Fashion Industry: Ready To Face The Future

The fashion industry is very complicated. There are no standard fashion companies. They come from a wide spectrum of enterprises working in the apparel, footwear, home textiles and accessories markets.
The industry is made up of various kinds of companies like retailers, design source and selling companies, companies with their own manufacturing facilities and other companies who outsource production but retain control over parts of the production process.

Moreover, companies functioning in the high fashion segment often face a different kind of pressure as compared to those functioning with commodity fashion goods.

All of these aspects combine to make the fashion industry one of the most complicated industry. Yet, various issues can be noticeably recognized as common across the industry.

. Consumers have the power

. Supply chains are complicated

. Product launching and delivery takes time

. Companies must be able to manage a product mix

. Inventory control maintenance is important

. Impact of the latest technology on the fashion industry

. Copyright issues for fashion designs
Consumers have more power

Today’s buyers have more purchasing power then ever before and are less tolerant due to increased time pressure in today’s lifestyles.

They are more aware about environmental and human rights issues and have superior quality demands. They demand a huge variety and more frequent changes in the choices available to them. Moreover, they also expect immediate availability of perfect matching set of garments and accessories in their preferred color and size combinations in the same store.

In terms of satisfying the consumer’s needs, retailers are the first in line, but all companies in the supply chain are driven by the prerequisite to anticipate the expectations and requirements of their customers. From design to production and to the final sale, all members of the supply chain need to check that stores are stocked with the correct requirements when the consumer needs to buy!

The companies that are quick to respond to the consumer requirements are those that will remain profitable in an environment of rapid global competition and increasing material and operational costs.
Supply chains are complicated

The fashion industry is distinguished by global supply chains and complicated logistics. Labor and transportation costs often determine where production takes place and outsourcing of all or part of production is common. Companies throughout the industry have to deal with global sourcing problems and need to regularly evaluate their sourcing strategies.

Production work is often done across multiple places, which may be also located in different countries. Setting up of cutting, sewing, subcontracting and transportation, and the synchronization with raw material supply, is a very tedious process.

Product launching and delivery takes time

While working through the many pre production steps, including yarn or fabric selection, garment development, specification and sampling, the industry takes a long time to introduce a new product in the market.

Both, the complex nature of the supply chain and the global nature of production add to the industry’s long lead times. This arrangement of long time-to-market and long lead times does not correlate with the need to react immediately to changes in customers requirements.

The ever changing seasonal and trend driven nature of the industry depicts that the product life cycles are too short. Even for cyclic demands where the life cycle may continue further, there are often small changes to design, and color or size combinations may be changed. The logistics of managing the large number of styles and maintaining stock keeping units is a difficult practice.
Companies must manage a product mix

Besides long lead times, fashion producers are stressed to constantly design and develop new product lines to maintain retailers’ interest and increase consumer sales. Producers have noted that in order to maintain this speed, raised flexibility and quickness to satisfy changing customer demand, which is quicker than ever before, it is very challenging for them to judge or come out with such types of products. Gone are the days when a perfect fashion trend direction decided what consumers wore. At present, many styles are available, and with rising globalization, consumers can approach fashion news through latest media tools.

Fashion products change frequently, from hosiery and basic underwear through medium-priced high street brands, to exclusive high fashion brands. Managing brand awareness and brand loyalty is a serious task in retaining the position in the market. Margins in repetitive basic products are low, so neither a retailer nor a manufacturer can ever afford being out of stock.

Shifting to the high-end fashion sector, margins increase and sales volumes are lower, but consumers demand an ever changing range of choices, forcing the companies to produce multiple collections per year.

Many companies have to put in efforts to overcome the added challenge of arranging a mix of repetitive lines and collection-driven products, and a requirement to segment their product range and arrange the different segments in a suitable way. From design to demand planning, sourcing, production, distribution and sale, the demand of various product segments must be separately tackled if companies need to perform well.

Companies require clarity about the sector of the market they are targeting, and they have to direct their business in that way.

Inventory control management is important

Companies try to keep inventory levels at a minimum in all industries. In the fashion industry the requirement to maintain inventory levels under control is worst due to less product life cycle. In this industry, there is only one solution to sell the goods.

For collection-driven brands, the entire floor sets must be in the retail stores when these products are introduced, otherwise the chance to sell the goods is missed and obsolescence exposure is a high risk.

