Building back a better future in fashion

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the global fashion sector. Government quarantine measures to slow down the spread of the virus forced the worldwide closure of production sites and retail stores and the cancellations of fashion events. As a result, the vertiginous decline of fashion stocks such as the G-III Apparel Group (down 27.1 per cent to $11.07), Capri Holdings (down 26.2 per cent to $10.29), Tapestry Inc. (down 19.3 per cent to $13.10) and Nordstrom Inc. (down 17 per cent to $17.93) highlights fashion as one of the hardest-hit sectors.

Amidst economic fallouts of the pandemic, numerous apparel brands that were already struggling are “now scrambling to figure out what the future holds for them.” In their report Weaving for a Better Future, the Boston Consulting Group and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition declare that “the impending economic crisis is expected to wipe out more than 30% of the fashion industry’s business in 2020 alone.” Brands that were healthy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to recover, but brands that were already vulnerable will have to take drastic measures to protect themselves. Some brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria’s Secret announced the closure of stores to combat the dire decline in sales, while brands like J. Crew and the department store Neiman Marcus are preparing to file for bankruptcy.

Expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on worldwide fashion and luxury sales in 2020

Source: Boston Consulting Group, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Higg Co 2020

This grim diagnosis caused by the ongoing pandemic needs to be a turning point for businesses to pivot towards more circular, resilient and carbon-neutral business models. At New Angles, our mission is to change business for good, and we have helped clients in diverse sectors navigate change by working with stakeholder groups to implement long-lasting positive change. The New Angles approach to accelerating transition – using our portfolio of Springboards, workshops, and tailored change programmes – is based on socio-psychological systems and many years of experience in organisations as managers and facilitators. Today, New Angles sees a critical need for a shift in the fashion industry to integrate sustainability into brands’ business models and operations. This will be a key factor in staying relevant and competitive in the post-pandemic market.

For more information on how we can support your transition please contact