Fashion is a word that triggers a certain amount of intrigue in our minds. We get thrilled and
eager to know about what is the newest and hottest trend that will make you the centre of
attention in a room full of people. It is something that most people talk about every day, be
it through social media or with their friends. Even the ones who do not have their fashion
game on point, there are times when they are still led by the influence of it. 
What matters the most is that you feel comfortable in your own skin when stepping outside.
But, the year 2020 changed the face of the world as we know it. Covid-19 struck, bringing
the world to a standstill, and as a result, it created several barriers in almost all the
industries, especially the fashion and apparel industry. The worsening of this crisis has
caused unemployment like the designers, manufacturers, artists, handicrafts workers,
tailors, and affected the supply chain greatly.
Today we will be talking about the impact Covid-19 has had on the fashion industry. 
Talking about the new normal, the current situation is proving to have one of the worst
effects on the supply chain end of the business. Let us break down the main segments of the
fashion industry and its supply chain that were hit the most.

Supply of raw materials


The supply chain side of fashion has a major role to play in order to keep all operations
working smoothly. But amidst the pandemic, a major change came in which resulted in the
least availability of manpower amongst other roadblocks. All garments and textiles have
designated requirements. One of the effects was that the seamless supply of raw materials
was stopped due to movement restrictions. The effects of this could be seen not only in
local setups but also internationally, due to lockdowns in several exporting and importing
countries. 


Production


Due to government-imposed protocols, the production process has also been lengthened. A
huge number of cancellations have been seen in orders from retailers and end consumers.
Whatever orders were retained, the lack of manpower, resulted in poor production and in
turn affected the completion of the existing orders. As a matter of fact, orders placed that
were worth millions of dollars were all turned down due to the stoppage of transactions
from affiliates, partners, and stockholders.


Marketing and Distribution


As an effect of the previous two segments, it is roughly estimated that the distribution of
products is going to be limited. The rising number of positive cases affected the distribution
channel in a way that had a chain reaction resulting in losses for up to 40% drop in sales
figures as compared to previous years. Some well-known retailers also had to file for
bankruptcy. 
Communication channels were disrupted and traditional ATL marketing did not prove to be
of any help. However, this led to a sharp rise in online communication. Most brands sought
digital marketing and rushed to make the most out of social media platforms to reach their
target audiences. 


Face masks 


Wearing masks has become a part of our lives now. It is the new normal. The pandemic saw
a rising trend in designer masks which are more colourful and sport trendy artworks. These
designer masks have been marketed not only as a piece of protection equipment but also as
an accessory. Popular designers and brands have started to release face masks that match
the design of an entire outfit. PPEs or Personal Protective Equipment were designed
accordingly and became the new fad in the fashion and apparel industry.

Fashion from home


Gone are the days wearing a tux or a business suit was the norm for an 8 to 9-hour job shift.
Working from home has become an alternative for businesses that could easily adapt to it.
Initially, it was predicted that working from home will have certain behavioural changes
when it came to consumers still being interested in dressing up. Most people predicted a
decline in the efforts. Though some people have shown a decline in interest to dress up,
there are more who still make an effort into having their style game on point even while
working from home. Also, some companies require their employees to look presentable
during a video call.
The above were just some of the effects of Covid-19 that the fashion and apparel industry
has witnessed since last year. The business side of the industry has suffered immensely,
making it difficult for a lot of operating companies to survive. This has, in turn, disrupted the
entire supply chain, as it is a well-connected ecosystem. With vaccines coming up, many are
waiting for an opportunity for revival of the industry. Let us see what sparks a new trend in
this dynamic industry.

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