For the products that are frequently in demand, it is crucial that retailers and suppliers do not undergo stockouts. This part of the market does not possess the same level of brand loyalty, and customers may well be attracted to shift brands if the color and size they required is not immediately available in the stores when they need to buy.

For all companies, the balancing action of keeping inventory at the necessary level to fulfill demand, while ensuring that they are not left out with obsolete inventory, is a main problem.
Latest technological impact on fashion industry

Recently, the Burton Amp jacket, what is depicted as “the world’s first and only wearable electronic jacket with an integrated Apple iPod” was introduced.

According to some fashion experts the clothes will soon turn into accessories for your gadgets. Today new technologies are much involved with clothing and apparels that you can not judge whether you are wearing technology or whether technology is wearing you?
Besides, electronics will keep decreasing in size to such an extent where we would no longer considerably need the objects to hold them. Hence, today the fashion industry is experiencing new challenges: “intelligent textiles”, “smart clothes”, “i-wear” and “fashion engineering” and are only a few of the trends which will transform the entire fashion industry within the next decade.

Nowadays, many new materials and technologies are applied in textiles and accessories when they are still too costly or primitive for other applications. A wide variety of electronic devices can already be made into clothes and this will rise. New fabrics are already being developed to offer power generation – by using solar power, electromagnetic, thermal and mechanical means.

The combination of high-technology into textiles, e.g. modern communication or monitoring systems or the development of new materials with new applications, has just begun, but the branch has already moved in a gigantic expansion for this sector. Particular applications for the health and security sector, e.g. clothes with extern monitoring systems, already today exist in a large quantity.

Within the coming few years, we’ll see a lot more new applications in garments with latest technology. Hence, there are many designing challenges for fashion designers and engineers for making most demanding fashionable wears.

Copyright issues for fashion designs

Fashion apparel is a multi-billion dollar business that has no national boundaries due to its global existence. Designers, retailers and consumers decide their statements according to international fashion trends. In the last decade, consumer awareness of particular designers has also raised dramatically. Magazines and newspapers also cover the fashion industry as a part of their national news coverage, concentrating on the dynamic world of creative designer expressions.

The common man is very much aware about names and faces of fashion models and the designers for which they model. At present many television channels and feature films involve the fashion industry. Consumers can now identify the various types of designers and designs.

Today, many designers find inspiration from street fashion, celebrities, vintage styles and other designers’ work. Even though there are possibilities of duplication in products and designs due to easy accessibility of the latest printing and computer technology, and due to appearance of the regional or traditional designs in apparels worldwide, it can not be ignored easily. It is really a challenging task to cope with this issue globally. – Leading B2B Portal and Marketplace of Global Textile, Apparel and Fashion Industry offers Free Industry Articles, Textile Articles, Fashion Articles, Industry Reports, Technology Article, Case Studies, Textile Industry News Articles, Latest Fashion Trends, Textile Market Trends Reports and Global Industry Analysis.

Fashion Rental Services and Their Effect on the Industry

Renting clothes and accessories has become more and more popular in the past years. Especially millennials are big supporters of this trend. In fact, millennials are 3 times more likely to use a rental service for clothes than non-millennials. There are many reasons for this behavior.

First, college debts and the financial crisis make it impossible for young people to afford to buy designer clothes. This is how the clothing rental trend began. Instead of buying a trench coat, why not just rent it for a month or two? And what about a gown for a wedding or an important event? Also, rentable!

The practicality behind this reason slowly developed into a trend. Millennials are seeing renting and secondhand buying as sustainable and economically beneficial. Problems, such as reducing landfill waste, are getting reduced. Many renters also shop in second-hand shops. Buying used clothes makes it easier to resell them instead of throwing them out when they are not liked anymore. There is a constant trading happening.

There are two different kinds of renters. Those who happen to have an event and just don’t have a fitting outfit or those, who are taking full advantage of the rental trend. Many renters are using the rental service multiple times a month to get dressed for work or events. Most of the times the events stay in the same circle and it’s noticed if someone is wearing the same outfit every time. Dressing up for work meetings is another reason to rent instead of buying. Women and men want to present themselves and their company in the best light Wearing a well-fitting suit or dress can help.

It’s not unspoken for any more to arrive at a prestigious luxury event in a gown or a tux that are rented and not owned. A hectic social life coupled with the onslaught of social media has made re-wearing clothing or bags almost unforgivable and unacceptable. So, in such circumstances, it makes little sense to invest thousands of dollars in clothes that will be worn once. Unless one is a blogger that gets new clothing gifted for every event, renting is exactly what to do.

