As a recession looms, many shoppers think twice before they indulge into another shopping splurge. Before buying, they consider the impact of their spending more than ever. Not only for their own financial sake, but also for the wellbeing of the planet.
Cover photo: © Pexels
A new era
It-bags, wardrobe essentials and must-haves are highly debated nowadays. In an open letter to WWD earlier this year, Giorgio Armani perfectly underlined some of the biggest issues the fashion industry faces today. He proposed to make use of this pause; rather than thinking about how to move back to normal as fast as possible, he convoked to rethink the concept of time in the fashion industry. Does one truly need four to six new collections a year? What’s the use of a Pre-Fall collection? Armani questioned the entire system: “The current emergency shows that a careful and intelligent slowdown is the only way out, a road that will finally bring value back to our work and that will make final customers perceive its true importance and value.”
“The current emergency shows that a careful and intelligent slowdown is the only way out”
Where many fashion designers have expressed their appreciation for Armani’s letter, consumers remain silent. As long as there’s demand for an excessive number of collections a year, labels won’t change. According to The Future 100 by Walther Thompson Intelligence, consumers slowly start to strip down what they truly value.
Anti excess trends
Anti-excess trends develop quickly. Sometimes out of necessity, brands increasingly make use of residu materials and left-over stock as a base for their new collections. During Copenhagen Fashion Week, GANNI showed a collaboration with Levi’s. They teamed up to create an entirely upcycled collection. Not for sale, but for rent. Likewise, designers Ronald van der Kemp and Duran Lantink have gained popularity lately. Van Der Kemp is a regular participant at Paris Haute Couture Week. His demi-couture collections are entirely created from excess materials from luxury houses such as Chanel and Dior. Lantink solely uses vintage designer items and dead stock from luxury labels. His mission is accomplished on the moment dead stock becomes a forgotten term.
Despite this, Hermès reported excessive sales their first day of reopening – $2.7 million to be precise. However, this ‘revenge buying’ won’t dictate the near future, according to market analysts. Both millenials and gen Zers were already interested in sustainable brands, being aware of their individual impact when shopping. If the lockdown has taught one lesson, let it be about less frequent and more mindful consumption. May the ‘anti excess trends’ not be trends, but the new normal.