Covid-19 is one of the most catastrophic events in post-World War II history and has resulted in disastrous worldwide consequences. It has hit the fashion industries too and as per the circumstances the fashion industry has experience great loss not only in its stock market as well as in providing employment. Covid-19 is one of the most catastrophic events in post-World War II history and has resulted in disastrous worldwide consequences.
The spread of Corona-virus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) which led to a global pandemic is a perfect example of a recent Black Swan event. Black Swan events know by their extreme rareness, severe impact, and hindsight’s widespread insistence. A complete lock-down by most of the affected nations prohibited activities of any kind within the country and in the rest of the world. It is one of the mega historic events after World War-II (1939-45), which directly and indirectly affected the world in monstrous ways.
All socio-economic activities have been depressed since the outbreak of COVID-19, one of the major areas which have been affected is undoubtedly the fashion industry. The dynamic supply chain of the fashion industry which, on the one hand, contributes to the high fashion (designer clothes known as haute couture), whereas a substantial segment is gigantic mass production, especially by countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey, Morocco etc. It is part of a social and cultural phenomenon called the “fashion system,”. Fashion system is a term that includes not just the retail industry, but also the art and craft of retail, as well as production and consumption.
The current situation has resulted in significant instability and a downturn in demand, production, and usage, while the cost of maintaining companies is high. Millions of employees involved directly or indirectly in the company are in deep shock. Big manufacturing companies have started to produce Personal Protective Equipment Kit (PPE Kit) for government or private entities to use the devices from Covid-19 front-line warriors. Major players in e-commerce somehow manage to get into business via contact less delivery.
Therefore a number of questions arise:
- What is going to happen with the fate of this highly volatile fashion industry in the coming days?
- Could e-commerce model be more robust and sustainable in such a scenario?
- What would be the new normal in the fashion industry, once it is all over?
- What could be the roles of assumptions in model building for the upcoming markets?
- Most prominently, would consumers behave in the similar way as they were during pre-pandemic times?
- How much time would be required for the situation to be normal?
- Whether it would be as normal as it used to be?
It is clear that in the wake of all the economic and social models which have already started to demonstrate there would be a tremendous improvement. Less consumption means ease over sophistication, a wide chunk of consumers has experienced and understood. Global citizens could trade-off in consumption patterns. A pattern of intentional simplification may be a new trend, which could threaten and aggravate the industries and fashion industry in particular. While the negative side of uncertainty is the utter lack of understanding and knowledge of the future, the good side accepts the present scenario and makes a path map for the future. Changing business models and strategies, dependency on state-of-the-art technology, close analysis of purchasing behavior, quantification of potential risks, in-depth study of social innovation and its rapid change can help to make decisions and, to some degree, help to understand the complexity and come up with possible solutions.
There are still too many uncertainties and challenges along the way; nevertheless, an in-depth analysis of the current global crisis and the resulting application of qualitative and quantitative research could establish a viable strategy for preparing and implementing to safeguard stakeholder interests.
Even the theory of Charles Darwin in his book ‘On the Origin of Species’ in 1859 holds true today, where he described – Evolution is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring.
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