Let’s roll back to time a little bit. I mean think of a fresh morning somewhere in February 2020, when our morning’s started just like every other morning of our daily routine. For some it may have been waking up at 6am and starting the day with exercise and a healthy breakfast and for some the mornings started with snoozing 10,000 alarms on the phone and then rushing off to our daily duty calls. Wasn’t that just amazing? I mean whether punctual or fashionably late,we were all used to our routine and we liked sticking to it. Ever imagined why? Well,there are many reasons to that but the one that is the most significant right now is “hating change”. Humans are designed to hate change in their lives especially the bad ones. Guess the Corona Virus didn’t keep that in mind and made “quarantine” the new normal worldwide. Right from an outbreak to the status of a pandemic,corona virus has really caught the eye of everyone on planet earth and has left a huge question mark on the economic status of every country.
With that being said, I would like to especially focus on the hit that the fashion industry has taken with the current situation. Although in comparison, the talk about the impact on the fashion industry looks frivolous but if we delve deep into the hit,you would realize that the repercussions are colossal.
The virus has spread across the world at different rates but has ultimately led to a lockdowns worldwide which has forced store closures and sale downturns. According to Forbes, the closures of the fashion brands worldwide has led to the cancelation of over $2.26 billion in orders from Bangladesh based suppliers,perspectively starting a whole new issue of an immense humanitarian crisis.
The number of Bangladeshi workers being directly affected by the order cancellations currently stands at 1.2 million if not less. 72.4% of the manufacturers in Bangladesh have mentioned that they were not able to match the same income that they paid to their workers before. They were also able forced to close down their units and furlough their employees. 80.4% of the suppliers said that they were unable to any sort of compensation due to the order cancellations and hence had to dismiss their employees.
A few campaigners and global fashion companies are trying to help with the current situation like H&M and hence these companies are extending some sort of payment to their suppliers. A few other big names that have stepped forward to help out are Tiffany&Co., LVMH, Kering, Prada, Docle&Gabanna, Moncler, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Lacoste and Maison. Maybe there is some hope after all.
With the stores closure and abundant job losses. It goes without saying that the fashion industry and the fashion brands are headed for huge financial losses ahead. In the luxury sector, Haute couture brands are expected to experience a $18 billion decline in sales according to the new report by Altagamma,BCG and Bernstien. IBISWorld has forecasted a 12.2% revenue decline in the Australian fast fashion retailer chains and even worse for those who operate without any sort of online operations.
The only silver lining is that the fast fashion retailers are being forced to rethink their operations and their way of doing things. Right from sourcing and producing to sales to consumption. Our designer on board “Oceanea” urges the new age designers to understand the value to sustainability especially now more than ever.