While the world is slowly trying to regain some normality, the challenges that have come with the coronavirus outbreak are still prevalent for businesses. Many industries are now looking towards the future, and identifying new ways of doing business in a post-COVID world.
The fashion industry in particular is having to face some very difficult decisions, with much of the sector coming to a standstill over the last few months. Between consumer demand falling overall, except for the likes of loungewear collections, and retail shutting down until recently, it’s been a strange year so far.
Recovering the fashion industry
Coronavirus put the fashion industry into chaos; production cycles as well as retail stores have been hugely disrupted. It left many with a backlog of unsold products. However, it has inspired a period of opportunity rising from the challenges, and the notion that the fashion industry may now have the chance to reinvent itself.
A letter, fronted by designer Dries Van Noten and signed by nearly 200 fashion businesses, has proposed that the fashion industry should now be more aligned with the seasons. This means selling autumn stock from August-January, and summer stock from February-July.
This makes perfect sense to the buyer; after all, it means fashion is accessible at the very time it’s needed, instead of months in advance. It provides the chance to deliver stock much closer to when it will actually be worn by customers.
Overcoming business challenges
Fashion businesses have had to face challenges like limited cashflow and running out of storage. After all, no one wants to buy winter clothing before the summer is over, and many retailers will have begun to receive autumn stock from this month.
It has meant many shops are still trying to sell summer clothing despite no one travelling, while also receiving an influx of products for the next season.
Many within the industry have decided it is now time to start delivering products that are weather or season appropriate, with gaps filled with capsule collections or smaller buys. Customers are very much “see now, buy now”; not “see now, buy for next autumn”.
Finding the right supply network
It’s important for fashion businesses to have the right partnerships in place to facilitate this shift. Wholesale clothing suppliers can offer the latest trends in stock and ready to ship, which means you’re able to order quickly.
By working with right network, including great wholesalers, you may be able to reduce lead times on your orders. This can be hugely beneficial in getting the right stock at the right time, in line with the new seasonality of the fashion industry. See if your wholesaler can offer the chance to buy in-season, without committing budgets in advance, as this could be a game changer for the future.