts and developments in the fashion and apparel industry. New technology, a shift towards ethical consumption, and the global pandemic are some of the main driving forces behind these trends.
As a seller, staying abreast of industry trends is a good idea because you don’t want to be left behind. If you plan to expand your wholesale clothing operation or break into foreign markets, check out these companies.
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Published July 18th, 2021