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.
COVID may be the tipping point fashion has been waiting for, for brands to begin taking their sustainability practices seriously. As increased standards are now even more demanded by consumers, production executives are finally taking stock of their supply chain practices and creating a strategy to move forward in a more sustainable direction. We are having conversations with these production professionals and are optimistic for what's to come.
Many brands are now being presented with the issue of having a surplus of inventory due to store closures and a decrease in shopping overall. Many bigger brands typically produce 30-40% more than they intend to sell, but the lockdown is forcing fashion executives to reevaluate their production strategy as they sit on mass amounts of unsold product. This is especially true for luxury brands who are trying to problem solve without negatively affecting their brand equity. According to Business of Fashion, Harrod's is approaching this issue in a very unconventional way for a luxury brand of their caliber, by opening a Harrods outlet. The outlet will be home for the 2020 Harrods summer sale.
As COVID gave us an overnight shift in our lifestyles, our wardrobes followed suit as we've seen athleisure boom for those wanting to shop while stuck at home the past few months. Now as the world reopens, the new trend in fashion will inevitably be the fashionable face mask. For designers exercising pent up creativity and people desperate to not feel like a hospital patient, masks that provide not only protection but style will be an easy sought after item now and into the near future.
Marketing Moves Internal
With no sales, and shuttered retail, many brands have pulled back on marketing dollars to stay afloat which means less paid content to influencers. Influencer talent agency Digital Brand Architects experienced a 30% cancellation of their fashion sponsored content in April. In addition to a down economy, activism is taking center stage on many important issues and brands are hanging back in their normal marketing and being cautious who they work with to avoid a potential scandal. We expect this continue until retail sales stabilize and we see progress made on the social front.
Shopping Moves LocalCOVID's affect on shopping is the same. As with any down economy, the shopping spend takes a hit as well. This means shoppers will be much more aware of their shopping decisions and it is causing many to evaluate the standards of the companies they do choose to support. Even as shoppers stay online for safety precautions, we are seeing an uptick in shopping local to support small businesses. In fact, according to CNBC, 68% of shoppers that have shopped local recently have tipped more than they typically would.
At THR3EFOLD, we continue to sit in the center of the fashion industry between brands and supply chain and take stock of what is needed to push it into a more ethical future. As we move forward, we want to know the new priorities and challenges your brand has experienced as a result of COVID. Please take 15 minutes to fill out our State of Fashion Post-COVID Survey so we can assess how we can better serve you as we move forward together.