Are Fast Fashion Companies taking Advantage of Lockdown?

Fast fashion brands have taken full advantage of lockdown, releasing loungewear collections almost immediately. 

Names such as OhPolly, Pretty Little Thing and more have been pumping out new comfy co-ords for the past two months.

The trend of athleisure wear has morphed into loungewear as people are wanting to look their best whilst being comfy and stuck at home. The hashtag #loungewear has been featured in nearly 850,000 Instagram posts.

Many celebrities and online influencers have joined the bandwagon. Reality tv star, Kim Kardashian-West has even created her own loungewear collection.

Reported in mid March 2020 by The Expresswire -The Global ‘Sleepwear and Loungewear market’, the market has been forecasted to grow by 9% from 2020-2024, standing at 19.5 billion dollars. With more demand for designer and premium sets, it seems that loungewear will be taking over both sides of the price tag spectrum even when lockdown is over.

But are brands taking advantage of lockdown or is it a clever business strategy? 

Fast fashion brands are known to create unsustainable clothes, impacting our planets environment at a high cost. They create clothes of lower quality and are slaves to the ever-changing trends of online culture. But do we give them enough credit for the clothes they make? They understand their customers wants and needs, creating products in a short space of time to fulfil them, selling them at a price which their fans can afford. But the current global climate calls on us to ask whether it’s appropriate and safe to be manufacturing new clothes.

Whilst were all stuck in lockdown, we are or we should be, spending less on retail. However, boredom has lead us to scrolling online for the summer clothes we hope to wear when it’s all gone back to normal. Some of us may think that buying such clothes is pointless at this current time, but brands have fulfilled our absence of clothes coming through the post by creating fashionable loungewear which we know we’ll wear during lockdown.

Whilst it may be keeping their business afloat, should lockdown be a time where we evaluate our spending; spending less on disposable clothing and look at what we already own. 

However, sustainability seems to play a key role in consumers checklist for clothing. When reaching out to hear people’s opinions on the matter, ex Oxfam volunteer, Shaswati said “as long as they are sustainable and people have a lot of wear out of them, it’s not too bad”. It seems that the current lockdown climate is making people more inclined to buy loungewear as “dressing up hasn’t been much of an option” she continues.

Could constantly buying clothes online be a form of addiction. Endorphins rush throughout us as we see that email ‘Your parcel will be delivered between..’. Should have we been taking a break from this continuous cycle of buying?

James Joyce, the UK business director for Vocast (a brand sharing platform) recognises that these fast fashion brands “are not disappearing anytime soon”. Whilst such brands pump out loungewear like there’s no tomorrow, James, who’s not a huge fan of such companies says “providing that the designs are nice and the materials are breathable, then I don’t see the issue”. James continues, stating that “[it’s] a market that remains very relevant to us, especially whilst in lockdown. I’ve not put a shirt and jeans on for weeks now. [I’m] living in loungewear!”.

So whilst such brands may not be the most environmentally friendly, people are still happy to buy from them, especially when they fulfil their clothing needs in a short space of time.

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