The U.S. fashion industry is expected to be hit hard by the pandemic. Sales are predicted to drop by as much as a third. But it might be the opposite for sportswear brands as people try to stay comfortable and active at home.
From crowded catwalk shows to shopping for the latest luxury items, COVID-19 is cutting into the fashion industry. High street shopping is a thing of the past as the virus drives business online. Active wear brands like Lululemon and Nike are expected to perform well as people stuck at home choose casual or exercise ready clothes over office attire.
But despite being the first size inclusive active wear brand in the U.S., Day Won has been unable to capitalize on this quarantine trend. The company creates bespoke clothing so there’s no stock ready to be pulled off the shelf and sent out and it’s New York factory has shut down.
“There is a little bit you know a punch in the gut, we’re not able to make anything in this time. So you know with our sustainable model and the way we work on demand. There’s no way that we can cut in throw the garment that you purchase.”
Women who used to make their own clothes are now stitching silk and nylon parachute. Just as working during World War 2 made functional skirts and trousers acceptable for women, experts say the virus may alter 21st century office stress codes for good.
“It’s usually a major force that comes unexpectedly but actually gives the final push in something that perhaps was an innate desire for the population to feel more comfortable, to behave in a different way.
And with people needing less variety of clothes at home, Professor Suhdari says she hopes the virus will lead to a rethink on cheap mass-produced fashion.
“All the conversations and have started in the last 10 years about sustainability and worry the world going and how horrible of the fashion industry is encumbering the system with pollution and with extra merchandise that’s never getting sold and so on and so forth. And finally people realizing that perhaps we do have enough in our closet.”
COVID-19 could totally redesign the fashion industry, whether it’s retailers folding or brands choosing functional over formal. When millions of people return to their workplaces they may be dressing a little differently.