Around a third of Vietnam’s textile and garment factories have reportedly halted operations following a surge in cases of Covid-19 in the Southeast Asian country. About 30 to 35 percent of textile and garment factories in Vietnam are currently closed, the Business of Fashion reports, citing figures from the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
The country plays a key role in the world’s fashion industry. According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2021 published in July by the World Trade Organization (WTO), it overtook Bangladesh as the world’s second-largest exporter of ready-made garments.
Vietnam’s clothing exports grew 6.4 percent in 2020 with a market value of 29 billion dollars. The country has been hit hard in the past two months by the pandemic, prior to which it was largely successful in keeping infection numbers low. New cases are now trending at around 7,000 and 8,000 each day.
Vaccination rates among textile workers in the country are still very low, according to VITAS.
Payment technology company Afterpay has announced its New York Fashion Week events calendar, bringing a new world of accessibility for consumers nationwide.
Over the course of this NYFW season, Afterpay will be host to a number of online and offline activities that allow viewers and consumers to interact with fashion week through live shopping experiences and interactive events. Consumers will also be able to use the ‘See-Now-Buy-Now’ tech at a number of shows giving them the ability to shop the collections from their couch.
The week kicks off with Afterpay’s Dropshop located in Times Square, combining Snapchat technology with the Dropshop concept. Launched in April, Dropshop allows Afterpay customers early access to purchase limited edition collections, with virtual try-ons through the use of Snapchat augmented reality. Afterpay will be bringing the concept to the streets of New York, with a physical shopping event in a Dropshop way.
Throughout the course of NYFW and beyond, consumers can also attend the House of Afterpay, a pop-up store with a number of exclusive products on offer. It will also be home to educational talks and styling workshops, designed to get the consumer involved in the retail experience. Other events will include celebrity styling sessions, an Empire State Building light change and an Afterpay after party.
Co-founder and co-CEO of Afterpay Nick Molnar said in a statement: “This September, Afterpay is championing the city that never sleeps, igniting New York City retail and opening fashion to the consumer in a way that has never been done before. With a week of interactive events, Afterpay is proud to support New York City’s economy and jumpstart a fresh future for the fashion industry across the globe.”
Adidas has sold sportswear brand Reebok to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) “for a total consideration of up to 2.1 billion euros” with the deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
The German sportswear giant said in a statement that ABG would pay the majority in cash at closing of the transaction and the remainder comprised of deferred and contingent consideration. Adidas adding that it will share the majority of the cash proceeds with its shareholders.
Kasper Rorsted chief executive of Adidas AG said: “Reebok has been a valued part of Adidas, and we are grateful for the contributions the brand and the team behind it have made to our company.
“With this change in ownership, we believe the Reebok brand will be well-positioned for long-term success. As for adidas, we will continue to focus our efforts on executing our ‘Own the Game’ strategy that will enable us to grow in an attractive industry, gain market share, and create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders.”
Adidas acquired Reebok in 2006, which at the time included the Rockport, CCM Hockey and Greg Norman brands that the sportswear brand later offloaded. In 2016, Reebok initiated a turnaround plan called ‘Muscle Up’ to significantly improve its growth and profitability prospects, and following an evaluation from Adidas, it confirmed in February 2021 that it would sell Reebok as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the Adidas brand globally.
Adidas sells Reebok to Authentic Brands Group
ABG will own and manage the intellectual property of Reebok and plans to “employ its core playbook, connecting strong brands with best-in-class licensees and a network of partners that seek to optimise value in the marketplace”.
Reebok’s world headquarters will remain in Boston and ABG will work closely with Adidas, Reebok’s president Matt O’Toole and the entire Reebok team to transition the brand to ABG’s platform. Reebok’s operations will continue in the US and Canada, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Russia.
Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and chief executive of ABG, said: “We’ve had our sights set on Reebok for many years, and we’re excited to finally bring this iconic brand into the fold. Reebok not only holds a special place in the minds and hearts of consumers around the world, but the brand also has expansive global distribution.
