Pandemic-led supply chain disruptions have caused product shortages across the fashion industry. Luxury fashion; especially, has been a key sufferer of this, says the annual report, ‘The State of Fashion,’ by Business of Fashion and McKinsey. Supply chain disruptions have affected around one in eight businesses across the world. Raw material and component shortages, transportation hurdles, unavailability of staff and rising shipments costs have had a negative impact on around 85 per cent of fashion businesses.
Disruptions to curb overproduction
The industry is likely to face more disruptions in future’ especially at the retail level. However, analysts believe, this will compel it to focus on customers’ needs rather than on trends. Brands too will also focus on products that confirm to their ethics and philosophy, says couturier Amit Agarwal.
Priyanka Modi, Co-Founder and Creative Director, AMPM, views, small and medium-sized businesses continue to face minimum order quantity issues as mills or large vendors demand high MOQs or prices for smaller quantity of products. This aggravates their supply chain issues. Couture-based brands suffer more as they face acute labor shortage, opines Payal Singhal, Designer based in Mumbai. It limits their production, especially of embroidered products. This inevitably adds to the prices for end consumer, she adds
Rental fashion to grow in importance
In 2022, fashion prices are expected to continue rising, encouraging buyers to limit purchases and focus on high-value products. It will also encourage consumers to opt for renting fashion rather than buying it. The pandemic has shifted consumers’ focus from popular to niche and unique products, notes Aggarwal. It has made hashtags such as #vocalforlocal and #handmadeinindia a regular part of the digital landscape. However, customers need to be cautious while buying such products as they could be fake items or cheap replicas of original products, adds Singhal.
Industry to be more organized
One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic has been the discipline it has brought within the industry, says Modi. The industry has become aware of the hazards of over production and also learnt to manage inventories efficiently, she adds. Her own label has also grown as a complete solution for a women’s ready-to-wear wardrobe, she adds.
Aiming to redefine bridal couture, Aggarwal has opened a flagship store in Colaba, Mumbai while Singhal has opened her second store in Mumbai besides acquiring a space in Delhi’s multi-brand store Aza. The pandemic is forcing these brands to reinvent themselves to match consumers’ changing demands. These factors are making 2022, one of the best years for the fashion industry.