Outlook 2021– Key Issues to Shape Apparel Sourcing

In January 2021, Just-Style consulted a panel of industry leaders and scholars in its Outlook 2021–Key Issues to Shape Apparel Sourcing Management Briefing. Below is my contribution to the report. All comments and suggestions are more than welcome!

What do you see as the biggest challenges – and opportunities – facing the apparel industry in 2021?

I see COVID-19 and market uncertainties caused by the contentious US-China relations as the two most significant challenges facing the apparel industry in 2021.

The difficulties imposed by COVID-19 on fashion businesses are twofold. First, with the resurgence of COVID cases worldwide, when and how quickly apparel consumption can rebound to the pre-COVID level remain hard to tell, particularly in leading consumption markets, including the United States and Europe. As the apparel business is buyer-driven, the industry’s full recovery is impossible without a strong return of consumers’ demand. Numerous studies also show that switching to making and selling PPE won’t be sufficient to make up for losses from regular businesses for most fashion companies.

Second, COVID-19 will also continue to post tremendous pressures on the supply side. In the 2020 Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, which I conducted in collaboration with the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), the surveyed sourcing executives reported severe supply chain disruption during the pandemic. These disruptions come from multiple aspects, ranging from a labor shortage, a lack of textile raw materials, and a substantial cost increase in shipping and logistics. Even more concerning, many small and medium-sized (SME) vendors, particularly in the developing countries, are near the tipping point of bankruptcy after months of struggle with the order cancellation, mandatory lockdown measures, and a lack of financial support.  The post-covid recovery of the apparel business relies on a capable, stable, and efficient textile and apparel supply chain, in which these SME vendors play a critical role.

In 2021, fashion companies also have to continue to deal with the ramifications of contentious US-China relations. On the one hand, the chance is slim that the punitive tariffs imposed on Chinese products, which affect most textiles and apparel, will soon go away. On the other hand, we cannot rule out the possibility that the US-China commercial relationship will deteriorate further in 2021, as more sensitive, complicated, and structural issues began to get involved, such as national security, forced labor, and human rights. Compared with President Trump’s unilateral trade actions, the new Biden administration may adopt a multilateral approach to pressure China. However, it also means more countries could be “dragged into” the US-China trade tensions, making it even more challenging for fashion companies to mitigate the trade war’s supply chain impacts.

Meanwhile, I see digitalization as a big opportunity for the apparel industry, not only in 2021 but also in the years to come. Fashion brands and retailers will increasingly find digitalization ubiquitous to their businesses—like air and electricity. In 2021, I expect fashion companies will make more efforts to creatively use digital technologies to interact with consumers, make transactions, develop products, and improve consumers’ online shopping experiences. Thanks to the adoption of digital tools, apparel companies may also find new opportunities to improve sustainability, better understand their customers through leveraging data science, and develop a more agile and nimble supply chain. 

What’s happening with supply chains? How is the sourcing landscape likely to shift in 2021, and what can apparel firms and their suppliers do to stay ahead, remain competitive and build resilience for the future?

Apparel companies’ sourcing and supply chain strategies will continue to evolve in response to consumers’ shifting demand, COVID-19, and the new policy environment. Several trends are worth watching in 2021:

First, fashion companies’ sourcing bases at the country level will stay relatively stable in 2021 overall. For example, although it sounds a little contradictory, fashion companies will continue to treat China as an essential sourcing base and reduce their “China exposure” further, a process that has started years before the tariff war. Most apparel sourcing orders left China will go to China’s competitors in Asia, such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. This also means that Asia, as a whole, will remain the single largest source of apparel imports, particularly for US and Asia-based fashion companies. In comparison, still, “near-sourcing” is NOT likely to happen on a large scale, mainly because “near-sourcing” requires enormous new investments to rebuild the supply chain, and most fashion companies do not have the resources to do so during the pandemic. 

Second, sourcing diversification is slowing down at the firm level, and more apparel companies are switching to consolidate their existing sourcing base. For example, as the 2020 USFIA benchmarking study found, close to half of the respondents say they plan to “source from the same number of countries, but work with fewer vendors” through 2022. Another 20 percent of respondents say they would “source from fewer countries and work with fewer vendors.” The results are understandable– competition in the apparel industry is becoming supply chain-based. Building a strategic partnership with high-quality vendors will play an ever more critical role in supporting fashion brands and retailers’ efforts to achieve speed to market, flexibility and agility, sourcing cost control, and low compliance risk. Thus, apparel companies find it more urgent and rewarding to consolidate the existing sourcing base and resources and strengthen their key vendors’ relations.

