As the new year came around, the news that a never seen before virus, the Coronavirus, started spreading.
It started in China, quickly spread and now affects many across the world.
Now you may ask, how does it affect the fashion industry, isn’t that a medical issue? The truth is that it affects the industry in a great capacity.
By 2020, after years of hard and dedicated work, China has made itself important, if not indispensable in the fashion industry.
We all joke that “everything is from China”, but the simple fact is that yes, almost everything comes from China.
You might think your Italian dress is purely Italian, but the threads to make its fabrics, the fabric itself, or simply the accessories such as the buttons and zippers are exported from China.
After the Coronavirus outbreak, many cities in China are being held quarantined with many workers not able to return to work and buyers not able to go out to shop.
The virus has also struck Europe, with Italy being the most affected.
Italy is another of the largest central hub in fashion and panic can be felt globally.
Fall/Winter fashion shows and fairs are being canceled, and those that are still taking place are seeing a huge decrease in attendance from both buyers and designers.
As a result of this outbreak, many stores have been temporarily closed, factories shut have down for lack of workforce and/or parts and industry fairs have been postponed and canceled.
This turmoil and uncertainty are causing HUGE delays in all companies, industries and in the market in general. Companies are not getting their regular orders, not producing and selling as planned and many are expecting to not being able to hit their target in a timely manner. Many have been revising their financial forecast for the quarter, and the whole year of 2020, it isn’t looking so great.
The fashion industry has donated a significant amount of money to help fight the contagious virus that is rapidly spreading. Even Alibaba has offered a loan for all companies that have been affected by the Coronavirus (who have worked for more than a year with Alibaba). Don’t be surprised if you many get any delays in what you’ve ordered, whether from Europe or Asia. The export in China has rapidly decreased, closing many ports, and restricting what comes in and out.
Is it time to get over China and start looking for different outlets? Do we start to consume more local goods? Whatever the case me be the fashion industry has to start thinking about diversifying its resources and be prepared for any drastic changes. Maybe this is even a good opportunity to start thinking about creating a new model for fashion, one that is more sustainable no matter what happens.