How can the fashion industry adapt to the extreme weather?
Temperatures are peaking, hitting a record around the globe, and as we have entered the global boiling era, the fashion industry needs to rethink its business models.
“Climate change is here, it is terrifying, and it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended and the era of global boiling has arrived.” – said the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
Scientists confirmed that July has been one of the world’s hottest months. Of course, what is happening is consistent with the predictions, but the change seems to accelerate faster than expected.
Though Guterres calls for immediate action in order to turn the tide, we are not optimistic. Big corporations will not approach degrowth, which would be the only valuable possibility.
For the fashion industry, global boiling means getting ready with a different plan, a leaner way to operate the business. In fact, this new normal makes it difficult to think in terms of foreseeable seasons, as the industry has done so far.
Therefore, fashion brands should rethink how they set up their Spring-Summer collections by presenting patterns, fabrics, and silhouettes designed for a new reality. Most importantly, they need to reconsider how they sell to retailers.
Retailers, on their hand, need to order from brands that allow them to purchase smaller quantities and give them the possibility to reorder. In fact, ordering six months earlier is not really smart since it is impossible to foresee the weather in the long run.
Global boiling: possible solutions for the fashion industry
Pre-order: retailers can show the products to their customers and then pass an order to the brand.
Made-to-order: products made within certain specifications, such as materials, colours, and dimensions, but in a limited range of options.
Customised product: clothes or accessories created for an individual customer, according to their needs and requirements.
All the above models would limit overproduction and fashion waste. Also, they would help improve inventory allocation.
Retailers would sell during the season, limiting frequent markdowns because of overstocking.
Products would keep a higher value throughout the year.
People would purchase fewer garments but better quality.
Something needs to change in the fashion system. The industry must be flexible and adapt to specific seasons and unforeseeable events.
Fashion must consider global boiling, or it will end up boiled.