Only now, are we beginning to understand the lasting impact that the pandemic has had on the fashion industry, on both a national and global scale.
Unsurprisingly, the ‘Fast Fashion’ market decreased by 12.32% in 2020.* Suddenly accessibility, speed, and current fashion trends were no longer mitigating factors in our fashion purchases, especially as here in the UK we couldn’t even enter a clothes shop for most of 2020!
Consumers had the time and the knowledge to broaden their horizons with their purchases. Suddenly, we had fewer places to go to show off different outfits and little or no need for fancy one-off outfits for weddings or exclusive events. Customers began to search in different places for bespoke and unique products, which took precedence over mass-produced copies.
Emma Pinfold, the founder of ‘Bond Street to Your Street’ a curator of exquisite pre-loved designer bags and shoes, has seen her clients multiply over the pandemic. She said: “Many of my clients say that they have been considering shopping more sustainably over the past few years but didn’t know where to begin. The pandemic and the focus on shopping locally has given them a chance to start doing this through businesses like mine, which sell high end, pre-loved designer items online as well as in-store.”
Whilst experts predict that the fast fashion industry could return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, we as the consumers need to question whether we want this to happen? The fashion industry already accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. **
Consumers need to push back by supporting sustainable businesses such as Emma’s where there is no compromise on style or designer labels. If we don’t, greenhouse gas emissions from the fashion industry could increase to 49% by 2030. **
This stark reality means that if the fast fashion industry continues to manufacture and sell garments at this rate, the industry will end up making irreversible impacts on the world within the next decade. Let us not forget what we have learned over this past year and maintain consumer habits that lean more towards the important choice of quality and sustainability rather than the destructive lure of mass-produced fashions.
*Statista, Research and Markets
Gemma Guise/Hartley Guise/Journolink.