May 2021 - The previous post listed the different drivers for change in desires that the pandemic inflicted upon us. Now, it is time to see how we can translate this in a product offer.
A first consequence of the return to authenticity is a demand for recycled material and natural fibers. This movement existed already driven by climate change and more general environmental awareness. It has been accelerated incredibly by the pandemic impact and people’s behavior changes. This sustainable offer is a must-have to stay in the market.
Qualitative materials with an irregular surface, visible texture and nice feeling will be preferred as these reflect authenticity. The imperfection becomes the perfection.
Functional and innovative products that are durable will be chosen over the ephemeral ones. The end-consumers will consume consciously and will pay attention to his ecological footprint. They will not hesitate to turn to other type of sources of supply like fair-trade and secondhand shops. Next to the environmental awareness, the social responsibility is key. Brands that produce in Asian sweat shops will be called out on social media and will have to justify themselves. Short supply chains allow not only for a smaller CO2 footprint, but also for more agility and better control on the working conditions of the laborers.
Timeless cuts have never been more important as the cost per wear will be the rule while a selection of modular attributes allow for an endless combination so that one never goes out in the same outfit.
A touch of nostalgia in product shape, colors and prints will put the consumer at ease as he will be able to relate to something familiar which gives him assurance and soothing.
In terms of colors, the seasonless appeal of classicism and ‘forever’ shades to de-risk will be the new normal. Build the foundation with black, browns, tones of grey, deep blues and earthen hues. These lasting relevance colors will be the key to a healthy inventory.