Third, apparel sourcing executives still need to keep a close watch on trade policy in 2021. However, we may see fewer news headlines about trade and more “behind the door” advocacy and diplomacy. Specifically:

  • US Section 301 actions: While the punitive tariffs on Chinese goods may not go away anytime soon, there could be a fight over whether the new Biden administration should continue granting certain companies exclusions from those tariffs. Further, in October 2020, the Trump Administration launched two new Section 301 investigations on Vietnam regarding its import and use of timber and reported “undervaluation currency.” The case is pending, but the stakes are high for fashion companies —Vietnam is often treated as the best alternative to sourcing from China and already accounting for nearly 20% of total US apparel imports.
  • The US-China relationship: We all know the relationship is at its low-point, but the fact is many US fashion companies still treat China as one of their most promising markets to explore. China continues to expand its role in the Asia-based textile and apparel supply chain also. In a nutshell, more than ever, apparel executives need to care about what is going on in geopolitics. Hopefully, “tough times can breed positive outcomes.”
  • CPTPP and RCEP: With the reaching of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2020, there are growing calls for the new Biden administration to consider rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in some format to showcase the US presence in the Asia-Pacific region. To make the situation even more complicated, China has openly expressed its interest in joining the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), commonly known as “the TPP without the US.” 2021 will be a critical time window for all stakeholders, including the apparel sector, to debate various trade policy options that could shape the future trade architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Brexit: Brexit will enter a new phase in 2021 as the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. On the positive side, we have a playbook to follow—the UK has announced its new tariff schedules for various scenarios, which provide critical market predictability. We might also see the reaching of a new US-UK free trade agreement in the first half of the year, which will be exciting news for the apparel sector, particularly those in the luxury segment. However, as the US Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is set to expire in July 2021, when and how soon such an agreement will enter into force will be another story. By no means trade policy in 2021 will go boring.

by Sheng Lu

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

27 thoughts on “Outlook 2021– Key Issues to Shape Apparel Sourcing”

  1. This post is really interesting as it reminds us that the industry is mainly consumer driven. With the impacts of Covid-19 on the buying power of the general American, we’re definitely looking at an issue with supply and demand in the industry’s future. However, as stated in this post, the influx of technology we’re planning to see in 2021 will hopefully bring back some new interest to struggling brands and companies in the marketplace. By implementing new technology to the digital market, hopefully consumers will be more interested in returning to their old buying habits pre Covid-19 thus repairing one important sector of the industry.

    1. great thought! One industry executive who also participated in this project made a very interesting point: “For clothing, Covid has chased away the shops that were never going to make it. But customers who switched to buying clothes online aren’t going to stay online once Covid’s gone. They weren’t shopping online for the previous 25 years, and they’re a lot less likely to try it again once they’ve got real shops to go to.” It echos your point that “consumers will be more interested in returning to their old buying habits pre Covid-19”

      Does it mean fashion companies should hold back their investment in digital technologies?

    2. I really enjoyed reading this post! As soon as COVID hit the US it was clear to many that the relationship between the US and China when it comes to trade and the supply chain in the apparel industry would be disrupted. I agree with you that our relationship with China has weakened, but this is not the only reason that the apparel industry is facing issues during this current pandemic. Hopefully, new technology that we will see in the future can help to rebound the apparel industry after the great loss that they have suffered. Ultimately it is up to the consumers to increase their buying habits in order to bring back the growth of the apparel industry. In order to entice buyers to purchase more clothing during a time when people are leaving home less, I believe that companies need to move their marketing towards that at home lifestyle. I also agree with your point on needing to watch out for how trade policies can be developed or change over the next few years as we come into a new president here in the US and also watch how other countries have to make up for the COVID after math.

