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Post Corona effects on Ethical and Sustainable Fashion.

Written by Mateusz Zawada

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Posted on April 13 2020

What would our lives be like after the Co-vid-19 pandemic? Having a team of founders made of ex-cityboy and fashion designer- we’ve been discussing different aspects of the impact it might have on our industry. We’d like to share with you some thoughts and expertise from both points of view.

It is clear we are entering into uncharted territories for many industries – including fashion. As COVID-19 continues to spread, we have no visibility when will nor if we will return to normal – or what the new “normal” will look like, the fashion industry will be forced to adapt.

Here are our thoughts on what might happen:

One thing if certain – online shopping will become the main (if not the only) channel for most of the brands. This means that brands will have to invest into better customer journey:

  • deciding which items to try (importance of high-quality photos or videos showcasing the products)
  • how to choose the best size (accurate size guides)
  • safe shipping methods (some customers might prefer to pick up an order from a lockbox vs meeting a courier)
  • easy and hassle-free returns

One of the biggest advantages of fast fashion was its ability to design, test, redesign and deliver fresh looks in very short amount of time. Those had a relatively short window of “being in style”, thus their quality didn’t matter that much. We believe in this new reality of social distancing most of those impulse buys before going out will simply not happen.

Many households’ income will tighten. This in our opinion will greatly reduce customer’s need to replace items in their wardrobe. Hopefully more and more people will decide to repair damaged clothing, rather than replace them. This in time could grow into the appreciation of high-quality pieces which could we worn hundreds of times.

Another aspect of the above is good fitting clothes that are a pleasure to wear. Fast fashion focuses on delivering the latest trends without taking the time to iterate how the clothes fit. In our opinion, we might observe a shift in buying habits. As customers learn to hold on to their clothes for longer, they might want to invest more into proper fitting clothes. 

All of the above sounds like Starseeds as a slow fashion, sustainable and ethical brand is better positioned than fast fashion to face the current market conditions. However, the shift in consumer behaviour will be a slow process. Moreover, small brands might struggle more with their supply chains. Being ethical means not forcing people to work in unsafe conditions. When will we see our new designed produced? We have no idea.

Most ethical and sustainable brands work with much lower margins than most of the high street. After all we still need to compete with non-ethical companies. Lower consumer spending means some brands might struggle to continue in this new environment.

 

What we at Starseeds are working and focusing on:

Foremost we are making sure our supply chain is safe. We ceased all production and will not pressure our factories to start again until we are certain production can be done safely. It will most likely mean our customer will have to wait a while until they see new designs or reordering their favourite stile in a size that was sold out. Thanks for your patience!

We always designed our pieces to be timeless and this will not change. We want you to wear Starseeds items a year or two years from now and never feel like they are dated.

At Starseeds we are passionate about good fit! We go through many iterations of any design, testing it on many body shapes until we are truly happy on how it will look on your body. 

We also rigorously test our designs and fabrics to provide the best sustainable quality we can. Can organic cotton challenge synthetic materials? Probably not, that’s why we introduced a blend of coffee with recycled polyester. We love this fabric!

We currently provide free returns in the UK and in Poland. We are working on adding local return addresses in Germany, France, Italy and Netherlands. This will eliminate the need for our customers to ship the returns abroad. The second step would be to introduce free returns in those markets.

We started Starseeds in 2014 and from day one we were ethical and sustainable. This will not change, and we are here to stay, promoting what we believe in.

Starseeds team.