Blog: Beth Wright10 trends set to shape the fashion industry in 2021

Beth Wright | 7 December 2020

The Covid-19 crisis has decimated the global fashion industry and its supply chains – and its impact is likely to weigh on the sector until at least 2022, according to a new report. With recovery set to take time and different paths in all regions, there are ten themes that will shape priorities for the year ahead.

Despite encouraging progress and continuous introduction of new initiatives, the industry is still far from being sustainable and circular. A new status report from the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) notes the global pandemic as a key reason for impeding signatories to the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment from reaching all set targets.

A new Biodiversity Benchmark tool has launched to help the fashion and textile industry understand – and improve – the impacts its raw material choices have on nature.

While Bangladesh's garment industry says it has the potential to become global leaders in the circular economy as it embarks on a new partnership aimed at tackling the country's textile waste problem.

In retail, UK department store chain Debenhams is to begin a wind-down of its operations after JD Sports Fashion, Britain's largest sportswear retailer, ended rescue talks and administrators failed to find an alternative buyer for the business.

British retail tycoon Phillip Green's Arcadia Group has collapsed into administration with 13,000 jobs now at risk.

Value fashion retailer Primark expects to have lost GBP430m (US$578.6m) in sales during the recent lockdown across the UK – but says all orders placed with its suppliers have been honoured.

While in the US, Ascena Retail Group has struck a deal to sell its Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, and Lou & Grey brands to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for US$540m.

And PVH Corporation saw performance improve across the board throughout Q3 FY2020, with all markets and channels bearing growth on Q2, thanks to the easing of Covid-19 lockdowns and online demand yielding a 36% increase in digital revenue.

Meanwhile, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has officially enforced a new withhold release order that detains the entry of cotton and cotton products produced by China's Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and its subordinate and affiliated entities as well as textile and apparel products made using that cotton, even if they are made in third party countries.

Manufacturing activity in China continues to surge, reaching a decade high in November as the country continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. But rising demand is also contributing to an uptick in input costs and output charges, a new survey shows.

The Peruvian clothing industry is criticising government aid programmes that are supposed to help companies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they have done little for the country's important clothing and textile sector.

The latest round-up of updates to key free trade agreements and trade preference programmes involving the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan covers developments in November 2020.

In other news, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has outlined steps that President-elect Joe Biden's administration and a new Congress could take to bolster US manufacturing; and the largest decreases in real minimum wages over the last nine years were in the garment producing countries of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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