So, you’re starting a fashion brand. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the success of your brand so it’s important to know where to start and where to focus your energy, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are 5 proven hacks for building a successful fashion brand:
One of the most important aspects to consider when launching a fashion brand is how it is going to be funded. The average cost to start a fashion brand is around $20,000, product development alone is $5,000, so without personal wealth, your options are loans or investment. A loan puts you at risk of severe debt if your brand goes belly up. Investment gives up control of your company, and without a wealthy network may not even be a viable option. The best option to avoid these problems and get the funding your brand needs is to start a crowdfunding campaign.
It has become common knowledge that the fashion industry is a major contributor to the world's pollution. This has created a demand for sustainable fashion in the last five years as consumers seek better alternatives for people and planet. However, what it takes to achieve this goal is a higher price. Is sustainable fashion elitist? Let’s take a look at the components that factor into the higher standards that correlate to higher costs.
Nationwide lockdowns have forced fashion brands to go digital to grow sales. According to HRC Retail Advisory, two major global trends have happened during the pandemic: increase in media consumption and a decrease in advertising spending. Facebook has seen a 70% increase in usage on all of its apps as consumers have turned to social media to keep them entertained, connected and informed.
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.
We are living in strange times as most of the world is on lockdown trying to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The fashion industry in particular is taking the hit hard as we begun feeling the effects of Coronavirus in our shut down supply chain in the winter in China. Now, as retail stores are all closed too, it is a very real worry what this global pandemic will do to our industry and our global economy.
While we wait out the news each day, here's a list of grants and resources for small businesses to help you weather this unprecedented time. We hope this gives you a positive place to focus your energy, pay your employees, and stay in business so when this is all over you come out more nimble and ready to grow.