  2. This post was really helpful in bringing to light the major relevant contenders to the dramatic shifts that we’re bound to see in 2021 and possibly the next couple of years. With how unpredictable COVID is, there’s no telling how retailers will manage to bounce back, and in what kind of time frame. I was really interested to read about what the apparel sourcing changes are most likely going to look like. When I had first started learning about globalization and the global supply chain, I had originally thought that we would start seeing a big shift in nearshoring. I thought this because I read about how the famous European fast-fashion company, ZARA, was able to navigate the pandemic with fewer repercussions thanks to their geographically close supply chain. So many companies suffered due to the fragility of their long supply chains that were very susceptible to being dislocated as soon as the pandemic hit. In a perfect world, nearshoring would prove beneficial in many aspects for many companies, but I never considered thinking about how expensive that would be not to mention that companies are also coming from a shorthand of resources because of the pandemic. Therefore, it makes sense to see more companies consolidating their existing supply chains in order to stay in the game.
    I’m also excited to see what direction trade policy is taken in due to the change in presidents. Especially coming from opposite parties, I think that the effects of trade policy changes will be interesting to watch in this fragile economic and political climate especially. With the apparel sector being so heavily reliant on China’s imports it’ll be interesting to see if and how the relationship will hold up throughout the year 2021. If more countries are “dragged” into the trade war that the US has going on with China, I’m curious to observe how that’ll affect supply chains and the evolution of the retail-supplier relationship.

    1. Excellent comment and great thought! I agree with you totally that “near sourcing” continues to gain popularity. I think there are legitimate commercial reasons—because of higher risk of supply chain disruption, why not let’s shorten the shipping route and bring more manufacturing nearby. Meanwhile, the narrative shaped by politicians may also play a role—why not let’s strengthen domestic manufacturing during the pandemic and create more jobs locally.
      However, data suggests that near sourcing from the Western Hemisphere is NOT happening on a large scale for US fashion brands and retailers (for example: https://shenglufashion.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/5.jpg).

      Notably, the limited local textile production capacity and the high production cost are the two notable disadvantages of sourcing from countries like Mexico and those in Central America. We will specifically compare sourcing from Western Hemisphere vs. sourcing from Asia in our next two weeks’ study.

      That being said, I think near sourcing will be part of US fashion companies’ total sourcing portfolio.

  3. I really liked reading this post because it highlights everything currently going on not, only within the fashion industry, but the world. You highlighted a really good point about how the apparel industry’s return depends upon consumers’ demands. This makes us think about the future of the apparel industry after the pandemic, and makes us realize that we desperately need a strong demand from the consumers’ side of shopping. Contrary, the suppliers’ end of the industry is struggling. I like how you talked about all of the aspects that have been affected on this side of the industry due to COVID, and what it will take in order for the suppliers’ to come back successfully. As consumers, it is really important for us to all be aware of these struggles. In reference to the sourcing for 2021, I really appreciate how are you highlighted the three most important aspects of this. It is quite hopeful to know that sourcing within the fashion industry is predicted to stay somewhat stable throughout this year. It gives us something to look forward to and hope will be accurate to its prediction. I also like how you explained that competition within the industry is supply chain-based. The elaboration on this matter really made it clear that this is why the sourcing diversification is going to slow down this year. Lastly, I really appreciate how you broke down the trade policies that need to be watched this year. It is super relevant to the industry and current state of the world, and think we should all be made aware of these problems. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog post!

  4. I noticed you mentioned that many apparel companies are diving deeper into the use of technology and finding creative, new methods of designing and manufacturing apparel especially when it comes to sustainability. That being said, I wanted to point out a brand that I think is doing this particularly well. The company is called Gravicky Labs and they’ve found a way to collect and convert carbon emissions into useable ink for fabric. Gravicky has branded this product “Air-Ink” and it has proven to reduce carbon footprint by 50-150 percent while also being “just as safe” as other inks on the market and long-term less expensive. As of right now, Air-Ink only comes in black, but I’m curious to see how this brand evolves over the years and if other technology might be able to draw on pollution to manufacture more renewable resources. Likewise, I’m hopeful that brands within the fashion industry might partner with Gravicky Labs to make their clothing from now on because currently, Air-Ink is merely a resource but not its own line of clothing.

    I’m also curious: do you think there’s an inevitable solution to solve the trade-war whereupon a compromise at least is initiated in order to alleviate tensions? Is the trade-war a result of one country’s stubbornness to comply with the other? If other countries get “dragged into” the debacle as you suggested what would be the repercussions and thus the impact on the consumer? Additionally, which countries might side with the US, and which do you think would side with China? Further, would there be a period in which goods weren’t being produced at all thereby yielding an irrevocable depletion of supply? In order to avoid that sort of “rock-bottom” would countries on the same side end up working together to do all of their T&A manufacturing without sourcing from the opposing countries anymore?

