It’s easy to see the many negative effects COVID has had on the fashion industry as retail and factories have shut down leaving millions unemployed. However fashion, a notoriously slow and labor intensive industry, is now being forced to go digital fast to overcome travel bans and increase speed to market. This shift could change the face of the production process, making it easier for teams to work together, regardless of distance. Here’s how you can communicate with your factory online and keep your production running right from your couch.
Fashion is the largest employer around the world and also one of the heavier hit industries affected by COVID. As brands and retailers pull back orders and furlough staff to stay afloat, many garment workers are feeling the brunt of the fallout. But with many economies closed, and the future uncertain, how do we move forward? We did a little digging to see how life has been for garment workers in this pandemic and some organizations doing their part to help.
The entire world has been turned upside down due to the Covid-19. Industries have been put on pause and the future seems uncertain. Fashion weeks are going digital and the normal flow of the fashion world has stopped. Designers have had to shut down their workshops and their production has totally shifted. However, some think that there is a silver lining to this pause. The CFDA has urged brands to skip the resort season. Some brands have halted their fall season as well and are getting rid of excess stock. This means lower waste and consumption which is positive in a sustainability sense. Designers have been focusing on what they can do during this time to make a positive impact and it's rebooting their creativity.
One of the most common questions we get from brands is, "Where do I find factories?" it can be hard to go from idea to product when you have to find a fabric suppliers, notions, labels, and a cut and sew factory, not to mention freight carrier, logistics warehouse and everything else it takes to build a brand. COVID hit early in fashion because of our manufacturing ties to Asia. So by March pretty much all manufacturing and sourcing had halted as we all figured out how to stay safe and stay in business. Now that manufacturing is moving again, where do you begin to find a factory? Here are some resources.
The fashion industry is fundamentally built on a system where supply is ordered based off of predicted demand prior to any factual determination. Trends are determined seasons ahead of time, demand is hypothesized and the orders are placed by brands before they can know the actual consumer demand. A system like this has proven to be unsustainable over the years and has resulted in overproduction in the garment factories. In a study released by the SAC and Higg Co in April it is stated that, “Further back in the global supply chain, a survey of over 500 manufacturing facilities across all main production regions...shows 86% of all facilities have been impacted by cancelled or suspended orders. As a direct consequence, 40% now struggle with paying employees, leading to layoffs and factory closures.” Yet there are still some garment factories managing to keep their doors open despite the hardships and how they are doing so might surprise you.
It is common knowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is upending the fashion industry. From a 27-30% global revenue contraction to mass amounts of employees being furloughed, the fashion industry has taken a serious hit. So what are sustainable fashion companies doing to stay afloat? It would be natural to think that one of the first things to go in a time like this are their sustainable and ethical practices that are more expensive than their alternatives. Examples of this may be producing at manufacturing facilities that don’t enforce fair wages, benefits for workers, and other ethical practices or perhaps switching from organic cotton to regular cotton to cut costs and save money during this financial crisis. Anything to avoid bankruptcy, right? Looking at a few different companies that employ sustainable and ethical practices, their experience took a different turn and the reasons might surprise you.
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many sustainable fashion brands to halt or pivot their operations. With the increased need for essential resources, companies have stepped in to produce supplies and aid those in need. Whether it is masks, hospital gowns or donations to various charities, sustainable brands are doing their part. Here are 10 sustainable brands helping during COVID-19 that can inspire you to do the same.
COVID has affected everyone and every aspect of life, and fashion is no exception. Early on in the pandemic we covered the changes happening in the fashion industry because of COVID and now we are checking back in to see how brands have shifted and are seeking to move forward. In a more positive light, COVID has encouraged a lot of innovation in the fashion industry however, some of these rapidly changing aspects will have long-lasting effects.
While humanity was brought to a halt for 3 months and millions of people across the globe were quarantined, the environment seemed to be experiencing a period of resurgence. Cities such as Los Angeles, New Delhi, Manila, and Paris experienced sharp declines in air pollution and emissions, causing their normally smog-filled skies to be clear. The before and after images of these urban centers have not only emphasized how human activity impacts the environment, but also have highlighted the good that can come when we take a step back.
Last week was a hard week for America as we continued to weather the uncertainty of COVID-19 while collectively mourning yet another black man killed by the very people who exist to serve and protect. (This topic is nuanced and deserves attention, so for more education and ways to be involved please visit Black Lives Matter). As you find ways to take a stand we wanted to shine a well-deserved spotlight on some black-owned ethical fashion brands who are killing it. We've encouraged everyone during this COVID season to support small brands whenever possible and the same rings true as you support black owned ethical fashion brands who are doing their part to address ethical employment and sustainable supply chain practices in fashion.