McKinsey & Company’s Petra Ghicu points out Gen Z fashion consumers are driven by lower price points, however sustainability is still a consideration for shoppers.
For Gen Z genderless fashion is growing in popularity with the younger generation more likely to buy a pair of vintage jeans then get them tailored to fit their bodies so she describes it as a cross between recycling, reusing and repair.
During her Fashion Industry Update session at the 38th World Fashion Convention she admits the fashion industry is experiencing a lot of uncertainty at the moment so the question for fashion sourcing executives is how to build and develop regional specific strategies.
There’s also two tracks of consumer spending to contend with as some shoppers have more or less disposable income than others so she asks rhetorically: “How do you plan for that without diluting your brand?”
The answer for some, she notes is having an outlet version of the brand as well as its original full-price and high-end equivalent.
Ghicu suggests the direct to consumer reckoning is upon us as over the past five years it was easy to sell a brand direct to consumers online but is it a valuable path moving forward? She believes that fashion brands need to think through where they want to sell their products, especially as digital marketing is getting more expensive and less effective due to data privacy laws.
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Sustainability remains high up on the agenda for consumers, but she points out they are getting very suspicious so fashion brands need to consider how to inform customers about their environmental efforts.
Future-proofing manufacturing is also a key trend with Ghicu noting: “We’ve seen a lot of global production – nearshoring, vertical integration and small batch production and digitalisation.”
She also throws operational effectiveness into the mix with both sustainability and the ability to trace said sustainability with digitalisation all becoming more important than ever.
The EU is leading the way on textile regulation with the US following behind, however, she singles out Türkiye as a success story for the way it is building a digital transformation roadmap with product certifications and a digital capability centre.
Plus, China, which remains by far the biggest supplier of clothing worldwide, has also announced laws focused on waste so it will also have to invest in innovation to reduce energy consumption and the use of excess water during the fashion manufacturing process moving forward.