The Fashion Industry in times of COVID-19

Melisa Monti
July 2, 2020

It has been clear for us all that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we knew it. High restrictions have been applied all over the world and this has inevitably affected many industries, especially the fashion industry. From changing consumer needs to shifting to a digital supply chain, we discuss it all.

Since January of this year a global pandemic started by COVID-19. It was unforeseen that the consequences would be so powerful. As the virus spreads at a fast pace, governments have imposed new control measures in no time. From mandatory lockdowns to social distancing, wearing face masks and total travel bans, it feels like the year has been put on pause. When it comes to the garment sector, many questions come up. How can we continue working when there are no exhibition fairs, visits to manufacturers or even fashion weeks? What will the future look like? One thing is clear: things need to change.

Digitalization is the answer

One of the biggest challenges of the moment has been managing productions on a distance and the proper communication of both brand and manufacturers. Even before COVID-19 striked, the industry was dealing with some outdated ways of producing. The crisis just reassured what we already knew; things need to change.

Supply chain inefficiencies cost retailers more than $1.5 trillion in lost sales each year, according to a newly released report by analyst firm IHL Group. Digital sourcing and blockchain technology seem like the solution to this long existing problem. Tracking down each part of the chain and avoiding unnecessary loss of time and money in going back and forth with sampling are the main reasons that brands are shifting to digital supply chains. Social distancing has highlighted the importance of digital channels more than ever and lockdowns have elevated digital as an urgent priority across the entire value chain but, unless companies scale up and strengthen their digital capabilities in the recovery phase of the crisis, they will suffer in the longer term, informs the yearly Mckinsey’s The State of Fashion 2020 Coronavirus update.

Stronger together

The rise of the local sourcing market has been a key element in this change of industry. When shortening the distance between brand and producer, demands can be fulfilled rapidly and delivery time is shortened, not to mention the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Europe has been known for the last years as a force for sustainable production and an incubator for innovative fashion design. In big part due to European legislation, but important new events such as Copenhagen Fashion Week have brought attention and curiosity to retailers from all over the world, setting a new example of how the future in fashion should look like.

“The conversation about sustainability and the fashion industry has been going on for a long time now, so this is not a new conversation, but I do think this situation is a great accelerator,” states Imran Amed, the founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion.
One of the things we have to think about as an industry is our future post corona-crisis. Shifting to local and sustainable European sourcing will not only be beneficial now, but it will strengthen the European market and create a name for high standards, quality and ethics that equally fulfils consumer’s demands.

New solutions arise

We know through history that crises may inspire people to reinvent themselves and this makes it an ideal situation for new projects to surge. Therefore we are proud to present Manufy, the first online platform for sustainable European sourcing.

We understand the struggles the industry is facing right now and want to facilitate digital solutions for both brands and manufacturers. Creating an online community for the sustainable garment sector where communication flows easily, and transparency is at the core of it’s transactions. Manufy hopes to strengthen the European economy, create more support for local sourcing, providing quality over quantity and helping businesses of all sizes grow. The best part? You can join for free today! Visit and explore all the options available for your business. Let this crisis be an opportunity for you and let us help you connect with the right brands and manufacturers and create new chances.

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