A new way of doing things
Contributor: CARLOS SIMOES
The numbers leave no doubt about the seriousness of the Brazilian economic situation due to the covid-19 pandemic, even though the government tries to mask the crisis. The Brazilian Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry (Abit), reflecting the apprehension of its members and the risk of collapse of production systems, has voiced its concern. It should be remembered that the textile and clothing sectors here employ 1.5 million people directly and a massive total of 8 million indirectly!
The Brazilian textile and clothing sectors are working hard to overcome the seriousness of the situation. We are feeling a sense of vulnerability but using technology to organize information and the entire social protection network to face the virus. The way out of this crisis is closely linked to government actions, but also to the private sector within its own powers and possibilities. Solidarity is a keyword!
The virus has impacted consumer behavior. A move to conscious consumption is emerging with basic necessities prioritised; consumers are becoming increasingly adept with e-commerce. This will further pressurise physical retail, which will have to emerge onto the post-pandemic scenario with a more imaginative strategy for reaching consumers and their new needs. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are looking for alternatives amongst local suppliers to replace demand hitherto met by imports. 2021 is being discussed as the year of recovery and 2022 as that of effective growth. To achieve that, the Brazilian textile chain will have to change: faster processing, decreases in inventories, and more sustainable machinery will be needed.
The Economic Center of São Paulo
STREET & FASHION
Doing it a better way
It is true that major crises are seen as important turning points in society, as they bring to light new realities not recognized before. Looking at the environment, social movement, humanizing, connecting and ‘intertwining’ are the new challenges for brands. And several Brazilian designers see the presence of love, spirituality, collectivity, cooperation, and “doing it in a better way” as instruments of creativity for their collections.
The recognized national brands include: Ricardo Almeida, Animale, Gloria Coelho, Le Lis Blanc, Reinaldo Lourenço, Osklen and Lino Linaventura. The designer, Flavia Aranha, has strong work focused on sustainability, taking care of the origin of all inputs in the textile chain and embracing the circular economy.
We see a more demanding and digitally aware consumer coming. Brands that know how to be collaborative at this time of crisis will have a special place in the minds and hearts of consumers. Those who know how to connect with the new needs of people will be reborn and survive.
The big Brazilian brands are very focused on issues like seasonality and collection size and thinking about abandoning the traditional fashion calendar and going ‘seasonless’. Other professionals believe that, with the slowdown of the pandemic, people, in search of the joy of living, will want to shop, party, be entertained and dress in colours and festive clothing. After all, “the show must go on”!
Growing interest in the purchase of sustainable, vintage clothing
The Brazilian industry is already taking firm steps towards sustainability and this bodes well for brands and consumers. Consumer interest in sustainable fashion has increased dramatically and is reflected in their growing interest in sustainable, vintage clothing and the use of clothing rental services. They care about waste, and the origin and disposal of materials.
Designers have sought to insert sustainability into fashion by investing in the search for new materials and in the reuse of fabrics, supported by recycling and organic based industries.
The covid-19 pandemic has spurred brands and entrepreneurs to investigate many changes. Large retailers and brands are now looking for more efficient and responsible supply chains as they come to understand that consumers are demanding a more direct and closer relationship with labels as they grow more concerned about sustainability, waste reduction and the circular economy.
Various textile industries, including jeanswear, clothing and home textiles are well advanced in the field of sustainability. These include:
Vicunha Textil S/A, Denim Eco Absolut Refibra