The fashion industry has been hit by a major disruption in recent years, and this pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Companies are moving to the internet to make their products available to consumers from the comfort of their own homes. A major shift towards e-commerce is occurring, and by 2021, online sales will account for 30% of the global apparel and footwear industry’s total sales. With this, it is important for fashion players to develop new bonds with their customers and reinvent their stores in order to compete.
In the meantime, 3D scanning technologies are advancing to make online shopping easier and help improve clothes fitting technology. Retailers hope that the technology will reduce returns, and a virtual version of a model could help them find a better fit. In March 2021, social media giant Snap acquired a 3D scanning company, Fit Analytics, which uses artificial intelligence to recommend clothes to customers. The company plans to use the tech to streamline its in-app purchase processes, and collect more data about consumers.
As more consumers are becoming conscious of their environmental impact, more up-and-coming fashion brands are addressing their concerns. The sustainable activewear brand Girlfriend Collective, for example, emphasizes transparency and sells recycled polyester leggings. Meanwhile, Switzerland-based On has launched fully recyclable shoes in fall 2021, and has partnered with a subscription model to close the loop. In recent years, brands such as Reformation and Everlane have catapulted their popularity through their commitment to sustainability and ethics.