Summer and winter wardrobes could be a thing of the past
In an ever-pressing need for the fashion industry to become more sustainable, getting rid of the seasonal wardrobe is a likely next step, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that a seasonal fashion calendar is outdated and shifting to a seasonless calendar can present a real opportunity for local clothes makers. However, its success is entirely dependent on greater trust and better communication between clothes suppliers and buyers.
Hannah Abdulla, Apparel Correspondent at GlobalData, comments: “The seasonal fashion calendar has fast become redundant as the fashion landscape evolves. People are travelling more, the weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable, and we’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic throw the fashion supply chain into turmoil - leaving brands sitting on billions of dollars of inventory they couldn’t shift.
“Further, leaving seasonal changes behind allows brands to meet demands for greater sustainability and environmental changes such as unpredictable weather and increased travel. This follows in the footsteps of luxury fashion houses Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Tom Ford, which have shifted to a ‘see-now-buy-now’ model.”
Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, adds: “Consumer attitudes toward fashion are changing, with the pandemic obliterating typical seasonal looks as people were locked away indoors. Interestingly, over the last 12 months, GlobalData's latest global survey found that 51%* of people aged 16-24 years olds have been buying second-hand or ‘used’ clothing more often. People are actively looking for alternatives to fast fashion, which has come under fire recently for its harmful impact on the environment, and brands should take note – in fact, one third (32%) of these youths actively want to know what steps brands are taking to tackle sustainability issues.
“It is clear that consumers are less concerned with the hottest 'seasonal' trend, and more so with clothing that aligns with their personal values and year-round aesthetics. It's also clear that there is heavy potential for big brands to tap into this demand, as the majority (52%) of global consumers still buy clothes from major international brands, while only one fifth (20%)* shop at independents.”
Moving to a seasonless calendar means greater dependence on timeless and core pieces, shorter turnaround times and smaller drops, which can mean brands are relatively well insulated against challenges such as some of the ones we’ve seen in recent years.
Abdulla continues: “Seasonless could present a real opportunity for local manufacturers as brands seek smaller deliveries, more often. However, this will only work if factories and brands work much more closely together. Retailers must be ready and willing to trust and invest in their partners. We’ve seen successes such as the collaboration between Asos and Fashion Enter, where the two partnered with Kornit for on-demand textile production. Had Asos not backed the project, Fashion Enter wouldn’t have been able to deliver the proof-of-concept trial.
“The supplier-buyer relationship needs to be viewed as one that is long term – a partnership – and certainly less price-driven. It is this teamwork that will enable ideas like seasonless fashion to deliver results.”
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