New Ways to Shop: More people than ever before are shopping secondhand. Resale outlets like ThredUp, The RealReal and Poshmark are closing the loop on fashion to extend the life of clothes. In fact, resale has grown 21 times faster than the retail apparel market over the past 3 years! On that note, clothing rental is becoming more mainstream, with entire wardrobes to borrow, or just a special occasion piece. Rent The Runway and Le Tote are two loaners you’ve probably heard of, but even stores like Ann Taylor and American Eagle are in on it.
XR Boycott Fashion: Extinction Rebellion has the fashion industry in the crosshairs as they use non-violent civil disobedience to protest the ugly truth behind our clothes. By blocking roads and bridges and staging “die-in’s,” XR disrupts the everyday goings-on just enough to get people in power to pay attention.
Call Out Culture: Inclusion is the name of the A game, with influencers using social media to call out injustice. Discrimination can no longer be brushed under the rug—plus-size models, BIPOC (Brown & Indigenous People of Color), LGBTQ+, women and other targeted groups are leveraging awareness through social media. Brands and retailers are forced to react or face boycotts and a total PR nightmare.
Store Closings 2019: 2019 saw nearly double the store closures of 2018 as the Retail Apocalypse continues. Fast fashion chains like Payless, Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 are a few of the biggest losers, with close to 3200 store closure between the three. High-end department stores Henri Bendel & Barney’s, iconic fixtures in luxury fashion, found their fate in 2019 as well.
US-China Trade War: The roller coaster of import tariff drama has been dodged by many apparel brands and wholesalers by shifting production to countries like Bangladesh, India and Mexico. Larger retailers have voiced an unwillingness to raise prices, leaving their suppliers with intense pressure to eat their losses or move production.
Marci’s Outlook for 2020:
Consumers are really beginning to slow down a bit to think about their buying habits. Part of it is economic, but part of it is also becoming aware of the impacts of fast fashion and wanting to really learn about and feel good about what we bring into our homes. Like with food, we are learning what to avoid and where we can safely shop.
2020 will see resale continue to grow. Being able to buy a certified organic statement tee like our “It’s Real: Climate Change” t-shirt and then layer it up with a vintage denim jacket gives people multiple ways to participate in finding solutions.
I also think the state of politics will bring more activism to the fashion scene. Fashion has so much authority—we can express ourselves through fashion in the way we style ourselves and the way we participate in the global economy. Who we support or don’t support is a form of activism and rebellion, so make your choices heard! Put pressure on the brands that are not trying hard enough and celebrate brands who are nailing it within your social network.
We have so much power as individuals. Spreading solutions creates a ripple effect—start your ripple today.