The global apparel industry is a $1.7 trillion business that employs several million people worldwide. It’s a giant that provides the basics and the aspirational. But in the last decade especially, whether from complaints about waste due to “throwaway” fast fashion or concern for Mother Earth, companies began to take seriously their roles as partners in sustainability.
The fashion industry has historically moved in seasonal cycles, as evidenced by the fall/winter and spring/summer fashion weeks that place around the world. In recent years, some retailers and brands have shortened traditional seasons into cycles in which a limited range of apparel options are offered, then replaced with another and another. The concept has moved merchandise of the moment, but has it moved consumers to establish a relationship with their apparel or the brand?
The United States has a large population of Hispanic Americans, shoppers who are all about keeping up with fashion trends. Yet, one of the newer trends in fashion — the propensity toward active and athleisure apparel — may not be holding as much appeal for them as it could. But, if addressed properly, retailers and manufacturers could see the potential spend by this consumer group increase substantially.
From the time they are teens going to prom, up through attending their own children’s weddings, men have been renting tuxedos, returning them, and thinking nothing of it. Women, on the other hand, have purchased many an item that was worn once or maybe a few times, whether they liked it (the perfect cocktail dress) or not (think “27 Dresses”). But the sharing economy is changing all that. And industry experts recognize both the pros and cons of this phenomenon that only seems to be growing.