    1. Thank you for sharing about Gravicky Labs! Very impressive!
      And excellent questions about the trade war. Two quick points to share—first, somehow, there is no “good” or “bad” trade policy, but who are the winners and losers. For example, we will soon take a detailed look at how US fashion brands and retailers and US textile manufacturers are fighting against the rules of origin in the NAFTA renegotiation. Likewise, as the readings in Week 1 suggest, the US-China trade war involves many stakeholders with competing interests, also.

      Second, different from many other trade frictions in history, the US-China trade war involves complicated and sensitive non-economic factors. For example, for years, US asks China to stop its “unfair trade practices” such as providing illegal subsidies to state-owned enterprises, forcing foreign companies to transfer technology, using forced labor, and failed to protect intellectual property rights. However, China literally denied all these allegations. In the Trump administration, the tariff action was used as a leverage to “force” China to come to the negotiation table. Understandably, the Biden administration will not “waste” such influence without gaining something in return from China. (further reading: https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-trade-war-will-be-left-for-biden-to-win-11609682580)

      Additionally, Asia is the largest source of apparel and a strategically growing consumption market for many US fashion brands and retailers. Like it or not, US fashion companies have to keep a close watch on what is going on in the region.

  5. It will surely be interesting to see where the future of the fashion industry. With the effect of the pandemic on physical stores, there has been a drastic shift in the way that consumers shop for apparel, and other goods. In terms of production and sourcing, it have become evident that with the pandemic and the tensions with China, that the US has faced many complications. However, “nearby” sourcing still doesn’t present itself as the best alternative to the US supply chain due to higher costs. Asia also remains the largest region of production for many American companies, meaning that it is crucial to maintain a steady relationship with key suppliers. How will a change in leadership effect the tensions faced with asian countries and manufacturers?

    1. Indeed, there have been many speculations about Biden’s trade policy, including the new administration’s approach to China. One topic I would keep a close watch is the xinjiang cotton issue (https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/sustainability/what-the-latest-clampdown-on-xinjiang-cotton-means-for-fashion). 1) it will affect apparel sourcing significantly; 2) very high profile and continue to gain momentum; 3) it involves both economic and complicated non-economic factors; 4) it involves many parties (government, industry representatives, civil society, workers, consumers…)

  6. Clearly, Covid-19 has had a very strong impact on apparel sourcing and economies of all kinds. Fashion businesses have been especially struggling because their companies lie in the hands of their consumers. Without consumers purchasing products, there simply would be no business. It’s extremely hard to tell when apparel consumption will go back to normal because of how traumatic the effects of the pandemic are on businesses. Since many consumers are out of work, they aren’t necessarily focusing on buying a new wardrobe. In my opinion, trends have changed massively in the past year, primarily because loungewear has become the biggest thing. Since people don’t leave the house as much, comfortable clothes have become insanely trendy and will most likely stay this way for a long time. I find it intriguing that we as a society have the ability to adapt to the environment we’re in and figure out a way to make it trendy. Another point that caught my attention was that sourcing is becoming less diversified. Sourcing from fewer venders can ultimately make sourcing costs less, higher flexibility, and speed in the market. It’s also crucial to form solid relationships because the apparel industry is getting more competitive as time goes on. It’s very interesting to see how much has changed over the last year and how much the future of the apparel industry has been affected.

  7. This post was very interesting to me as it highlighted the issues the apparel industry is facing from all standpoints. I was intrigued to read about how much of an impact consumers have on the apparel industry overall. It was also eye-opening to see how impactful the relationship between the US and China is and how it even affects countries other than these two. I think it is hard to say what direction the apparel industry will go with sourcing as we see the pandemic has only limited our options. I am eager to see how the apparel companies alter their supply chains in order to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world. Will the US and China work to repair their relationship and come up with a better trade agreement? If so how will this impact other countries in Asia such as Vietnam (often viewed as the best alternative to sourcing from china)?

  8. This post was a good read as it brought to light the current situations of the world at large while also keeping the industry apparent. It was insightful to read about how the industry is being affected by the pandemic and how drastically the industry has been affected as demand declined. This shows how heavily the fashion industry relies on consumers and their demand. I also found it insightful to read about the sourcing for 2021 and the important aspects of it. Being that the industry has been set back by the pandemic, it is encouraging to hear how it is supposed to stay steady throughout this year. In addition, the trade policies that were discussed were very helpful to hear about. These policies are necessary to learn about being how wavering the industry is today.