The allure of ‘no ownership’ is now moving beyond housing and cars. Fashion and accessories are now two of the biggest rental industries on the rise. It makes perfect sense for people who can’t afford luxury brands but rely on being dressed well often. The new generation raves multiple experiences and desires to be fashionable and trendy, without the pressure of permanent ownership.

Le Tote President Brett Northart said clothing rental has taken off because consumers want flexibility in their wardrobe. In addition, the recession made people less enamored with owning things, he said.

Even if we’re seeing many benefits for consumers, there is a backside to it. Small retailers and even bigger ones had to struggle with the rental business in the past. Now they need to adjust to being able to compete. Many retailers already started a renting and wearing branch for their business. A new industry based on sharing or renting clothing, electronics and small appliances are springing up from nothing about five years ago, posing a disruptive force to traditional retailers.

Benefits and downsides for involved parties:

Retailers: “Apparel will struggle to remain a priority spend,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, told Retail Dive. “It’s competing for its share of wallet, as younger consumers seek and spend on services and experiences more than ever.”

Retailers must start taking actions and hop on the train of renting clothes to customers. If your brand is not innovative or a popular Instagram/ Social Media brand, sales will drop soon. Many big companies had to downsize and clothes stores already because of this shift in customer behavior.

Consumers: This new industry based on sharing or renting clothing, electronics and small appliances is rising, threatening retailer. But what about the consumer?

Student loan debts and the Great Recession almost force young people in our society to find a different way to dress well in quality clothes. Sharing becomes a great alternative to owning. These behaviors have led to businesses such as Zipcar, taxi service Uber and home rental site Airbnb. Not only financially the renting trend is beneficial. Many Millennials are considering this option for the environmental and economic benefits. Less waste means a smaller burden on mother earth.

Despite all the renting, there is one thing Millennials still buy and don’t share. Their smartphones. About 85 percent of people aged 18 to 34 own them, according to Nielsen research, and the devices are the doorway to the sharing economy. Online apps are the most important gate to renting and online shopping sites.

Not only for non-owners, these arrangements are beneficial. Renting your car or using it to transport people that don’t own a car, means making the best use of your investment. Making money with it is even better.

Economy: To understand the dimensions of the trading and renting business, let’s look at the numbers of one of the biggest clothing rental websites on the market. Right now, subscriptions account for about a third of Rent the Runway’s revenue, said Hyman, the CEO and co-founder of Rent the runway. Furthermore, she says, the company hit $100 million in revenue in mid-2016 and has raised more than $190 million in venture capital over six rounds. The latest, a $60 million injection last year led by Fidelity Investments, pegged the company’s valuation at a “significant step up” from the $520 million mark it set in 2014, Hyman told Recode at the time.

Renting clothes and accessories has created a new market that is rapidly growing. While most of the websites that offer these services are startups, more and more large companies are starting to tap into the market. Amazon for example, not yet in the market, might strike soon. Ann Taylor, the go-to work-wear brand launched a $95 subscription service earlier last year, threatening smaller startup.

Environment: The fashion industry weighs heavy on our environment. Especially fast fashion that produces billions of dollars with of clothing every year and gets thrown away, usually without recycling, leaves a heavy carbon footprint on the environment. Many clothing rental companies are trying to work against that waste. They get together with designers that want to make clothing more sustainable and rent out garments instead of overproducing them. By renting for occasions instead of buying and disposing of, fashion waste that gets burned can be reduced. Reduced waste leads to a cleaner planet and more sustainability.

Many founders of clothing rental companies hope to put fast fashion companies like H&M out of business. This environmental thinking is one of the biggest reasons next to money, why young people are so interested in the rental trend.

Fashion Rental Services:

renting clothes online

Rent the Runway:

The online rental service offers designer clothing for rent. Being the first rental store for gowns and evening attire, Rent the Runways has set a huge milestone in shopping. The store does not operate on monthly subscription but on the worth of the rented piece. Usually, it is 10 – 15 % of the retail price.

Having made more than $100m in sales last year, Rent the Runway now aims to “put Zara and H&M out of business” co-founder Jennifer Hyman said in October. For $159 a month, RTR members can now borrow unlimited clothes and accessories, from blouses and dresses to coats and purses, and up to four items at the same time. The aim is to become a customer’s full-time wardrobe.

Rent the Runway has opened several physical outposts in locations including Woodland Hills and San Francisco.

