Updated: Oct 4, 2020
The global fashion industry is a substantial employment generator and an economic driver. 300 million people earn their livelihoods through this sector that is worth 1.3 trillion dollars. The fashion industry was given huge impetus in the last few years with digitization and process transformations attracting more consumers with diverse spend habits. However, the industry faces economic uncertainty and political instability. Further, declining fashion products' declining prices are being threatened by an appetite for personalized, low-cost fashion.
Technology innovation has interconnected digital platforms, accelerated digital marketing push, hyped promotions, digitized inventory, and improved process sustainability. The development of e-commerce has also witnessed the emergence of new brands in the market, some with the ability to engage with the consumers through augmented reality.
Sustainability is a huge issue as consumers change buying habits by becoming environmentally conscious. Companies are innovating sustainable work practices across the product life cycle, with several big brands having their own sustainability goals. They are also trying to create their niche with clear philosophies around brand and product USP. Brand, fabric source, pricing all sit at the forefront of the sustainable consumer’s mind.
Optimizing resource consumption, reducing energy waste, and reducing production waste are focus areas as companies aim to reduce the cost base and resource base. The wider benefit these generate is guaranteeing an ecosystem capable of lasting growth, sustainable income, and work security, thereby facilitating economic development. Governments are backing these efforts and have encouraged leading fashion conglomerates to develop innovative technologies and roadmaps to transform textile waste into a high-quality fiber. And the consumer is willing to accept premium pricing for products from sustainable brands.
Young consumers are accelerating this transformation with their highly conscious approach to fashion and, consequently, purchasing, evaluating composition, carbon footprint, fair trade, and the impact their loved fashion brands have on the planet. Social media is hugely important in creating awareness, dispersing education, building campaigns around the origin, and processes surrounding product sourcing. And that’s great. The more information is shared, the faster the evolution towards a sustainable and ethical future.
Covid-19 has caused massive damage to the fashion industry and caused it to do a complete re-set. Proactive brands invested in digitizing customer outreach early, thereby personalizing the customer journey and reaping financial gains. Personalized digital journeys are a winning formula and here to stay, offering online retailers the ability to educate customers on issues close to their hearts – ethical, sustainable, and affordable fashion.
Young consumers feel the weight of climate change and increased pollution, springing behavioral and lifestyle changes, reducing their environmental footprint. Responsible buying is making them go out of their way to recycle and purchase sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Fashion conglomerates, big and small, must all leverage this opportunity to strengthen their sustainability commitments and accelerate industry-wide changes.