Could small or independent businesses help turn the tides?

We are in an ever shifting cultural, political and economic landscape. If you were to believe the majority of what you read many things will never be the same again and many businesses have closed or due to shut down in the coming months.

The pandemic has indeed caused damage but has also accelerated trends that were already shaping the industry pre-covid. According to a report by BOF and Mckinsey, the fashion industry is set to shrink about 35 per cent this year.

Subsequently, with consumer spending decreasing, a new value system will surely have to arise promoting personal and societal change.  Conversely there will definitely be scenarios where bigger brands will weather the storm amidst a period of consolidation. However, could smaller nimble businesses also be a resolution in being more adaptable during these challenging times?

“A lot businesses are going to crash, they don’t have enough reason to exist” Michael Williams – A continuous lean

Gen Z are definitely a force to be reckoned with as their voices will only grow stronger; a new generation that really embraces buying less, buying better and is centered around recycling, sustainability, renting and resales. We are definitely seeing a increase in consumers having more of a say in what is produced and how it is made.

Producing out of purpose, creating staples or desirable collaborations and pre-ordering product could be a more interesting and efficient way to manage inventory and being responsible for what you produce. Also lots of start-up brands seed ideas to market through omni-channel or set up reservation systems to gauge demand before committing to huge manufacturing costs. This information could also be shared with retailers so they know what styles are trending, calculating the costs of goods, it will also facilitate in setting the prices.

With bigger brands it can be hard to navigate around an unpredictable and fluid economy as a one size fits strategies don’t always fit all. I personally think smaller scale businesses that draw less from the planets resources and increase community engagement could gain in popularity.

I have no answer as to where this journey will take us, but I am pretty sure it will be a collective journey. We will possibly operate more responsibly and in a more innovative way as consumers seek more security, transparency and trust.