Article written by Guest Contributor, Sofia Burner for insidefashiondesign.com
Trends Aren’t Everything 2020 was all about figuring out what’s essential and what isn’t — and that includes the way we dress. Before the pandemic, fast fashion was king. Instead of seasonal fashion collections, brands like Zara were releasing 24 collections per year, with H&M putting out anywhere between 12 and 16. Clothes went out of style every two weeks or so, which kept consumers buying and disposing of garments just as rapidly. The pandemic upended the fast fashion model. 2020 was the year of comfortable clothing that can be worn around the house. Sweatpants and athleisure were big winners, as well as what’s since been dubbed ‘Zoom fashion’ — or clothing that looked professional on a webcam but are still comfortable enough to lounge around the house in. Loungewear may be basic but these trends are expected to continue, according to the research firm NPD Group. Designers can create with an eye on durability and comfort as consumers continue to buy long-lasting loungewear in place of fast fashion garments. Fashion influencers were quick to jump on this bandwagon. Many began posting images of themselves in loungewear, some even putting out an entire clothing line of comfortable house wear. The amount of engagement these influencers received suggests that there are still homebound fans interested in the current fashion trends — of which there’s been a clear shift from style and design to comfort and practicality. And it’s safe to say that, these days, many people are more interested in pajamas than designer tops.
E-commerce is King
The NPD Group also predicted that online sales will make up 30% to 35% of industry sales over the following months. This highlights that while physical stores are closing e-commerce is very much alive. Platforms like Shopify have been instrumental in moving fashion products for small and independent brands. Meanwhile, major retailers have set up their own e-commerce platform to try and win back sales they have lost to the pandemic. With a smooth digital transition, rapid adaption to change, and an ever-growing market, fashion brands can be poised to weather the pandemic.
The pandemic has changed the way we advertise
On a related note, the growth of e-commerce highlights the growing need for digital marketers. In the digital landscape, promoting goods and services can go largely unnoticed if not done efficiently, which is why digital marketing has very quickly climbed the ranks of the most sought after skills in the post-COVID-19 world. This is reflected in how widely the subject is now taught, with top universities around the country offering it as an online course. Those who pursue an online marketing degree are able to blend innovative new strategies with the latest technology, which is seen in how retail is finding new ways to connect with consumers. One example of this is Nike. Instead of advertising a new product, they opted to share a post on social media that urged people to stay in their homes. Other brands, like Allbirds, announced that for every item a customer bought, they’d donate the same item to a health worker. These are just a few examples of how brands are adapting their marketing campaigns to fit the times.
Fashion can be kinder to the planet The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions. Clothing production has multiplied over the last two decades because of the growing demand in fashion. But manufacturing the garments themselves is not the only way the industry harms the planet. Disposal, too, is a major culprit to environmental destruction. Landfills are overflowing with clothing, which are then burned. This practice emits harmful gases and worsens climate change. But because of the decreased industrial activity, the planet was given a temporary respite. Greenhouse gas emissions declined by 7% since 2019, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion tons. The pandemic exposed how current practices are nowhere near sustainable, and they need to change
All of these takeaways underscore that major changes need to happen within the fashion industry. The pandemic exposed how current practices are nowhere near sustainable, and they need to change. What consumers can do to help are support ethical brands like Hecho por Nosotros, opt for long-lasting garments, and be conscious of whom they support.
Read more about Hecho for Nosotros here