It is no surprise that the effects of COVID-19 are being felt the world over, especially in relation to the global economy. The majority of businesses are on hold and the fashion industry at large has been one of the main industries to be hit during this time. Mass production is indeed a health risk to workers and artisans, and now luxury brands are pivoting to look to more sustainable alternatives. In addition, we are also seeing these luxury retailers starting to create masks with their stock of fabrics and materials.
With many questioning what is actually a necessity for our consumption, we are collectively seeing a rise in conscious consumerism. A report published by Accenture at the end of April states, “Consumers are more mindful of what they’re buying. They are striving to limit food waste, shop more cost consciously, and buy more sustainable options. Brands will need to make this a key part of their offer (e.g. by exploring new business models).” Accenture predicts that consumer habits will change permanently, motivating individuals and families to buy local products, not only because of convenience but because this is indeed a collective experience that is affecting entire communities. Therefore, consumers are more inclined now more than ever to help uplift their local economies and local businesses.
Six months ago, the world wouldn’t have seen such a drastic shift in consumer behavior coming, but now that it is here, all businesses have to catalyze change within their own processes and rethink how they will serve and engage their local markets. While this will also be in part and parcel of changed spending habits, with the global unemployment rates sky-rocketing, businesses also have to take in a strong hygiene consideration, as most consumers are worried about the health and the health of their loved ones, first and foremost.
Only time will tell how drastically consumer habits have changed, but for the fashion industry, we all know it is going to be an uphill battle that forces consumers and brands alike to rethink what is truly a necessity. Most fashion businesses will also have to make the transition to a fully online model to increase revenue and sales during a time when the world needs less physical contact.
How do you foresee consumerism changing? Let us know in the comments below!
Until then let us all stay home and stay safe.