These stores are far from traditional shops, instead of acting more like showrooms that are an extension of subscribers’ closets.

Le Tote:

This online rental service operates on a monthly subscription base. Instead of paying for every piece that is rented, subscribers pay $59 a month and get 3 garments and 2 accessories delivered, unlimited times a month. This service is ideal if you are in constant need of buying new clothes like for example if you are pregnant. Le Tote has a great selection of maternity clothes. You can choose the clothes you want to be delivered.

Gwynnie Bee:

Gwynnie Bee is another monthly subscription service. For $49 a month, the store offers an amazing plus size selection from which you can choose up to 10 items per month. Not only is that a great offer, but the page has created their own community where members can share stories of their outfits and support body positivity. Everyday wear stands in focus at Gwynnie Bee, but they also offer gowns and evening attire.

Glam Corner:

Glam Corner is the plus size equivalent to Rent the Runway. Here subscribers can rent designer dresses and gowns for a monthly fee. A special treat from this company is to offer inclusive sizing for all body types, including bump-friendly dresses.

Style Lend:

Here is a fast pace rental store! Style Lend promises the customer a 2-day shipping nationwide and same day shipping in New York. If the dress isn’t what you were looking for or doesn’t fit, Style Lend promises to exchange the dress before your event or you get a refund. The price which changes around $25 per rental isn’t too bad either.

For owners, the sharing economy transforms possessions into revenue streams, by enabling items to be useful all of the time: someone who only uses their car to drive to and from work each day can rent the vehicle to other drivers in the interim. For customers, the sharing economy provides convenience, value (it’s cheaper to pay to use something for a short time rather than buy it outright) and a greater choice of products and services. It also offers access without ownership – something that has resonated with millennial consumers, who came of age in the recession and are economically-minded, and who increasingly value experiences over material goods.

Business Software Solutions Are Available For Fashion Companies

Regardless of the state of the economy, necessities like clothing and footwear remain certain purchases. For those in the fashion and apparel industry, it’s important to stay focused on producing attractive, quality merchandise while keeping to the latest trends. Whether you’ve worked for decades designing and manufacturing clothes, or are just starting out, you need a business software solution that works for you.

What You Want in Business Management Solutions

The fashion business is unique from other industries in that designers and owners must pay constant attention to styles and changes in public tastes. Selecting a software bundle to handle your needs requires not only research of the program’s capabilities, but its adaptability to the changing environment.

A good business management software package should assist you with:

Managing the styles, colors, and sizes of specific clothing and shoe patterns, so you know how many items of a certain color are produced and/or sold. You should be able to keep up with the demand by a particular demographic.
Managing the warehousing of products and keeping track of stock and shortages, so you can plan ahead for sales and distribution.
Managing distribution to retailers and wholesalers, so you know exactly who buys what. You should also be able to plan for standing orders and special orders.
When you have the proper software in place for your fashion business, your business can run smoothly and give you more time to focus on what people want to wear, rather than minor management details that could delay your apparel and leave them out of style.

Problems with the Fashion Industry

There are numerous dilemmas plaguing the modern fashion industry. Advertising in the fashion industry can be blamed for many of society’s problems with weight and eating disorders. There are many individuals in the world who do not have the ideal body type and the aggressive advertising campaigns waged by numerous fashion companies, portraying beautiful, skinny models and muscle clad men, create this illusion that this is the perfect body type and everyone should strive to look exactly like this. This puts a great deal of stress on people to try and look this way. These types of advertisements have an enormous impact on the youth at the present as many of them appear in youth magazines.

Another very prominent problem facing the fashion industry is the extreme body forms many of the models are portraying. The vast majority of catwalk models are dangerously skinny and it has been suggested that they even suffer from malnourishment. Members of the youth, upon seeing these outrageously skinny models, may become obsessed with wanting to look like them to the extent to which they develop some eating disorder.

Of course these are just problems on the surface of the fashion industry. Underneath all of this is the issue of sweatshops and child labor. In search of a cheap, exploitable labor base, many multinational fashion companies relocate to the lesser developed countries of the world. In doing so they can hire young children to work for very long hours and at very low wages, especially since many of these children are so desperate. Furthermore, many of the less fortunate countries have no laws in place to protect children from being exploited in this manner at the hands of multinational organizations. As such, the slave-labored children do not have any means through which they can lobby for better wages or better working conditions and, if they wish to continue making the minute amount of money they are at the present, they must simply tolerate the conditions they are subject to.

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