Covid-19 is having a tremendous impact on the global textile and apparel industry. As Andreas Kelsch, Sales Director of Turkey-based Be Ma, reveals, be it at trade fairs, which are witnessing fewer visitors or production and delivery delays, the pandemic is impacting all aspects of business.
Impact on the entire value-chain
The retail industry is witnessing a slowdown, impacting the entire value chain–from garment making to sales of chemical auxiliaries. Brands are postponing delivery of their completed garments. Buyers are also telling manufacturers not to cut fabrics and process other raw materials which they have already imported or stored for the current orders placed by them, notes Mostafiz Uddin, Managing Director of Bangladesh-based Denim Expert.
Factories face production delays
Most factories are trying to cope with the situation. However, they are facing production shortfalls and run the risk of having to suspend production lines. In order to reduce their immediate costs, these manufacturers also plan to either cut down on the number of workers they employ or reduce their shift hours. However, both of these possibilities are likely to result in a loss of income for around four million workers, feels Uddin.
Digital channels gaining popularity
With most stores shut, retailers are moving to new digital channels. However, the outbreak has also had certain upswings. As Alberto De Conti from the brand Hub 1922 of the Rudolf Group that operates in both Italy and Germany observes, there is an adoption of new, regular and exciting B2B digital and communication channels that would beneficial for the environment as well.
Also going digital is US-based The Lycra Company who is fulfilling all orders and shipments without any interruptions. Most of the company’s interactions are being conducted virtually. It further plans to ramp up its digital resources to facilitate such connections besides investing in digital media to drive awareness and promotion of our innovations and technologies, reveals Denise Sakuma, director of the company’s global RTW and denim.
The outbreak is forcing companies to look at their roles differently. Not only are they planning to look at other supply chains but also develop contingency plans. As Alice Tonello Marketing and R&D Head of Italy-based Tonello points out it is likely to lead to reorganisation in production, towards flexibility and swiftness, which in turn could lead to more near shoring.