The garment industry is a great example of just how many opportunities disruption can present. WWII resulted in women taking control of factories. This circumstance changed the industry in the long term as well as coincidentally ensuring that pants also became must-haves for women. Clothing sizes also originate from this period, as soldiers had to be measured for their uniforms. Last but not least, the groundbreaking invention of the Internet resulted in changes in all processes. But how is the current situation impacting the garment industry?
“Unlike the corona pandemic, disruptive elements such as the resale market, various sustainability movements, and the continuously increasing demand for transparency in production and supply chains are organic industry developments,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. “The current situation has interrupted, or at least disrupted, all routines and learned production processes.”
The crisis that has hit the entire economy initially resulted in slumps in sales in the garment industry that even online retailers were only able to partially compensate for. Nevertheless, the pandemic has further driven digitization in the industry. Retail in particular shows that specialization, emotionalization, and community building are crucial to surviving crisis periods. For example, notions stores still exist today but now focus on home sewers and fashion students. Key in this regard is having the courage to experiment, to think outside the box, and to challenge the foundations of your own business model and brand.
“Our sales seasons now have a different rhythm and we have transitioned to more efficient, global just-in-time production, local manufacturing, expansion of IT infrastructures, teleworking for employees, and digital fashion weeks and showrooms,” says a Global DiVision client from the garment industry.