“Adidas has been an incredible steward of the Reebok brand, and we look forward to working with the Reebok team to continue their great work and further its position as one of the world’s leading consumer brands.”
Reebok currently operates in 80 countries, with approximately 70 percent of its business hailing from outside of the US and Canada, and ABG has stated that its goal is to maintain the brand’s global footprint across retail, wholesale and e-commerce channels.
ABG, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, recently acquired US outdoor brand Eddie Bauer with retail enterprise SPARC Group and snapped up Barneys New York and Brooks Brothers. Other brands in its portfolio include Juicy Couture, Forever 21, Spyder, Greg Norman, Aéropostale and Volcom.
In July, there was no sign of the hot summer weather slowing down the fashion industry’s sustainability efforts. On the contrary, there were collaborations galore be it in terms of recycling, resale, sustainable collections or material innovations. In addition, many brands published their accelerated sustainability goals or reaching of targets in terms of plastic, carbon and energy reduction. This month, FashionUnited is highlighting 35 sustainable initiatives that were presented in July 2021.
Collaborations and projects
1. ThredUp and electronics giant LG team up for clothing clean-out program
US fashion resale platform ThredUp has teamed up with LG Electronics USA, a subsidiary of South Korean electronics giant LG, to launch a charitable apparel clean-out program.
2. Madewell teams up with ThredUp for second-hand denim platform
US denim brand Madewell has launched a new second-hand fashion platform with the help of resale giant ThredUp. The new platform, called ‘Madewell Forever’, harnesses ThredUp’s resale-as-a-service (RaaS) to give preloved women’s jeans a new lease of life.
3. Dotte launches resale collective with leading childrenswear brands
Dotte, a fashion-forward peer-to-peer marketplace, has launched the Dotte Resale Collective with leading childrenswear brands including Tobias and the Bear and Turtledove London.
4. Fila collaborates with Oliver Spencer on a sustainable collection
Sportswear brand Fila is launching a sustainably produced collection with British menswear designer Oliver Spencer. The collection features a range of vintage sportswear silhouettes in rich colours and luxury fabrics that have been ecologically sourced and responsibly made.
5. Adidas invests in Spinnova, a Finnish textile recycling company
Adidas is investing 3 million euros in Spinnova, a Finnish sustainable textile company that makes textile fibre out of wood or agricultural waste. The company aims to make cellulose-based materials cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and a preferred manufacturing option for brands.
6. Gucci invests in sustainable supply chain with Intesa Sanpaolo bank
A study by luxury cashmere retailer N.Peal has revealed the best countries for sustainable shopping.
The study analysed the monthly searches of 64 countries, using eight search terms centred around sustainable fashion and ethical clothing. The goal of the study was to look closer into the evolution of eco-conscious shopping, with the first steps focusing on uncovering where exactly these shoppers live.
The US came out on top with a total of 29,700 online searches every month, followed closely by the UK with 24,500 searches.
Top ten countries for sustainable shopping online
United States – 29,700 searches
United Kingdom – 24,500 searches
India – 7,090 searches
Australia – 4,950 searches
Canada – 2,580 searches
Indonesia – 1,220 searches
Vietnam – 1,060 searches
Ireland – 1,060 searches
Germany – 1,010 searches
Netherlands – 830 searches
Europe leads the way
Per continent, however, the data showed that Europe was more dedicated to sustainable choices with the largest monthly searches at 74,130. The UK topped the top ten list, followed by Ireland and Germany with over 1,000 monthly searches and the Netherlands with 830 searches.
Vintage and second-hand clothing has also become increasingly popular as an alternative to fast fashion purchases. The trend is reflected in the results for the most searched subjects, with ‘second hand’ coming in third as the most popular search term and ‘second hand clothes shops near me’ rising 5,000 percent more than the past five years.
