Crises affect fashion systems and affect the result of their final products. The new needs of the consumer are rapidly shaping the way clothing is produced, presented, sold and cared for.
“Fashion responds to human behaviour,” says fashion communicator Estefanía Cardona. The designer Juan Carlos Guamán agrees and explains that moments of rupture lead to periods of transition in which it is preferred relaxed dress and neutral colours. “You don’t want to look sloppy, but there is no need to exhibit yourself, to produce yourself,” says Guamán.
Consumers are already looking for comfortable and versatile products, according toCristina Peña and Carolina Cabrera, owners of the multi-brand store – The Designers Society. The local firms that this space works with, 50 this season, are focused on making garments that adapt to the needs of the office and the home, easy to wash and that last.
However, not only aesthetics is being disrupted in this new normal. In these months of closure, buyers have been inclined to support brands with a more humane approach, that is, to enterprises and companies that work based on social and environmental values.
In case of Nike brand, they’re one of the most emblematic on a global scale. In 2018, the firm teamed up with Colin Kaepernick to launch the slogan 30th anniversary campaign ‘Just do it’. Kaepernick is a player who was expelled from the American Football League for protesting against racism. Boycott attempts against the brand were followed by sectors of the far right, but two years later, the issue became even more relevant for the movement. Black Lives Matter in the U.S.
The concern for the environment it is also growing. The fashion industry was responsible for the 5% emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced in 2015. This originated in the production of 100 billion garments per year for a world of 7 million people.
Luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Saint Laurent During the quarantine they gave up the fashion calendar that required them to produce eight collections a year. Guamán hopes that these decisions will be repeated in more designer and fast fashion brands around the world. Pain and Cabrera they ensure that customers are demanding quality over quantity.
The focus on the community is part of the change that is taking place. “People are excited to support entrepreneurship,” says Cabrera. During the confinement, dozens of Ecuadorian brands, including the sportswear firm Vonta-Chi, strengthened the discourse on social networks about the importance of buying from local businesses.
Finally, sales are turning to digital. During the quarantine, electronic commerce was well received due to the mandatory closure of commercial stores.
Although sales were popularized through platforms like WhatsApp, spaces like The Designer Society are working on platforms that make the shopping experience as easy as possible.