In a world where demanding consumers want everything faster, the term fast fashion has taken on a less than desirable connotation: big conglomerates using unfair labor practices to sell inexpensive, poorly made product. Contrast that with independent makers who champion the idea of producing smaller batches of apparel from better materials, using fairly treated skilled laborers.
It’s been 142 years since Levi’s received the patent for its riveted-for-strength denim jean. And for generations, the bottom has served as workwear, schoolwear, casual weekend wear, and been dressed up for date nights. But in its latest evolution, the very definition of denim is perhaps being compromised as makers are adding more and more stretch to jeans. And that’s being met with customer dismay..
The news last week that the U.S. economy added 230,000 jobs in April says a lot about the strength of small business, since about half of all American workers own or are employed by a small business according to the Small Business Association (SBA). But in retail — which is 97 percent small businesses, according to the National Retail Federation — competition and margins remain as tight as ever. To grow their numbers these days, small apparel businesses might want to start thinking big — as in big data.
If there’s one thing American shoppers love, it’s a sale. It’s a buying behavior that was initiated by retailer decades ago. Since stores have deliveries so early in the season, shoppers often just wait for a sale so they can “buy now, wear now.” Of course, this cuts into retail margins. But smart retailers are learning how to work with designer delivery schedules while still offering consumers the clothes they want, when they want them.