They say with every season comes a new fashion trend. Autumn is full of dark colours and keeping cosy. Summer brings cute dresses and beachwear.  But this year’s trends are ones no could have predicted – face masks, and matching pyjama sets.

Covid-19 has been a tough time for every imaginable sector of the economy. In order to slow the spread of the virus, governments closed down many manufacturing plants, shopping centres and shops. The fashion/clothing industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, with $2.5 trillion in global annual revenues. In the space of a few weeks, it found itself highly exposed to the negative effects of the pandemic.

The luxury industry was hit hard as lockdowns in China and Italy – the world’s leading luxury manufacturing cities – shut down first, causing a devastating effect on the supply chain. Key designers such as Gucci, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo significantly cut their orders to luxury leather and textile houses.

Designers have adapted by showcasing products through online fashion shows. Both Shanghai and Moscow fashion weeks were presented digitally in late March and April 2020.

Brands and designers have become generous by making large donations to support the crisis or utilising their production teams to make face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for essential workers.

However, e-commerce appears to emerge as the big winner in this pandemic, spiking online sales as consumers faced lockdown.

While searches for dresses and skirts dropped, loungewear and leisurewear were topping fashion wish lists, as the necessity to ‘dress for work’ became a thing of the past. Instead of looking for the perfect nice top and jeans combination, people began to look for comfortable clothes and exercise gear.

For large retail stores, the pandemic has given them a chance to grow an online presence in ways they could only dream of before. From March to May this year, H&M reported an increase of online sales of 36%. European online shop, Zalando, estimates earning to reach a record of 300 million in online shopping.

Due to the convenience of shopping from the sofa, it is likely that online shopping will be something that continues post-pandemic.

As a result of the pandemic, the need to keep up with trends and outfit-repeating have also stopped. Consumers became focused on keeping themselves safe and healthy, buying essential goods, with fashion soon becoming an after-thought.

Many challenges, such as the #30Wears campaign, have become more popular since COVID hit. The 30 wears challenge is essentially a question to ask pre-purchase. ‘’If I buy this top, would i re-wear it at least thirty times? Is the quality good enough to be re-worn again and again?’’.

This encourages people to stop purchasing unnecessary items and focus on what they already have hidden away in their wardrobes at home. It also helps you keep inspired by changing the look of an outfit. For example, a print dress can be worn by itself, with a jumper to keep warm, maybe even as a separate top. Despite its challenges, the pandemic has literally given ourselves (and our wardrobes) the chance to reinvent.

The fashion industry makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions. Given the overproduction the fashion industry was providing before the pandemic, it can be hoped that the time we have spent indoors will make us more conscious of its impacts.

This unique set of circumstances can hopefully bring about a positive change in the fashion industry, one that has been needed for years. Hopefully, it can lead us to reusing and mending our clothes, and also adopting a mindset of longevity when it comes to our wardrobes.

Author: Leona Kenny

Image Credit: Pixabay