It was thought that the industry could, in some ways, go back to pre-COVID time, in analyses that were made in 2021. However, it did not go as planned, to say the least. A few events around the world came in and affected fashion suppliers, asking them to find new solutions, once again. Here is a look at the events that are asking the fashion industry to adapt itself, one more time.
Bye-bye COVID (or so most thought)
The expectations in 2021 were that the coronavirus was finally on its way out. But the Omicron variant did not want to leave so quickly. Indeed, it found its way into the lives of the vaccinated, as if it had learned to adapt as it grew. Some countries decided that it was simply time to move on, such as Spain who hasn’t registered COVID cases anymore for months now, while others are still talking about it daily on the news and keeping some restrictions; Italy is a great example of that. But the most relevant info about COVID in 2022 has to be China, who went into long lockdowns, in certain regions, for different periods of time.
Manufacturing problems due to the sanitary crisis have been destroying the world’s infrastructure, and not just in the fashion industry. However, it does explain why you may see different countries of origin these days on brands like Wunderlabel sewn inside your clothes. And though most specialists thought it was over, it seemed like the coronavirus is on the rise again in many countries. Now, we have to wait and see if governments will make decisions like in Sweden (no lockdowns) or if they will place more pressure on an industry that has already suffered in the last few years.
Russia’s War Against Ukraine
The Ukraine war was not completely predicted. Americans seemed to have seen it coming, but the rest of the world believed that the Russian leader would not be so foolish as to enter into war, after such a long time of peace, in Europe. But no matter why he decided it was time to move into Ukraine, the results are still the same: energy costs are rising, lack of primal materials is increasing, and transports are being disturbed… All things that basically affect most industries in the world, including fashion, naturally.
What is the Solution?
There are two main parts to the answer for this question. The first is “flexibility.” The players inside the fashion industry need to learn how to make decisions rapidly and act upon them as fast as they can. They shouldn’t keep extra stocks, which makes them heavy and hard to manage (especially financially).
The second part is that they should look for collaborations. Since everyone is floating on the same boat right now, on rocky waters, better think about helping each other, in order to lower the risk levels for all. This is valid for everyone, from the designer to the manufacturer and the distributor as well. Joining hands will make every link of the chain much stronger, and provide each with better chances to survive during these uncertain times.