  9. This article has been insightful in bringing forward the challenges faced by the apparel industry following the wake of COVID 19. As seen already in other companies and institutions, technology plays a major role in shifting away the tension brought by COVID 19. The pressure that has been experienced by suppliers and consumers of textile products has been evident. Supply of products does not match the demand from the consumers and online marketing can help reduce the gap. However, the challenging part is the US-China trade War that seems to be unending especially with the new administration in US. The alternative option that should be explored by US importers is Vietnam. Although China has been US biggest supplier of apparel products, it should not have to suffer from strict tariffs and policies imposed on Chinese products. This however does not mean that US should cut the relationship with China. Having multiple options is critical especially in terms like this when the future of Apparel industry is unknown due to the pandemic.

  10. I enjoyed this post because of how factual and real the effects that this pandemic and other social issues have on the future successes of our industry. We already see the damage that COVID has done in the way that consumers shop for their day to day necessities and apparel, at the peak of panic consumers were shopping for items like they would have never been restocked. Another aspect of this article that is note worthy is upcoming trade policies and how the new administrations abiding laws can impact our T& A industry. I wonder how nearby sourcing will effect other countries industries as well as our own, to see how competitive the market can get will only bring about faster ways of sourcing producing and shipping- this is good for all of society being fast fashion consumers.

  11. This post really brought up some interesting points and I think it will be interesting to see in the years to come how the pandemic really has shifted sourcing patterns in the industry. I think the biggest thing for companies to be able to do is to adapt. There is always uncertainty in how things can end up in the future and to be able to make fast changes is important. Currently there is no telling when things will go back to “normal” and that can be troubling. With the pandemic consumers do not have the need to constantly purchase new items as they previously would and unfortunately it can not be predicted when this will go back, if ever, to pre-pandemic trends. Additionally, the affect of the trade policies will be interesting to see, especially with the new administration in office. I think it would be extremely beneficial to work with China on fixing the current trade agreement to something that can better benefit both sides. I also think that it will be interesting to see if and how the new RCEP agreement will effect the US apparel market. The coronavirus has unprecedented impacts on the industry and I hope that better times are coming for the industry.

  12. This article was really informative when it came to bringing the challenges of COVID-19 to light. While it did affect the way that our supply chain is moving, it is noticeably changing the way that different companies will be selling their products. After reading an article, “How Manufacturing Will Change After the Coronavirus”, I strongly believe that fast-fashion and on-demand manufacturing will be what companies evolve their businesses into. Using the on-demand model, well help customers and companies not pre-order large quantities of garments in hopes that they will sell. This process is very sustainable because there is no inventory, no fabric waste, and no warehousing. This also helps with the supply chain as customers are always observing what companies sustainability practices are and their transparency. They will choose companies that are more sustainable and that is where the fashion industry is moving as they take on more social responsibility. It also is beneficial because manufacturing will be done closer to the buyer’s location so shipping and manufacturing will me more efficient

  13. I totally agree Covid is the biggest issue, not only facing the world, but impacting the apparel and textile industry right now. This blog really showed me how we are seeing a lower demand for goods and extra stress on the supply chain. Both of these factors are hurting the overall industry with no demand and lack of vendors due to order cancellation and no financial support. In my opinion, this is killing the industry but hopefully gains insight for opportunity. Before Covid the industry was moving so fast with lack of focus on sustainability. Hopefully this gave brands and consumers the chance to slow down and really reflect on the impact they are making on the earth. Two other ideas that I think are direct factors of Covid, are the growth in digitalization and the extra stress on the US-China relations. Without Covid, both of these still would have happened, but overall accelerated the growth and tension. With the growth in technology and digitalization, hopefully this gives consumers a want to start to buy again as it is at their fingertips. And with the growth in the vaccine, more consumers may feel more comfortable shopping in brick and mortar stores again.

