The pandemic has created a whole new different world. Many different industries felt the impact of COVID-19 and the fashion industry is one of them. Many things have happened and changed in the previous year. The industry had to change its ways of functioning and think of new strategies to keep running. Technology and fashion, both industries have taken their equation one step forward with some innovations. They are trying their best to keep the public happy and satisfied by bringing new things. Brands are giving importance to safety and hygiene. Apart from these things, many areas have badly affected this industry.
Let us look at both advancements and drawbacks.
The government made strict rules on a gathering of people. The designers canceled their shows while they got their money back. This is one major downfall they had to face but then the idea of virtual shows came.
Many designers loved it as it saved the cost. Others still miss the excitement they had while watching the models walking on the ramp. There are some problems faced like people cannot see the details on the screen, the attention is less, and also the colors that the models wear do not look the same. The feel and touch of shows were different and virtual shows cannot compete with that.
E-commerce playing a major role
Many designers have come up with new strategies to run their brands. They built e-commerce capabilities as people are doing everything online. The traditional way of shopping is history. Today, every other person is looking at their safety and avoiding going outside. So having an online presence for every brand is a must.
All the necessary arrangements, from presenting the products to listening to their queries are done online on the website or mobile apps. A shift from seasonal trends is also a step that the designers are pushing to preserve their business.
Impact on small business owners
In India, the local designers are suffering majorly due to the pandemic. They are the small business owners who had to shut down their businesses. The businesses employ less than 100 people.
They are left vulnerable, with the burden of heavy losses. The number of sales is very less so there is not a good amount of cash flow.
Many people are losing their jobs as they get fired. The owners are not able to pay their salaries.
Some of the small businesses are also trying to maintain their position in the industry by making several adjustments. These are honoring payments for deliveries that are late and eliminating the seasonal calendar. The uncertainty of the pandemic has left them no choice.
Wage loss of workers
As there is no cash flow coming into the business, the wage workers are suffering terribly. They are usually raw material producers, dyers, and weavers. Most of these come from poor backgrounds and are solely dependent on their wages.
The government, along with the fashion industry is working on the protection and relief of such workers. The Fashion Design Council of India(FDCI) provided financial assistance to small businesses that are on the edge of shutting down. Some famous designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee provided seed money.
Increase in the number of fashion influencers
In the pandemic period, we can see a rise in the number of fashion influencers and bloggers. Today, if you open Instagram, you will see our youth is finding different new ways of fashion. They are sharing their ideas via posts and reels. We can put this on the list of good things.
You can see videos like different ways to wear an outfit or six different ways to wear a saree. These influencers are making their presence on one of the major platforms and getting famous too. It has become a way to earn money and showcase their talent in front of the whole world.
Giving up is not a solution!
India has a huge fashion industry. From fabulous brands run by hard-working designers to textiles, everything is unique in its way. We can see, despite so many difficulties faced by the industry, it is not giving up. It is finding ways to grow and find new things for the audience to keep them satisfied. Although there is very little growth, something is always better than nothing. Adopting new strategies is helping brands and businesses in this pandemic period. You do not know what will happen next, but the least you can do is plan everything and work accordingly. FDCI is also making great efforts to cover the losses.
Also Read: “Fashion for me is keeping up with the change”, Nikita Singh Tomar, Fashion Model