Famous fashion designer Rahul Mishra states that the Indian fashion industry, alongside the designer brands, represents millions of regional craftsmen and a large chunk of local businesses. During the initial months of the pandemic, a bold economic impact was observed, but a larger impact has been the psychological one. While several of the local craftsmen found themselves in danger of losing their livelihoods, the manufacturers, designers and fashion brands realised their role as the backbone of the industry.

People observed how nature healed itself and COVID, being the great leveller, impacted everyone without discrimination. This has instilled a new sense of empathy in people’s hearts towards our fellow humans and natural resources. Consumers are looking to invest in fashion that holds artisanal and emotional value. I observe consciousness towards supporting small businesses and the local economy. This pandemic will serve as a reminder that the way we went about things in the past wasn’t right for the planet and if the change has to be made, it must be now.

There has been a visible incline towards sustainable practices and every brand intends to explore a more conscious approach. The Indian fashion industry may move in the direction of mindful luxury that finds its genesis in a larger purpose. At least for some time, designers may seek to instil personal and emotional value in their garments, with emphasis on craftsmanship.

According to Anavila Mishra the lockdowns have not just impacted the current business and season, but also the coming seasons. It was brought into force at a time when all brands were in the midst of launching their summer collections, so an entire shopping season has been spent with closed stores. The repercussions will show up in inventories, next season’s planning and, eventually, the workforce at the cluster or weaver level.