In the face of difficulties, the fashion industry is not helpless. On the contrary, creativity and problem-solving skills help companies to find solutions. Furthermore, technological advancement allows them to do things that we could once only imagine! Let's see how fashion brands can cope with current global changes.
The main challenges for today's fashion industry
Fashion and climate change
Climate change harms the textile and fashion industries in different ways. For example, droughts and extreme weather events can destroy crops, or change the availability of water. This makes raw materials less available and more expensive, affecting the entire production.
In addition, the industry is pilloried due to the strong environmental impact which depends on greenhouse gas emissions, use of pollutants, consumption of resources, and a lot of waste.
Lastly, fashion brands work on collections about a year in advance, but now extreme weather conditions make it difficult to predict trends accurately. As a result, they may find themselves in the unpleasant situation of having produced clothes that no one will wear because they are not suitable.
Fashion and pandemics
The pandemic changed fashion. The most significant changes were a drop in sales and the consequent rise in inventories, as well as delays in deliveries due to the closure of factories and stores.
Moreover, during lockdowns, the way people dress changed: many started working from home, so they no longer needed office clothes. In addition, the use of personal protective equipment has become widespread, affecting the choice of fabrics and silhouettes.
In conclusion, the pandemic has changed consumer behavior. This is also visible in the increased interest in sustainability, in the growth of online shopping, and in the increased use of digital channels (for example, to access real-time customer service).
Fashion and war
The war in Ukraine is leading to a rise in energy prices, making it difficult for energy-intensive industries, such as textiles and fashion, to work.
Furthermore, the Swift circuit blockade applied to Russian banks has made payments difficult for Russian citizens, many of whom are high-spending customers. This has especially affected the French and Italian luxury fashion brands, which have thus seen their markets shrink.
Finally, uncertainty pushes consumers to save by cutting out unnecessary purchases like clothes and accessories. This trend is likely to continue in the future, as tensions in other parts of the world increase.
Fashion and inflation
Inflation is a major challenge for fashion brands, as it increases the cost of raw materials, production, and logistics. In addition, inflation can lead to currency fluctuations. This makes it difficult to predict costs and can cause disruptions in the supply chain.
All of this can lead to problems with inventory management, an increase in the price of finished products, and difficulty in predicting prices.
This, in turn, leads to a decrease in demand as consumers are unwilling to pay more for the same product.