It has been a very defining year, and though most people will remember 2020 with negative thoughts, no one can deny that the year has changed the world forever. And that is true for the apparel industry as well!
We have been keeping a very close watch on developments, tracing the journey of the industry through the past 6 months from surprise to despair to acceptance. With economies and markets now slowly opening up, the industry along the supply chain is preparing for the next phase of survival and then revival.
Some noteworthy trends have emerged in Fashion Tech, Sourcing, Sustainability and Retail, which we have captured for our readers in a series of Top Trends on the website. These trends are a result of the aftermath of the pandemic crisis and a reflection of the way forward.
Most of these trends are not really disruptive, but just fast track of already debated directions. But what’s disruptive are the circumstances that have compelled the industry to change.
My big worry is that nothing has emerged in manufacturing as a future trend. Besides the fact that manufacturers are too busy just getting their factories back to work, it is also true that no manufacturer is ready to accept the reality of retail and produce for e-commerce.
No one can deny that e-commerce is the only market which is growing, while the bricks-and- mortar stores are struggling to hold on to their infrastructure. But, manufacturing for e-commerce is very different and requires a very peculiar way of working, unlike the way mass producing factories of today function.
Even if some manufacturers are producing for e-commerce, it’s like producing for mass market; no effort has gone into making required changes for long-term sustainability.
This is how we see it; however, if you are engaged in anything different, do let us know. It would be an eye opener to talk to factories that are truly preparing for the future. There has to be an acceptance of what will work in the future and companies need to prepare now, before it is too late.
StitchWorld has always advocated the need to think in long term, and in the magazine’s September 2020 issue, we have picked up one of the most talked about synergies that will shape the future of the industry as our theme – the relation between sustainability and technology in the apparel and textile industry. The two areas of synergy are in the washing and finishing segment and the recycling arena.
While one article is talking about no-stone technology to get stonewash effect in denim, the second article is on recycling textile technology which is increasingly becoming popular among the industry stakeholders, the lure of which is being driven by the end-consumers who want more sustainable fashion than ever.
Searching for directions in the movement for Atmanirbhar Bharat, this issue details how engineering and technology firms in India have stepped up to develop technology for PPE production in-house through discussions with three companies which have indigenously developed face mask machines.
Our focus on fashion retail is intact, and in this issue, we are talking about the use and significance of PLM in retail post-COVID-19. Significantly, retailers that previously prepared themselves for the coming season with forecasting are now facing a deep shift in consumer buying behaviour due to the pandemic and that’s why PLM is what they should be looking at.