December 9, 2021
If there is one positive effect that has resulted from the pandemic lockdowns it has to be TIME. All those things that needed sorting. That feeling that hard-earned cash could be better spent, better distributed. So many domestic chores left for a never-to-come day when there would be time to do them. Then there is quality time with loved ones and valued activities. For those fortunate enough to have an overstocked clothes closet it’s time for re-evaluation. The major fashion trend for 2021-2022 starts here. Less is more or put another way, quality over quantity are the current watchwords. New lifestyles have emerged from Covid-19 restrictions that are likely to influence sales for some time ahead. Intelligent brands will be looking at those changes.
Working from home, learning at home, staycationing – all these enforced ways have for many become long-term choices. Comfortable cozy loungewear is a must but sharp enough to make a quick trip to the office or the store. Nobody wants to go out in their pj’s. Quality fabrics like silk or cashmere are desirable but blends may be more practical and still attractive. Lightweight, washable but stylish to take on that ever-growing choice of spa days or weekend breaks offered at the nearest deluxe resort hotel.
Customers have become more aware of the ethics and reputation of brands. Political correctness, social values and environmental concerns all impact fashion choices today. There has been a noticeable shift towards sustainable materials in fashion items and furnishings. Organic fabrics like natural cotton and linen or various wools have had a revival in interest although balanced by the easy-wash, no-crease quality of polyesters. Brands that offer acceptable blends may see an uptick in trade.
Many customers have lost employment or experienced reduced income levels during the pandemic and will be looking for durability and value for money items. This is where home brands can cut in on the inexpensive ‘wear once and discard’ items from cheap labor countries. Many Asian textile producers are facing crisis situations and they too are looking for increased home sales to survive and thrive again. The market for quality second-hand and resales is also likely to increase with advertisers using beguiling terms like ‘seasonless’ garments.
This is also a time when smaller home brand names can become more significant, connecting directly with their customers, their styles, budget and specific needs. Fashion analysts feel that women (rather than men) prefer to build a trusting relationship with smaller local brands.
The sportswear market is likely to become more buoyant after the general slump in retail sales as Covid conditions took effect, mitigated only to a degree by internet shopping. Outdoor sports and the reopening of fitness centers will naturally fuel sales but the quality of fabrics is also an important trend that crosses over into daywear. The demand for clothes using breathable natural fabrics that are also durable and stylish is currently impacting brand design.
Most of these trends were already emerging before Covid hit and are likely to continue with renewed impetus into 2020.