No doubt, the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy. It’s one of those things that touches everyone’s life. As the world hits a pause because of the pandemic, its effect is witnessed throughout the industry. Ultimately, the people who are involved through the supply chain and beyond are the ones who are really affected. As fashion lovers, we need to acknowledge the deep impact this pandemic has on our industry.
We generally don’t know how our clothes and accessories get to us and the different cycles that are involved in the production and distribution. From designing and innovating the future of fashion, working on the fields to harvest the crop, processing the fibre to fabric, manufacturing the inventory, distribution, sales, marketing, and many processes in between, the chain of supply is humungous. There are real people contributing to its success. So, when a big blow like the pandemic hits the fashion industry, it does not just affect the balance sheet of a company but the repercussions are seen throughout. These supply chain contributors, independent designers, small businesses, and many more are displaced because of the sudden loss of livelihood and this may not be temporary for many.
For us fashion patrons, now more than ever, it’s important to see beyond our shopping carts. But can we really do something about it? The answer is yes, and here are some ways in which we can try.
It’s good to know what’s going on and the changes that are taking place within the industry due to the pandemic. Whether it’s a conversation about the shift in the fashion calendar or the big layoffs or the effect of the pandemic on small businesses, these are the discussions to keep a tab on. You’ll be surprised how much you can understand about the workings of fashion through this exercise.
Keep the conversation going
The next step is to share relevant information with the world. Show your support by dispersing the right knowledge. It can be by just sharing an article that caught your eye or reposting someone’s work or retweeting relevant quotes. Make social media your medium. Giving a shout-out is all about keeping the conversation going on.
If possible, donate to a cause within the industry that’s dear to you and associate with them. Many organisations are working towards different areas of the industry. Any kind of donation (be it monetary or otherwise) can go a long way. Talk about them and spread their message.
This pause is a good time to reassess our buying patterns too. Where and how we invest next in the fashion industry is a mindful step to take. So, take a step back and set goals on how do you want to shop in the future, when do you want to do it, what to give priority, and from whom do you want to buy.
Shop from independent designers
It’s already a tough atmosphere for independent designers. This year, the pandemic is another hurdle that they have to go through. Seek out designers that fit your aesthetic and values, and when it’s time to invest, try to buy your wardrobe must-haves from them. Till then, spread the word about their ingenious work.
These are a few ways in which we could think of helping out the industry we so dearly love. Indeed, only time will tell us what’s on the other side of this, but there’s no harm in trying till then.
– Written by Rashmi Bhosale