The Weekly Journal | Fashion
By Gary Parkinson - March 26, 2022
THE COVID-19 EFFECT:
FUTURE FASHION TRENDS
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It’s fair to say that the entire world was upended by the outbreak of coronavirus. Industries all over the world ground to a halt in the early days of the pandemic, and many are still struggling to recover two years after the initial outbreak.
Fashion might not be the industry that jumps to mind when thinking about areas most affected by COVID-19, but the numbers don’t lie. According to McKinsey’s Global Fashion Index Report, the fashion industry posted a 90 percent decline in profits at the end of the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This came on the heels of an average 4 percent rise in profits at the end of 2019.
Was it all COVID-19?
At this stage of the pandemic, we’re all very familiar with how the virus has impacted the way businesses operate. From product development to global distribution, and especially retail stores forced closed by coronavirus-induced lockdowns, the entire range of the fashion industry was impacted in some form or another by COVID-19.
But is that really the driving reason for the massive profit declines? Is it not more possible and more likely that consumers have changed how they feel about the apparel they wear?
A research study published by the State of Science Index (SOSI) found that 63 percent of Canadians say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them more environmentally conscious. Additionally, 90 percent of participants said they believe in following science to make the planet more sustainable for future generations. Another 84 percent also said that more transformative solutions to mitigate climate change need to be put into place.
Fashion’s contributions to the climate crisis
It makes logical sense that Canadians became more environmentally aware during the pandemic. In pre-pandemic days, our lives were so busy as we rushed between work, home, gyms, restaurants, malls, clothing stores, and the commutes that ate up time in between. COVID-19 forced the whole world to hit pause on our busy lifestyles, providing more time to think and reflect on issues that threaten our entire planet, including the environment.
For that reason, people are waking up to the realities of how much fashion contributes to the global climate crisis. For example, did you know that the global fashion industry is responsible for as much as 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions across the planet? For context, this adds up to more than the GHG emissions from all international flights and commercial ships combined.
Why traditional fashion is so dangerous for the environment
Fashion is a very cyclical and ever-changing industry. People are always looking to shop for the new trends, requiring clothing lines to mass manufacture their products in order to keep up with consumer demand.
The materials used to produce those clothing items take a major toll on the environment. Every time a company produces more of its signature apparel, thousands of litres of water are wasted throughout the process. For example, a single cotton t-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water to produce, which is enough water for one person to drink for over two years.
More alarmingly, the factories where the items are manufactured largely rely on fossil fuels and coal-powered energy to run the machines that make the clothing. Not to mention the fact that many of these factories are based in China or South Asian countries where human and worker rights are set at lower standards than here in Canada.
How to sport sustainable fashion products
As COVID-19 enlightened more people about the challenges facing our planet, many Canadians are becoming more critical of fashion companies that continue contributing to our global crises. It’s why 47 percent of Canadian shoppers now say that the social and environmental values of fashion brands have become a top factor in fashion purchasing decisions.
Tackling the global climate crisis requires effort from each and every one of us to make a difference. We can all make a contribution by reducing our individual carbon footprints. One of the best ways to take a step towards more sustainable lifestyles is by choosing smart fashion made with environmentally sustainable products. This means finding more local and socially conscious brands to purchase our fashion items, and even making changes to how we wash, dry, and maintain our apparel.
COVID-19 drove “buy local” campaigns; let’s keep ‘em up
Campaigns were enacted all across Canada throughout COVID-19, encouraging citizens everywhere to “buy local” in order to support neighbourhood businesses most affected by the pandemic. As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we must all continue to uphold those campaigns in order to help drive a national shift towards more sustainable fashion products.
Companies like Wolfe Co. Apparel & Goods produce Canadian-manufactured clothing and apparel using environmentally sustainable products.
This helps address two of the world’s oldest and most difficult social challenges:
1. Our products are made by hard workers who are paid a fair wage and work in locations that are not human rights violations.
2. We use only eco-friendly materials that contribute fewer GHG emissions to the atmosphere and produce less waste that pollutes our land and natural resources.
For example, rather than cotton, we use organic cotton to make our shirts. An organic cotton t-shirt requires 91 percent less water to manufacture than its standard cotton counterpart. If our society collectively purchases more of those types of items, we can make a huge difference in the fight against climate change. Want to chat more and learn more about Wolfe.Co Apparel & Goods? Please connect with us using our LiveChat function 7 days a week from 9AM-9PM. You can also email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Want to chat more and learn more about Wolfe.Co Apparel & Goods? Please connect with us using our LiveChat function 7 days a week from 9AM-9PM. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.