Fashion Industry: a Dying Patient

Why do Brands Insist on Therapeutic Obstinacy?

As the fashion industry prepares for the FW24-25 selling campaign amidst a myriad of challenges, it becomes increasingly evident that it is teetering on the brink of irrelevance, reminiscent of a dying patient. Despite being aware, industry operators persist in maintaining the status quo. This begs the question: are they awaiting a miraculous revival or resigned to an inevitable collapse?

The fashion industry operates within its own framework, dictated by seasonal trends and gender divisions. As suite123 boutique, these days, we’re accustomed to receiving updates on fashion brands, showrooms, and exhibitions worldwide for the Fall/Winter 24-25 season. Most, conveniently accessible online, minimising the need for extensive travel and promoting sustainability in our research endeavours.

Yet, it is evident that the fashion industry as a whole is grappling with profound challenges. Clearly, it’s in a state of extreme struggle. Moreover, this realisation permeates the industry, acknowledged by insiders who witness its struggles firsthand.

In such a climate, one might expect brands to conduct their business with a paradigm shift.

However, the status quo remains largely unaltered. In fact, there’s a reluctance to embrace change. No adjustments in how brands assemble, present and sell their collections. Also, no change in garment manufacturing processes, contractual agreements, or collaborative endeavours aimed at mitigating the decline of the fashion industry. No change in policies, no alternative pathways. None of that!

Brands persist in adhering to an outdated model, clinging to a production pattern characterised by overproduction. But, that production model based on overproduction has failed and proven unsustainable. Indeed, it is no longer suitable for our times.

Stagnation or evolution: can the fashion industry thrive by clinging to an outdated model?

So, the question arises: Can the fashion industry evolve while obstinately clinging to a failing paradigm? By insisting on pursuing an outdated failing model?

For genuine progress to occur, the industry must reconsider its approach, presenting a viable path forward. Therefore, move away from the unsustainable cycle of the overproduction model, corporate world, and unending growth. Adopting more sustainable and ethical practices such as producing items in response to demand, implementing made-to-order initiatives, reducing waste, and embracing circular economy principles.
In essence, the call is for a shift towards a more responsible approach to ensure the industry’s long-term viability.

As new FW24-25 season campaigns unfold, the fashion industry resembles a dying patient, teetering on the brink of irrelevance. However, brands persist in their therapeutic obstinacy instead of trying new strategies.

Perhaps it will take the complete demolition of the fashion industry for the voices advocating change to be heard. And for those trying to make a change to be finally seen.

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How to change the fashion industry

A few constructive ideas and basic principles

We discussed climate change as a direct effect of humans’ actions and the fact that the fashion industry plays a role in this. Also, that it’s impossible to avoid the impact of humans on the planet.

However, a vision of possibility opens new opportunities. And so, we try to find solutions and be part of them. If we cannot avoid our impact, the challenge is implementing ways to limit it. How can the fashion system reduce its impact on the planet?

Ideas to change the fashion industry

Forget big numbers

The impact that big numbers have on the environment is much higher. Therefore, they aren’t sustainable. Never!
Brands that sell clothing or other products made with sustainable materials but produce huge quantities aren’t sustainable.

Small-scale companies

Small manufacturers, brands, and designers are the future. Handcrafted smaller productions made with sustainable materials would have healthier production chains. Also, designers would make products for different market segments, from affordable to luxury. Small is beautiful, and it gives a long-term solution.

How to change fashion retail

Small-scale retailers offering a more focused and balanced selection can be part of the solution by ordering the number of goods they need and reordering during the season if they need more. Indeed, a made-to-order basis would be the best way to dismantle the overproduction system. A pattern that asks retailers for unrealistic budgets and causes huge unsold stock.

Less quantity, more quality

Less quantity ordered by retailers means higher quality – less but better. And also selling goods during the season. So no heavy discounts and no sales, but a well-balanced system that provides value, not exploitation.

In the end, small businesses can better adapt to change and have a more controlled production chain. And we need to consider these points if we want to shift towards a sustainable industry.

Perhaps top brands will never accept a small-scale system because they wouldn’t maximise profit. Indeed, it makes capital accumulation more difficult. So it will be interesting to see how they will promote sustainability without addressing these crucial factors.

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Less is more

What the fashion industry refuses to see

Less is more – is not about deprivation but value, a more attentive choice. A concept that, together with buy less, buy better – brings about a new awakened attitude focused on meaning. And so, an evolved lifestyle that privileges quality rather than quantity.

For people like us, who lived the pandemic as an eye-opening event and an opportunity to change because we had the chance to realise what we did to the planet, going back is not a possibility.

A lost opportunity

People attracted to the spotlights, influencers and celebrities did not have a crumb of this thought during this fashion month.
But we did, you and us. Indeed we are disappointed by the latest fashion shows and the massive number of outfits made for the new Spring/Summer 23 season. And we are disappointed because the industry missed the opportunity to mark a real change.

Less is more is a shift that the fashion industry cannot face up for a matter of mere interest. Fashion is in the hands of finance, and finance is all about money.
Since we try to find better ways to inhabit the planet, therefore, how we live and consume, we question what we see. And we challenge the fashion system.

A less passive fruition of fashion

There are people bored by endless online catalogues or stores packed with items. It’s a niche driven by less passive fruition of fashion and product consumption in general.

If you are part of this niche, you refuse endless overconsumption as a lifestyle pattern. And you shift towards caring behaviour, so you want a thoughtful selection, fewer pieces made to last.

Less is more: evolved fashion #formodernhumans

Less is more creates space for new possibilities, a new approach that touches on our ethical, economic, and social views placing people and the planet first.
It’s a different way of living, a higher purpose. Something that we share and can drive change. Which, in the end, is something bigger than ourselves.

The fashion industry cannot grasp this opportunity, but we can.

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Fashion weeks and research

Critical thinking #formodernhumans

Fashion weeks used to offer ideas for doing research, highlighting details worth considering to put together and defining a specific selection. So it was in the past.

And so, these days, we keep an eye on the international events, from New York to London and now Milano. Of course, Paris and Tokyo too. But so far, we are perplexed about what we see.

Fashion weeks vs change

Indeed, the discussion on changing the industry, which was so popular during the pandemic, has disappeared from the scene.
It seems that the fashion industry is an enormous system that doesn’t know how to renovate itself. And so, brands keep up with the same thing they used to do.

Even the language feels boring, like an out-of-tune mantra. And you realise that words like sustainability, timeless or genderless are on everyone’s lips. Just empty claims for people who don’t think.

And they all talk about the same things, but nothing ever changes. Furthermore, the world is falling apart, but it looks like brands are only interested in dressing music or movie stars. That’s what you can offer? Really? Celebrities! They have the money to buy whatever they want, but they don’t pay for their clothes.

When it comes to design and style, you may be even more perplexed. Of course, designers cannot deliver brand-new concepts. But lately, what the industry calls freedom or inclusion seems just bad taste combined with a lack of vision.

Fashion weeks vs research

Therefore, when we need to research unique garments for people like us, the widest part of the work happens through lookbooks we receive via email. And through some specific research that we do online. Then, possibly, showrooms too.

In the end, you’ll get more value from brands that have something to say, and you can see it through their meaningful design rather than those who want to attract herds of replicants who look all the same.

Above all, fashion weeks as a pure waste of money having an impact on the environment, are pointless.

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