Things have changed dramatically across the world over the last few months. As many people stay at home and reduce unnecessary trips to the shops, the fashion retail industry is seeing a decline in sales. Smaller sustainable fashion brands that were making good headway before the virus will be those most impacted. That’s why it’s important to shop local, sustainable and ethical fashion brands now more than ever.
Inspiring Actions from Fashions Global Leaders
As expected most larger brands and fashion conglomerates should be able to weather the storm of temporarily slow sales. Some companies have even changed tactics and are using their resources to help in the fight against the corona virus. LVMH, the French fashion conglomerate that houses 75 global luxury brands, has transformed its perfume factories into hand sanitizer to supplement production of this necessary item.
Italian companies are certainly at the forefront of some of these larger initiatives. The Armani Group has switched all of it’s facilities over to a similar protective gear manufacturing. Prada has donated two complete intensive care and resuscitation units in Milan, as well as manufacturing masks and medical coveralls. Dolce & Gabbana is providing funding for research on pathology and therapeutic initiatives of Covid-19. The list goes on and includes other major European manufacturers. On this side of the ocean, Ralph Lauren Foundation has committed $10M to help those impacted by the virus. Canadian outerwear giant Canada Goose has converted two of it’s manufacturing facilities into making protective gear for frontline workers.
Shop Local Sustainable Fashion Brands
However it’s the smaller brands and local fashion makers within communities around the world that will experience the most difficulties. The UK anticipates losing 35% of their young and up&coming designers that may not be able to carry on their businesses beyond this year. Overall retail sales in the US dropped 6.2% in March year over year, which is the largest monthly drop ever recorded, surpassing the 4.3% decline during the 2008 recession.
This drop includes an increase in sales in grocery, beverage, health & personal care, but much larger drops in electronics, sporting goods, home furnishings, and fashion. Fashion retailers specifically saw a drop in sales of 50% for the month of March, year-over-year. Stats from the UK show that while online sales have increased 22% in the first week of April, clothing sales dropped 20% year-over year.
And it’s not only the brands and factories themselves that are impacted by the global nature of this situation. Creative offshoots like art directors, photographers, stylists, makeup artists and independent designers are also suffering from loss of business. It’s especially important we support our local creatives so we don’t lost these talented contributors to society. As much as possible, shop local and shop sustainable. It’s great to see the major fashion houses making a contribution during this terrible time. But it’s even greater to see the direction we’re heading when we make ethical choices with our money.
It’s encouraging to see more and more brands choosing more sustainable fabrics and ethical practices. Stay tuned for some links to great sustainable and ethical fashion that won’t break the bank.
How has your fashion shopping changed during Covid-19? Leave a comment below.