Ideas on sustainability: sustainable fashion during a pandemic.
by AKO • Apr 03, 2020 | SUSTAINABILITY

When the ball dropped at midnight three months ago, it ushered a monumental and – the most- anticipated decade without any foresight on the possibility of a global pandemic. For many of us, a solace in the resolutions for the year 2020 had finally been realized two decades after the beginning of a new millennium. However, in the wake of what fashion analysts lackadaisically labeled as a media outcry, a global health crisis emerged and has become the most significant health crisis yet. The quick yet profoundly disruptive impact of the COVID-19 virus led to a worldwide panic, a global lockdown for households, and shutdown of businesses factories and businesses operate in most global fashion capitals: the greatest industrial hit since the world war II.

The overlying and underlying implications of COVID-19 have within a short time proven accurate in the past two months of its gradual impact, with the causation of a frightening new reality for the global fashion industry. An impact analysts estimate will detrimentally linger for the next few years (of deliberate marketing), with adverse effects on crucial sectors and channels in the fashion and lifestyle industry, production, and consumption. In the face of this new reality for most brands and businesses, is the uncontrolled pause in the activities of many large, medium and small fashion and lifestyle brands kindled by the digital age of social media and fast consumption. As many luxury and fast fashion businesses continue to face unexpected pertinent hits on sales, distribution, and production, concerns, and questions on the essentiality of current processes in an archaic adoption to old habits in the new age definition of the fashion industry have become urgent.

Here’s the idea: A global pandemic becomes a breeding ground for the aggressive application of sustainable fashion. In the latest special edition of a BoF Podcast, the Dean of Hybrid Studies at Parsons School of Design and trend forecaster Li’ Edelkoort, expresses her thoughts on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic brings to light what is wrong with society, and teaching us to slow down and to change our ways. This pandemic, as we know, has led to an unplanned industrial pause, a pause we would hope results in the careful consideration of strategies, schemes, and habits orchestrated and marketed into the consumer blueprints in the past decades.

With the global fashion industry facing its greatest crisis since its inception, the COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced urgent questions that needed to be asked in the fashion industry for years and counting. Overall, however, as examining the positives within becomes the beaconing hope for a crucial reset, many believe that the broken down systems as a result of this pandemic could be a blank canvas for deconstruction and reinvention of the fashion industry.


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