There’s nothing like a global pandemic to really shake things up. Our country and culture is changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. We are watching history, major social and political upheaval taking place, many of us observing from the safety of our couch to stay healthy. It’s impossible to measure or anticipate just how Covid-19 is going to change our lives now and in the future. One thing that has become very apparent in these early days is just how much it is already affected us in very personal ways - like what we buy, how we buy and what we wear. The apparel and footwear industries have seen some of the wildest few months in recent history.
With most office workers now working from home, it's no surprise that sales professional and business casual clothes are way down, while sales for sweatpants and athleisure are spiking.According to CNN, since the pandemic began, pajama sales have been up by 143%, while major retailers saw a 13% sales decline in pants. Luxury pajama purchases are also on the rise, as Americans are realizing they can now work in their PJs as long as they look professional from the waist up.
Comfortable shoes are also on everyone’s mind. Sales of sneakers, running shoes and slippers are up while demand for dress shoes is down. Now that folks are staying home and working remotely they are increasingly reaching for something comfortable and cozy to put on their feet in the morning. Americans are also branching out and searching for more sustainable footwear choices that match their values.
Social media has gotten in on the trend and is reflecting our new, more comfortable fashion choices. A numbers of accounts and hashtags have started trending that elevate WFH and PJ fashion to a whole new level.
With stores closed, Americans are making huge shifts in not just what we’re wearing, but how we’re shopping for clothing and shoes. Online shopping is hitting historic levels, and the resale market is also thriving as Americans are looking to stretch their dollars further. Young people are rethinking their buying habits and focusing less on trends and more on quality and longevity.
“We will have to invest in more essential goods and be more creative with what we already have. That means a potential return of sewing skills, made-to-last rather than made-to-wear-for-a-minute products, creative re-invention concepts, and the art of wardrobe swaps.”
With customers now shopping with new goals in mind, our values are shifting as well. When we start talking about quality, inevitably the question of environmental impact and ethical manufacturing starts to come up. Americans today, especially younger Americans care more about how their fashion choices affect the environment than ever before. Shopping with a focus on sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Fast fashion which has been the standard for many fashion labels and manufacturers over the last decade is fortunately looking like it’s on its way out.
“The fashion industry is predicting changes as COVID-19 may prompt consumers to encompass more of a conscious mindset in an effort to shop values, while adapting to environmentally and socially responsible purchasing decisions. Focus will shift fromfast fashion, a term used to describe trendy clothing that move at warp speed and are sold at a low price point, but have negative social and environmental impacts, to quality, minimalistic basics and classic pieces that offer longevity as an investment in addition to being ethical and sustainable”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens jobs and business failure in the industry, it “may herald the end of the current high production, fast fashion model and result in fewer, smaller collections from more sustainable supply chains.” COVID-19 is changing the fashion industry and the planetfor good.”
So this is all great news for the environment! According to EcoWatch, “Fast Fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world, next to big oil.” That’s a pretty dubious honor. As smart consumers, we have the power to change fast fashion, reset old values, refresh the moral code and have sustainable practices become the norm. Cutting down on the number of low quality items we’re buying will inevitably reduce the clothing waste we are creating as well.
We’re very excited to be a part of this movement and are proud to offer sustainable and high quality slipper options for folks looking for a better value. With an ethical supply chain, Fair Trade partners that pay a living wage and a high quality product made of natural materials, we are doing what we can to support the changes that we are making as a society. We look forward to continuing to learn, grow, evolve and do better!
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