The buzzwords ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ still come out on top, however, with sustainable searches focusing on the planet’s resources, and wellbeing and ethical searches centred around social justice and worker rights.
Top global search themes for sustainable shopping
Sustainable – 47,520 searches
Ethical – 17,480 searches
Second hand – 8,110 searches
Organic – 4,970 searches
Eco – 2,620 searches
The rise in sustainability awareness has prompted businesses to adapt to the growing consumer demand for ethically and sustainably produced products. The results show that this global movement towards more sustainable purchase choices isn’t just a passing trend. It is a trend that has been taken on by large fast-fashion chains and small independent businesses alike.
Brands and retailers alike have embraced the resale market, from fast fashion labels launching their own platforms to luxury houses setting their goals toward a more conscious future. Their common point? Using resale initiatives to boost their sustainability credentials – H&M being the latest to do so with a marketplace launching 7 September in Canada as reported by Bof. FashionUnited has gathered the 10 key figures you need to understand the current state of the resale fashion market.
Brooklyn-based company Etsy, which specialises in handmade and vintage items, bought British second-hand fashion resale app for $1.6 billion back in June. The sale highlights an ever-growing demand, putting the American company in the spotlight of Generation Z consumers – the ones leading the sales of second-hand items.
The total number of consumers who bought second-hand apparel for the first time in 2020. The pandemic confirmed a shift in the way people buy clothes and accessories alike: they’re now, more than ever, open to buying pre-owned items. The number of first-time buyers over the last year is testament to it.
Consumers turn to second-hand fashion for many different reasons, whether it be their personal style, budget or commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle. According to a joint report between Bain & Co. and Depop, 65 percent of users choose to buy pre-loved items for the prices, which are – usually – lower than the ones at retail stores.
However, in the same report by Bain & Co. and Depop, 75 percent of the users who were surveyed admitted that the main reason they shopped second-hand was to reduce general fashion consumption. It’s important to note that 90 percent of them were under 25, which highlights a growing awareness in the younger age groups.
The number of clothing items that were sold by retailers in resale shops in the course of the year 2020. Though it seems promising, the downside is that only 560k of all the garments were actually second-hand.
American second-hand online store ThreadUp conducted a report in partnership with market research firm GlobalData, which highlights the state of the resale market post-pandemic. It projected that it’s meant to double in the next five years, reaching a total of 77 billion dollar. Indeed, 188 million consumers have tried reselling for the first time in 2021, compared to 36.2 million in 2020.
The same report by ThreadUp put forward the fact that the resale fashion market is currently growing at a rate that’s 11 times faster than traditional retail. It should be worth 84 billion dollar by 2030, while fast fashion is predicted to be worth about 40 billion dollar. The next decade will therefore see the second-hand market grow much faster than traditional retail, as it’s supposed to be twice the size of fast fashion by 2030.
Business of Fashion explained in one of its Insights reports that only 5 to 7 percent of resaleable fashion is sold and bought on resale platforms at the moment. It means that there’s an estimated 2.1 trillion dollar of fashion items currently sitting in wardrobes that are not being used.
ThreadUp’s report showcased that 60 percent of the retailers surveyed have or are now open to offering a range of second-hand items to their customers. While consumers seem more and more appealed to previously-owned items, retailers are also more interested in taking part in positive change for the future.
Finally, let’s not forget about another major positive impact: consumers reduce their carbon footprint by 82 percent when they buy used items instead of new ones.
When the virtual world Decentraland said in June users could make and sell their own clothing for avatars to wear on the site, Hiroto Kai stayed up all night designing Japanese-inspired garments.
Selling kimonos for around $140 each, he said he made $15,000-$20,000 in just three weeks.
While the idea of spending real money on clothing that does not physically exist is baffling to many, virtual possessions generate real sales in the “metaverse” – online environments where people can congregate, walk around, meet friends and play games.