  14. It is a very difficult time period for people working within the fashion apparel industry. Covid has destroyed thousands of jobs, and is making it increasingly harder for trade and sourcing worldwide between different hemispheres. Since Covid has started, there has been a decrease in supply and demand, making it harder for companies and textile manufacturers to know future trends on how certain products will do, causing them to lose ideas and profit because there is less customer demand. Although this is true, industries all over the world are having to adapt to Covid, because even with a vaccine in sight, this is still far from over. The fashion apparel industry is starting to rely within their own hemisphere for trading, so it is less dangerous to spread, and because of the smaller and smaller demands for products. I think in order to adapt right now, these supply chains need to source sustainable products that consumers can trust. Before covid struck, the fashion industry was getting slammed for its use of fast fashion, I think that becoming a trustworthy supplier that consumers trust will help benefit these supply chains. Although this is true, it is pretty difficult to sense what will happen to the industry within the next few years, do you think the US and China will try to stabilize their trade and sourcing relations?

    1. You mentioned “Before covid struck, the fashion industry was getting slammed for its use of fast fashion”…”that becoming a trustworthy supplier that consumers trust will help benefit these supply chains.” Why they are connected? can you explain more?

  15. Throughout this article it showed how there was a shift in the patterns of the world textile and apparel trade for the worse. However, it has been brought to my attention from these articles that it started before the pandemic. 2019 was the first year that the world merchandise trade fell since the 2008 global financial crisis. Being that this was a problem before, made this even worse of an issue and the decline only continued rapidly. Because of the economic impact it sadly has brought us into a downward spiral where they say “the worst is yet to come.” Overall I do think it has gotten worse because of Covid-19 but it was not the root of the issue. Some of the things the industry has started doing is relying on the sources within which is something that we need to continue.

  16. Seeing the difficulties that the fashion industry faces during COVID-19 poses the question of how they will recover and get back to the level of resources and production before the disruption in the supply chain. With the implementation of new digitalization as well, it will be interesting to see how this affects the consumer mindset to purchase more and revert to how things were before the lockdown.

  17. I think as future employers of the fashion industry, it is so important to keep up with the issues and the reports that are shaping the industry. With the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been many changes and problems in the industry. Through the article, we see that many companies are still supplying from the same amount of countries but making the list of their vendors shorter. This allows the companies to create stronger relations with their vendors. I think this change will be helpful for the companies in the future to be able to source in a more sustainable way. They will be able to work closely with a smaller group of vendors and raise concerns and issues that would be easier to solve when they have better relationships.

  18. Although I have done research on the impact of covid-19 on the American apparel industry before, I still maintain a relatively positive view at that stage. Some forecasted data seems that the economy is recovering quickly and it took a short time. It seems that it is predicted to return to positive growth levels by February 2021, but after reading this article today, it is actually undeniable that the impact of the epidemic on the economy is very large and difficult to estimate. In addition to the epidemic, Sino-US relations have continued to be stalemate, and the apparel industry in 2021 has also brought huge challenges. The more noteworthy issue is that although some clothing companies have shifted production to sales of personal protective equipment to make up for the losses, the effect does not seem to be ideal. In addition to the lost consumers, there is also the problem of the lack of labor and the shortage of raw materials, which has seriously increased logistics costs. So for the U.S. apparel industry in 2021, revival may be a huge challenge.

  19. There are many speculations that COVID-19 will negatively affect the fashion industry and make it harder for fashion brands to source from other countries. I really don’t know if I agree or disagree with this statement. Yes I think that the pandemic has caused a pause or delay in shipping making it harder for brands to get the products they need to create garments. But I also can see this pandemic putting our brains to a test. I think before the pandemic we had the easy way out, making it extremely easy to source for fast fashion brands. I believe that the fast fashion industry might be good for our consumers but not directly a good thing for our environment. I guess what I am saying is that, this pandemic will challenge the leaders in the fashion industry to think of better ways to make/source clothing and for that I think the affects of the pandemic has helped our industry.

  20. After covid-19 has passed, the development trend of the fashion industry will definitely be different from before. COVID-19 has changed the way consumers buy, although online shopping has been very popular in the past. But in my personal opinion, after the pandemic has passed, physical stores will encounter greater challenges and impacts than before. In addition, COVID-19 has also changed many consumers’ buying methods and buying ideas. Because people are restricted from traveling, clothing is no longer a necessity for people in this period, and people begin to pay more attention to those products that must be purchased. Another very important reason is that many people are facing the problem of being unemployed and having difficulty supporting their families. Therefore, in this special period, people will pay more attention to the quality and cost-effectiveness of clothes when buying clothes. I think that after the pandemic has passed, people’s consumption and buying ideas will still be greatly affected, so I think fashion brand companies should actively think of ways to deal with it.

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