The impact of COVID-19 and consequently quarantine in the textile industry cannot be quantified yet, but it's better to prepare for the worst. None of the modern societies was prepared and consequently the industry has been affected in a monumental way. There is no historical background to serve as a guide, as with crises.
Much of the sector had to cease activity, paralyzing textile factories in Bangladesh and China. This has made companies realize that they need a textile industry in Europe, close to their origins, capable of meeting the demands of all types of production. The reliance on remote manufacturing has proven to be a terrible decision, leaving us with no quick response in urgent circumstances. The brands must think about recovering the activities displaced to third countries and in addition do it in a sustainable and respectful with the environment way and with an impeccable work ethic. In response to all these circumstances, companies can react in two different ways: - The first: Make up for lost time: produce more than 100% to put all personnel to work again, reactivate marketing campaigns and set ambitious goals to face the falls of the previous months. One of the examples is Inditex, which has already reopened some stores in China now that the country is returning to normal. - The second option is to reevaluate our purposes and values. More than 75% of the European and American population believe that their economy will be affected beyond the months of confinement. With the quarantine and the unexpected halt in our lives, many have reflected on what really matters and on enjoying the moment, not rushing from one place to another. The industry is unlikely to bounce back this year, not just because of the slowdown, buyers' capital is more limited and the consumer's vision is likely to change, displeasing fast-fashion and betting on sustainable proposals, independent brands and young people. who want to change the industry for the better. The concept of 'local shopping' has also been launched, an action to help small companies that will have difficulties in these months to get ahead and in an effort to save them. Fashion catwalks are also likely to be affected, With social distancing and the impossibility of traveling, we are likely to see a new era of digital catwalk. We will buy more online and less physically due to social distancing, those brands that have a strong online presence will emerge stronger than those that do not. It will be a difficult year, but those who survive it will emerge stronger and harder, and maybe a little more sustainable.
By Aliya Akhunova