Apparel is one of the oldest and largest industries in the world, dating back several centuries ago. In the beginning, humans made clothing from a combination of vegetable fibers and animal hides, sewn together using bone needles, and flax fibers and even sinew as thread. We?ve come a long time since those days, and today, clothing comes in an endless array of shapes, sizes, styles and colors. There are so many brands out there that it can often be challenging to decide which one is best.
Some have also started criticizing the industry for the speed at which new trends have begun to appear, which encourages overconsumption. Sizable quantities of clothes are discarded daily worldwide. The more significant portion of them is in no way defective and could still be worn for much longer. Most of these pieces end up in landfills instead of being recycled, contributing to pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it?s clear to see that the market will face some considerable challenges over the months of the upcoming year.
Here are the trends that are set to revolutionize it.
Whether or not a product is sustainable has become increasingly important for the modern consumer. Many are willing to take their money elsewhere if there?s any reason to doubt that the products were manufactured sustainability and under ethical conditions. As a result, many brands have already started shifting their focus towards using sustainable materials, using renewable energy during the manufacturing process and encouraging recycling.
Reducing the amount of water that goes into producing a clothing item has also become essential. A single pair of the classic blue jeans takes an average of 1500 gallons of water to be made, from growing the cotton all the way to the manufacturing. Add to that the quantities that will be used to wash the jeans over time, and the final result is absolutely staggering. For a simple t-shirt, you?ll need 713 gallons of water. That?s enough for a person to drink for 900 days.
As a result, some brands have started incorporating waterless technology, using as little as ten gallons for a pair of jeans. Resource-efficient technologies and solar power are also becoming more common among businesses, as is the use of entirely natural, biodegradable materials that are produced responsibly and won?t harm the environment.
Data and market research
The market environment is becoming increasingly competitive, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with the other businesses operating within the same niche. The small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly affected since it can be very challenging for them to go against the large corporations that have a lot of resources at their disposal.
By working with a professional market research company, your brand will be impacted by high-impact consulting and empowered by technology to get the best possible results. All companies can benefit from this, including for pharma and life science companies, retail, administrative services, manufacturing and technical services. One of the strategies is to capture the information related to market performance and critical marketing and use it to provide insights into brand and marketing performance, reputation, market intelligence and customer retention. This way, you can see exactly which areas you?re lacking and come up with a comprehensive plan of how to improve your business processes.
Historical data is also important, as an essential tool for brand management, as well as for monitoring economic health. Even luxury brands, traditionally associated with the wealthy and loyal clientele that will repeatedly return to the same brands, require the incorporation of the research aspect in order to better understand their audience and guarantee continuous customer retention, as well as the acquisition of new sets of dedicated buyers.
An ever-growing number of customers have started moving towards social platforms as a means of getting guidance and support as part of their shopping experience. It?s not just about reviews but also about having a look at the outfits influencers wear, the haul videos posted on apps such as TikTok, styling tips by different users and the user-curated inspo boards on Pinterest.
The online world has become intrinsically connected with shopping. Add to that the fact that ecommerce has also been gaining ground compared to the brick-and-mortar location, and you?ll get a very comprehensive picture of how the virtual area has transformed the apparel industry over the past couple of years.
The pandemic has only exacerbated this tendency. Approximately 70% of shoppers say that the thing they shop for most when online is clothing, and about 74% believe they?re more and more influenced to purchase apparel through and with the guidance of online resources. Annual social commercial sales are expected to grow by roughly 51% in the United States over the next few years, climbing to almost $60 billion. If the growth rate remains constant, 2027 might record an estimated market total approaching $600 billion.
The supply chain is the backbone of any business, as it takes goods from manufacturing all the way to the retail channels that distribute them to buyers. For this reason, supply chains have also started being improved, attempting to make up for all the problematic situations or errors that can occur along the way, such as strikes, raw material shortages or overcrowded ports.
It?s actually these issues themselves that could serve as the catalyst for change. Finding solutions for these hurdles will allow the industry to develop and increase its agility. The manufacturing sector has already started exploring digitalization and automation at a growing pace, meaning that the supply chain is only getting steadily more technologized.
While introducing these features has led to many deciding that they should begin forming strategic partnerships with their suppliers, others have taken the opposite approach, choosing instead to reduce the number of partners involved in production. Vertical integration can assign different parts of the processes to manufacturers that would have otherwise been outsourced and redirected to third parties.
To sum up, the apparel sector is set to grow and develop over the course of 2024 as well. As the area encounters new problems and challenges, it will continue growing and developing.