As society begins to look beyond the crisis we wonder ‘what will the world look like ‘Post-Covid’?. Looking at the Fashion Industry, it has proved the ability to reinvent itself, being elastic and adapting to the current situation. From super models conducting their own ‘at-home cover shoots’ with their iPhones to full runway shows presented digitally – it certainly did not take a back seat. However all this does not mean that the fashion industry stays untouched. While many retailers are concerned about their sales figures, the broader sector faces significant structural changes, which affects customers’ behavior, the fashion calendar and even people’s style.
It’s crucial to understand the current changes which will then lead to the ‘Post-Covid’ fashion industry. Here are some significant factors to consider:
- Online domination. With physical stores being closed around the world, consumers are moving to online. A strong online presence is key, now more than ever, to brands’ survival and their success in the future. ‘Zalando, a Berlin-based company that bills itself as Europe’s largest online fashion retailer, reported on July 15 that its gross merchandise sales grew as much as 34% in the recent quarter, which it credited to shoppers buying more digitally.‘
- Diversity & Inclusivity. Thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement people are decisively speaking up and fighting for this cause. This naturally, affects Fashion brands: making sure they are not only joining the fight but internally re-evaluating their companies and what they stand for.
- Sustainability. If there is one positive that came from the pandemic, it’s that our earth got a well-deserved break. It gave the environment a chance to recover from the wear and tear of human activity. Pollution levels decreased, animals roamed their habitats in peace and the marine world enjoyed their oceans.
- Human Behaviour. Being locked in the house allowed people to do things they might not have had time to do. Fitness, DIY, baking, creative content creation and so much more.
- Work from home. The ‘Smart-Working’ phenomenon is actually something a lot of modern companies had in place, naturally because of the pandemic, companies now had no choice but to effectively come up with ways of allowing their employees to work from home.
After analysing those current factors, let’s look at what outcomes they may lead to:
1. Online domination. Will physical retail survive? The theory is that even though they might suffer, the need for brick-n-mortar is inevitable. But the online domination will lead to new demands in talent. BoF recently highlighted the new jobs that will be in demand such as: CGI Artist (computer generated imagery), Customer Experience Manager, Data Editor and Virtual Showroom Designer.
2. Diversity & Inclusivity: if this was not clear enough for brands before, you cannot be silent in this fight. Consumers are starting to base their purchasing decisions also on the stand-point of the brand (how inclusive, diverse they are in their teams, communication, joining in on important conversations etc.). This also calls for new professionals in charge of exactly that, making sure the brand is doing its part. This could open new positions such as: Diversity managers, Head of Inclusivity and Diversity recruiting.
3. Sustainability: Brands are now more than ever expected to be environmentally responsible in every aspect, from production to logistics. This is also creating a space for smaller sustainable brands to shine. It also creates a space for new initiatives for being more sustainable for example Gucci has announced it will cut the number of fashion shows it holds every year in an effort to reduce waste.
4. Human Behaviour: the creation of new trends such as online fitness instructors and DIY tie-dying creates an opportunities for brands to take advantage of. The Tik-Tok frenzy is also a platform that should not be overlooked, in-fact fashion brands did not waste time in creating a presence or working with the new wave of ‘Tik Tok influencers’.
5. Working from home: this topic brings a lot of aspects to consider. People are changing their way of dressing, since they do not have to show up at the office. Jack Dorsey, the dual CEO of both Twitter and Square, informed his employees at both companies that they can continue working from home “forever”. People are spending a lot of time on video platforms online for work meetings. A lot of people are also anxious and scared of the virus, thus companies will have to prioritise the health and well-being of their employees when they return to the office. What does that mean? who knows maybe you will come up with a creative way of making this happen.
Conclusively, there are many articles and sources out there about the economic crisis we are facing and the terrible effects of the pandemic on businesses. But its important to look at what opportunities this can bring. Ask yourself these questions: what can you do different? What opportunities can you create for yourself? What can you bring to companies that is essential right now? What can you do to prepare and be an asset in the ‘Post-Covid’ world?