How does the fashion industry change in the COVID-19 pandemic


Fashion in 2020 has witnessed fashion shows, fashion weeks, summer collection premiers from well-known brands, etc. However, they all are suddenly shadowed by a trend called COVID-19 which is still not cool down until now. Fashion does not usually appear on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In this pandemic, it is more and more dreary. It is a result of the fact that people put food, electricity and water expenditures over everything else when their income is seriously impacted by the pandemic. As a result, the fashion industry is suffering from luxury to popular brands.

fashion 2020
Fashion in 2020 is suffering due to the pandemic – Image: Getty Images.

COVID-19 outbreaks: The end of the global fashion industry?

The pandemic outbreaking brings seriously bad consequences to the global economy. According to Stackline, in the US, the demand for necessary goods such as gloves, bread maker machines, rice, cough medicine has increased sharply from 300% to 600%. Besides, there are also goods that have a stable demand. We can mention swimming stuff, camera, wedding accessories, luggage, and so on. And fashion in 2020 is not excluded from the dramatic decrease in demand.

clothes and fashion stuff
People are queuing patiently to buy necessities for the pandemic instead of queuing to pay for clothes and fashion stuff – Image: Ooi Boon Keong.

Fashion suppliers are paralyzed

The world’s fashion manufacture is in China. And the world’s fashion capital is in Italy. They are the two countries that are impacted most seriously during this pandemic. According to Business Insider, stocks of high-end fashion products in this country are downhill unconditionally. In Italy, the government’s order to lockdown the northern area, it freezes the home of Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton in the south from the textile factories in the north. Moreover, southern is the home of hand-made products which is the core value and is the main income source of famous brands.

China is in the same situation as Italy. Thousands of factories in more and 20 provinces have stopped working. Transportation is also in a lockdown situation. As a result, goods and materials for fashion are freezing in the warehouses.

The global fashion in 2020
The global fashion in 2020 is suffering due to the lack of material suppliers and cheap human resources from China when the whole country is lockdown – Image: Reuters.

Fashion demand is reaching its bottom

It is not only the suppliers but also the demand for fashion products creates high pressure on fashion in 2020. According to Sylvers Magazine from the Wall Street Journal, fashion orders are being canceled around the world. It includes orders from fashion app that impacts the fashion online in 2020.

The fashion materials are floating in the ocean. Or it could be taking a rest somewhere and costs a huge amount of storage fee. The fashion weeks with millions of USD costs are delayed indefinitely.

As Jefferies records, China contributed 40% of luxury product global transactions in 2019. However, pandemic makes many well-known fashion brands in this country close. Capri Holdings, owner of Michael Kors, Versace, and Jimmy Choo said that 150 stores of these brands in China had to close. Burberry also closed 24 stores over 64 ones in amount. The collections from these brands are freezing in the stores in Milan. Journalists and celebrities choose their health rather than going to visit this “deathly city”. As a consequence, the global fashion supply chain is freezing in the fight against the pandemic.

Fashion in 2020 needs sustainable growth

Before COVID-19 broke out, the fashion in 2020 has been in a fierce fight, trash war. They made a huge volume of clothes while the fashion style constantly changes. It breaks the fashion style circle and increases the number of excess clothes. A new piece of clothing could be worn twice or three times and then it is moved to the deep corner of the closet. People then burn them all or throw them to the landfill. It is a normal thing about fashion in 2020.

However, this solution is not a good thing, of course. It pollutes the environment with the toxic from the fabric and materials that people use to make clothes. It requires the fashion industry to have a good solution to meet either the fashion circle or the sustainable growth of this industry. Additionally, the pandemic outbreaking requires more of this industry. It is time that the fashion industry needs a sustainable direction.

Reduce Chine dependence

China is the most populous country in the world. Additionally, they provide a huge number of employees at a very cheap price. Consequently, it is easy to understand why it becomes the world’s fashion manufacturer. However, when the pandemic broke out in China and locked the whole country down, no factories have worked for months and impacted the whole world’s fashion industry, the well-known fashion brands started looking for a replacement. They came to Vietnam, Bangladesh, or Campuchia since these countries also provide a low-price employee resource. However, they still cannot stay away from the consequences of COVID-19. There are too many materials for fashion production depend on China.

The fashion brands started to count their inventory and materials available in the warehouses. They record lots of materials en route to arrive. Furthermore, they calculate the volume of products that they need to produce. They look for the local suppliers in the countries that they start moving their manufacturers to. The fabric markets in Vietnam and India are the most interesting places for them during this pandemic. With this solution, they can continue producing fashion products even China is lockdown.

On the other hand, the scandal of D&G in 2018 led to a wave of the boycott of the Chinese was an import alert to other brands. Moreover, fashion orders from China have been canceled constantly during this pandemic. The fashion in 2020 has to prepare itself a “plan B” to survive through this hard time. The fact shows that depending totally on one market is a double-edged sword. It could help you to do a well brand positioning but business philosophy always says that you should not put all your eggs in one basket.

China is a delicious pie to all global fashion brands
China is a delicious pie to all global fashion brands – Image:

Implement technology to fashion in 2020

COVID-19 locks the whole world down. Either luxury fashion brands or popular ones, both global and domestic fashion brands are suffering due to this pandemic. Fashion in 2020 is in the most terrible situation of the decade.

People are staying at home and only go out when they need to buy any necessities. The fashion stores are asked to close until the pandemic is over but no one knows when that time is. Even the stores are closing, there is no revenue, they need to pay a huge amount of money on fixed costs for store maintenance and human resources. Therefore, 2020 is a time for fashion online.

Fashion online shopping could solve the problem of spreading coronavirus in the community by restricting people to contact directly. However, it has the disadvantage, of course. You cannot try before buying. Consumers have to take risks when shopping online. Or they have to calm the shopping desire until the pandemic is over. None of them is comfortable.

Many technological companies launch their applications to solve that problem. With the implementation of AI and VR, consumers can try clothes by virtual models which are the exact illustrations of themselves. Smart Fashion is a fashion app that you should not miss to catch the trend of fashion in 2020. Some of the others you can try such as the Stylebook fashion app or Closets+. AI is being expected to open a new age in the fashion industry.