Blog: Michelle RussellHappy New Year!

Michelle Russell | 4 January 2021

Welcome back, and a very Happy New Year to you all.

We ended last year with a series of annual reviews, among which were a roundup of the top 20 news articles in 2020, interview highlights, and a look at the top 20 analyses of last year. These included an interview with the chief executive of Epic Group and the founder of sourcing powerhouse PDS Group, and a look at how the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will provide the global fashion industry with an opportunity to "reset and reshape.”

Also in the last weeks of December, clothing retailers in parts of the UK were dealt a devastating blow in the run-up to Christmas as the government announced new Tier-4 restrictions forcing non-essential retail to close; a move experts estimate will cost them GBP2bn (U$2.66bn) in sales per week.

There is no doubt that apparel brands and their supply chains have been shaken to their core this year, with the pandemic presenting an untold number of challenges. From store closures and mountains of unsold inventory, to the cancellation of orders leading to mass factory closures, companies are being forced to rethink the way they operate – with new and smarter fashion manufacturing models starting to emerge.

A lack of proper understanding of the wider apparel supply chain, particularly around raw material costing and transparency, are among the biggest challenges currently facing UK clothing brands and retailers. Bridging this gap requires deep technical and creative skills and educating the future fashion talent pipeline, executives believe.

Meanwhile, micro-factories can help retailers win in the battle of mass customisation and also bring some fashion manufacturing closer to customers. There are a number of advantages in speed-to-market, flexibility and even cost-competitiveness.

just-style looks forward to bringing you plenty more news, comments, analysis and interviews as we make our way through 2021.


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