Survival of the Fashion Industry
Survival of the Fashion Industry during the Pandemic
The production of fashion is highly dependent on Textile Mills this is where different types of fibers like yarn and cotton are manufactured into fabric. This is the biggest chain affected in factories overseas and the United States having to close and mandated lockdowns to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Once reopening was permitted a reduction to half the workers to ensure social distancing resulted in a tremendous decrease in revenue. Although most entities experienced restrictions cotton-field operations continued close to usual even during quarantine. There were some delays to fulfill shipments and orders but overall steady compared to the history of agriculture. I have such a passion for farmers I remember vividly at five years of age picking cotton on my grandfather’s farm in Montgomery Alabama it was so much fun to be amongst the workers and play in the fields. I honor my grandfather because looking back he was an enterprising entrepreneur who had multiple businesses.
The wholesale and retail fabric stores had a minimum of fabric during the pandemic, which was most of the previous year’s styles. When I asked “when will you be receiving new styles of fabric”, I was informed they wouldn’t be ordering any new styles for a long while because they needed to sale fabrics stored in their warehouse during shutdown. This makes sense to not have an overload of fabric sitting and not moving to customers. This affected fabric stores revenue but also designer’s creativity to a degree.
The manufacturers, who cut and sew, had similar challenges Textile Mills experienced. While visiting and communicating with several I got to see and hear firsthand the pause and shift of their business. They were also mandated to shut down for a period of time. Once their operations reopened the workers were reduced due to decreased workload and safety measures. Some went from operating 5 days to 4 days while others shortened their days of operation. This economical shift effects revenue and uncertainty. Unfortunately some manufacturers have closed due to the domino effect presented by Covid-19. Some manufacturers are doing small orders opposed to huge orders they’re use to because minimum revenue is better than no revenue.
Fashion Week alone has potentially grossed hundreds of millions of dollars before the pandemic. This trickle down affected fashion designers, media, fashion directors, venues, etc. Fashion organizations became creative by having fashion shows virtually. Fashion designers created 3-dimensional animated fashion shows virtually, outside in parks, walkways, and mid-street. My brand S. Moye’ was showcased mid-street during the pandemic we had so much fun bringing my vision to life video-graphed and seen on my social media channels. It didn’t matter seeing people walking across the street in the background because the BLINGWEAR designs was the focus and the extras made it more authentic along with the glass skyscrapers.
The shift in doing business as usual regarding retail fashion from brick and mortar to online shopping has become the new normal and a preventive measure to Covid-19. Many department stores and boutiques took a hit economically including loss of jobs. The online stores and boutiques revolutionized the normal with a rapid increase of new online stores. This has its pros and cons because there is quality vs. poor quality of fashion online. One really have to be careful by reading reviews, return policies that don’t permit returns is a no-no, and ask friends and family if they bought anything from certain companies, also check the Better Business Bureau. I have nothing against clothing from other parts of the world but there is a lot of fraudulent accounts online showcasing a beautiful garment once purchased receiving something different, and these stores perpetrate like they’re located in the US. I just want everyone to be careful.
Although these are different businesses contributing to fashion most have a few things in common like resilience and creativity in making a “way out of no way” during this pandemic. Everyone has been affected directly or indirectly with the loss of a loved one, or their loved one fighting for their life, and financial struggles. However so many have been supportive of one another and compassionate like never before. We still have a way to go in this society but the goodness of most outweighs the other.
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- Stephanie Moye -