How has coronavirus affected the fashion industry in 2020?
The last thing that anyone wants to hear about at the moment is COVID. It has infected our daily lives to the point of complete saturation; however, it is also causing monumental shifts in global industry, for example, finance, travel and especially fashion. It is fascinating to see how the industry must adapt and innovate to manage the crisis or suffer unforetold losses and future damage to their businesses.
One trend that has been really pushed to the forefront of people’s consciousness is the idea of sustainability, hopefully not a fleeting whimsy and a positive aspect to surface in this new normal we are now living. In the minds of Gen-Z and millennials ‘sustainability’ was already bubbling beneath the surface, spilling over with the world-wide realisation that fashion is one of the main causes of climate change. This demand by the consumer for more sustainable and ethical processes applies to all aspects of the supply chain; from the people who harvest the fibre, to the manufacturing of the garments. This is often done by people in developing nations who are not paid a fair wage and are constantly exploited by the West’s requisite for cheaper styles at break-neck speeds. Rigorous checks and a genuine investment by big companies needs to be implemented throughout the value chain. There also needs to be a change in consumer behaviour to a more purposeful, thoughtful way in which we view our consumption, which is slowly but steadily happening.
Finally, one of the most exciting realisations to come out of the crisis is that people are asking how fabrics can be functional for the wearer. For example, how are they able to protect, soothe and shield the user from not only environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution, but disease. PYRATEX® is especially excited about this as for the past 6 years we have been researching, developing and supplying functional fabrics to companies with this exact aim in mind.
This can also be seen in the face masks we developed as a response to the pandemic which contain our PYRATEX® cosmetic II that has a unique antioxidative properties thanks to its high Vitamin E content and minerals such as sodium, magnesium and calcium.
Despite the difficulties that everyone has faced over the last 6 months and will continue to face into the winter months, it is good to know that innovations are happening throughout the industry that will provide a more hopeful outlook for the entire fashion industry going forward.