Digital artist and Japan-enthusiast Kai’s real name is Noah. He’s a 23-year-old living in New Hampshire.
After making as much in those three weeks as he’d earn in a year at his music store job, he quit to become a full-time designer.
“It just took off,” Kai said.
“It was a new way to express yourself and it’s walking art, that’s what’s so cool about it… When you have a piece of clothing, you can go to a party in it, you can dance in it, you can show off and it’s a status symbol.”
In Decentraland, clothing for avatars – known as “wearables” – can be bought and sold on the blockchain in the form of a crypto asset called a non-fungible token (NFT).
Kai’s kimonos include exquisite crushed blue velvet pieces with golden dragon trim.
NFTs exploded in popularity earlier this year, as speculators and crypto enthusiasts flocked to buy the new type of asset, which represents ownership of online-only items such as digital art, trading cards and land in online worlds.
The niche crypto assets are also capturing the attention of some of the world’s biggest fashion companies, keen to associate themselves with a new generation of gamers – although most of their forays so far are for marketing.
LVMH-owned Louis Vuitton (LVMH.PA) launched a metaverse game where players can collect NFTs, and Burberry (BRBY.L) has created branded NFT accessories for Blankos Block Party, a game owned by Mythical Games. Gucci (PRTP.PA) has sold non-NFT clothing for avatars within the game Roblox .
“Your avatar represents you,” said Imani McEwan, a Miami-based fashion model and NFT enthusiast. “Basically what you’re wearing is what makes you who you are.”
McEwan reckons he has spent $15,000 to $16,000 on 70 NFT wearable items since January, using profit from cryptocurrency investments. His first purchase was a bitcoin-themed sweater and he recently bought a black beret designed by his friend.
A virtual sneaker made by digital fashion company RTFKT in collaboration with the fund A16z is seen in this render obtained by Reuters on August 10, 2021. RTFKT INC/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.Read More
The overall size of the NFT wearables market is difficult to establish. In Decentraland alone wearable sales volume totalled $750,000 in the first half of 2021, up from $267,000 in the same period last year, according to NonFungible.com, a website which tracks the NFT market.
Some proponents say wearables and shopping in virtual shops could be the future of retail.
“Instead of scrolling through a feed and shopping online, you can have a more immersive brand experience by exploring a virtual space – whether you are shopping for your online avatar or buying physical products that can be shipped to your door,” said Julia Schwartz, director of Republic Realm, a $10 million virtual real estate investment vehicle which has built a shopping mall in Decentraland.
For NFT enthusiasts, online fashion does not replace physical purchases.
But Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova, co-founders of the digital fashion start-up Auroboros, say it could be an environmentally-friendly alternative to fast fashion.
Customers can send Auroboros an image of themselves and have clothing digitally added for 60 pounds ($83) to 1,000 pounds.
Sello argued that the virtual garment concept could limit the waste of consumers buying clothes to wear on social media, citing a 2018 Barclaycard study which found 9% of British shoppers have bought clothes for social media photos, then returned them.
“We need to have the shift now in fashion. The industry simply cannot continue,” said Sello.
Virtual sneaker company RTFKT sells limited edition NFTs representing sneakers which can be “worn” in some virtual worlds or on social media via a Snapchat filter.
“It really took off when COVID started and loads of people went more online,” said Steven Vasilev, RTFKT’s co-founder and CEO.
The company has posted $7 million of sales, with limited edition sneakers selling in auctions for $10,000-$60,000, he said. While the majority of customers are in their 20s and 30s, some are as young as 15.
RTFKT’s NFTs can also be used as a token to get a free physical version of the shoe, but one in 20 customers do not redeem that token.
“I didn’t do the redemption stuff because I couldn’t be bothered,” said Jim McNelis, a Dallas-based NFT buyer who founded NFT company, nft42.
“I try to avoid the physical stuff as much as possible.”
($1 = 0.7241 pounds)Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft Editing by Alexandra Hudson