The pandemic has indeed brought a couple of interesting changes to our day to day lives. The fashion industry has and will continue to see a massive shift in the way its consumers shop and style themselves post the pandemic lockdown.
And these changes are here to stay. Just like how the fashion scene in India saw its biggest shift in trends during and after the British Colonialism, it seems like the COVID-19 Pandemic will also have its impact on Indian fashion.
Socially responsible clothing seems to be making its way into the fashion scene proving that fashion can be and need to be sustainable, especially NOW. There will be a sharp increase in fresh talents producing ethical, conscious, and sustainable clothing. While the designer masks are already making its mark, there also might be a shift of focus towards easy-to-clean fabrics, water resistant fabrics, utility clothing and protective outerwear.
Minimalism — with its simple and clean aesthetic, had its comeback in the fashion radar even before COVID-19 and it looks like it will intensify after the global pandemic lockdown. Minimalism seems to compliment sustainability and longevity. People have gotten into a practice of rethinking what is necessary and what is not and would rather prefer purchasing investment staple pieces. This trend will also lead to a rise in capsule wardrobes.
The COVID-19 pandemic had redirected the fashion industry to the Internet just like it did it most of the other industries. Designers are moving away from traditional patterns and are beginning to embrace new approaches. Lakmé Fashion Week is expected to roll out a few digital fashion concepts, starting with ‘Virtual Showroom’ — a first of its kind in India. The purpose of this is to support and provide a platform for designers and artisans to showcase their collections to consumers, helping them drive sales of the stock that have been stuck due to the pandemic.
Another interesting shift is ‘The Kindness Economy’. The retailers have been lending their voices to movements right from #FashionRevolution to #WhatIsInMyClothes to #BlackLivesMatter. This can be looked at as a shift in the mindset of the consumers rather than a trend which has intensified during the lockdown period. With the increase of social media usage during the lockdown, consumers have had constant access to the events and movements happening around them. Hence, they will expect the brands they make purchases from to be more sensitive and responsive to social causes. Brands may have to be more transparent and ethical to gain loyalty from its consumers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a brand-new world. The lockdown has forced us to slow down and has given us enough time to reflect and make changes and set goals for the future. In a nutshell, it looks like the fashion industry will take sustainability-led decisions keeping the environment and society in mind for the future.