The COVID-19 pandemic was, and is largely still, a period of industry-wide transformation. Both fashion manufacturers and consumers were forced to change their plans. Fashion week was cancelled. Hundreds of stores were closed down and many seasonal wardrobes were left empty. However, as the world slowed down, new fashion trends emerged.
Many of these trends may be obsolete in the New Normal, such as bejewelled facial shields. But there are still a few that will be around.
- Slow Fashion is on the Rise
Climate change was one of the most important topics that came up in 2020. It became apparent that fashion was the largest contributor to waste. Vogue.Co.UK claims that more than 50 million garments are worn once and thrown away every summer in the UK. This inspired consumers around the globe to support slow fashion instead, which highlights the need for more sustainable and environmentally-friendly methods in the production of clothing and accessories.
We can expect to see a crackdown against notorious greenwashing fast fashion hubs such as H&M in the coming years. Shoppers will still support conscious brands such as Girlfriend Collective and Bode and other local designers and vintage dealers. The government announced its intention to support ethical fashion and hold textile waste producers responsible in March.
- Face masks aren’t going anywhere
Most people in the UK have accepted face masks, despite initial resistance. The British Fashion Council, Uniqlo and Stella McCartney all began to make reusable masks more fashionable. PrettyMe.PH says that reusable masks are better for the environment and allow healthcare workers to have access to medical-grade masks. People are encouraged to switch to reusable masks.
Although vaccinations have been widely administered in the United States, it is important to remember that face masks should not be kept away. BBC.Com’s MP Nadhim Zadhawi stated that he believes face masks will still be worn indoors. Experts in infectious diseases echoed this sentiment and suggested that face masks may still be required by 2022.
There are many opportunities in accessories for warmer face masks and cold-weather merchandise. However, the main challenge industry is currently experiencing lower demand because only a few people are traveling, going to work, or socializing.
We expect the demand for warm facemasks to grow as lockdown restrictions in many countries across Europe and the USA are gradually being lifted.
- Wearing statement jewelry will make you a gender-free
F-Trend.Com also highlighted an increase in searches online for necklace layering and oversized as Zoom calls became more common. In fact, chunkier statement jewellery is now more popular than ever during video calls, despite being a departure from minimalist jewellery trends in pre-pandemic years.
Women were not the only ones who became interested in larger jewellery. The trend was also popular among men! Celebrities such as Shawn Mendes, Pharrell Williams, Harry Styles and Pharrell Williams helped to break the stigma that jewellery was just for women. Even more searches for “men’s pearls” have been conducted year-on-year. Major fashion houses such as Gucci, Prada and Versace have recently introduced gender-free statement pieces such as brooches and rings to their runways.
- Loungewear Still Trumps Formal Wear
Loungewear sales have soared beyond formal wear, taking athleisure to new heights. TheGuardian.Com reported a 77% drop in going-out footwear sales during the second quarter of 2020. Slipper sales increased by more than 50%. The overall increase in national demand for casualwear and loungewear was 49%.
Consumers aren’t letting go their well-curated, comfortable wardrobes as travel restrictions become less restrictive. Retailers are also taking notice. Everlane and Oh Polly have already launched new loungewear collections that feature loose-fitting, drawstring-waist cuts and waistbands. This is only the beginning. The athleisure trend, which is becoming more mainstream, will no doubt continue to be popular as remote work becomes more common.
Fashion is known for changing quickly, but the effects of the pandemic have had a lasting impact on consumer behavior. Although most trends support better practice, long-term effects from these pivots are still unknown.