Sustainable Fashion: Slick Fashion

Welcome to the latest column within our broader sustainability section, which focuses on what fashion retailing is doing to address the issues in its industry.

This month’s column highlights the new market of slick fashion. Brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box.

It may seem that the current mood music is very much against fast fashion – and a good thing too, many would argue. A recent Media Vision survey using its Digital Demand Tracker showed just how far some of the former mighty names in the fast fashion world have fallen. Searches for TopShop down by 60% and MissPap down by 45%. Investors have also fallen out of love with the big brands such as Boohoo and Asos shares having fallen dramatically since Covid-19 and in June this year the formerly unthinkable happened when Missguided went into administration.

Missuigded founder: Nitin Passi

At the same time we are also seeing the likes of Pre-worn (searches up by 344%), Vinted seeing growth of 22%, and the Vestiare Collective up by a fifth. What has been termed the 2022 Summer of PreLove is leading on to an Autumn of much the same as the shift towards resale beds itself in to being a new business model reality.

But if you were thinking that Gen Zs are spending hours on end in their local charity shops rummaging through racks to find a bargain designer item then think on. The pre-worn revolution is wholly digitised and what that means is a chink of unexpected light for those original online fashion disruptors who have now found themselves disrupted by environmental anxiety among their core clientele.

Young consumers: No time to rummage in charity shops

With their lightning quick ordering along with impressive delivery and returns operations they could, if the fashion cards are played right, the existing players could be in a sweet spot to pivot straight into this market too.

The problems of the current resale market can be summarised thus – recently one of the junior arms of Retail Insider bought herself a coat from one of the leading non-luxury resale sites used by young consumers. After 10 days the said coat had still not appeared. After two weeks she was refunded and was back to square one. This site relies on its young users willing interaction to a large extent – they have to be bothered to wrap up their garment, stroll down to the post office, queue and actually send the thing off. This amount of consumer effort is slightly alien to the core clientele who are extremely used to fast fashion’s seamless and endless ability to deliver and return items directly to them.

So, in essence, this market is full of buyers who want to swipe across digital racks to find their pre-worn items, and sellers who are accustomed to having things picked up direct from them and both buyers and sellers who expect to be able to return anything very easily. The obvious disconnect here can be bridged by one concept – slick fashion.

If you haven’t heard of it it is a mash up of slow (second-hand in other words) and quick (streamlined delivery and returns) fashion. As one door shuts for fast fashion brands another is definitely opening in the form of this vast new market. Who better to use their ingenious tech platforms to satisfy this demanding demographic, 25% of whom confess they expect to receive orders the same day never mind waiting a fortnight for your seller to make it down to the post office.

Efficient: A clothing returns warehouse

There is also a demand from consumers to be able to buy both new and second-hand garments in the same place, according to research from SQLI Digital Experience, which found that two thirds of its respondents would like to buy second-hand through an online shop (something that charity shops could also usefully note). A clear majority also wanted pictures, reviews from previous owners, and provenance information on the fabrics used – all of which the fast fashion brands could easily adapt to regardless of whether they are selling their own brand items again or offering an all-round pre-loved experience.

At the end of the day if money really does talk then it is telling online retailers – including the fast fashion brands – to keep up the good work on online presentation, delivery and returns while also asking politely for there to be a lot more ‘as new’ options to swipe through.

Supported by:

Read More »

Simply Roasted: Innovative Marketeer

Last week Retail Insider attended the launch of a four-day pop-up shop in London’s Soho for upmarket, roasted crisp brand Simply Roasted. The company – not content with entering the ridiculously over-crowded snacking market last year – introduced a very novel concept as its latest marketing channel. We’ve had lots of pick-and-mix sweets. We’ve eatenRead full story

Read full story

Collaborations and how to make them work

There have been many unexpected repercussions of covid-19 but it’s difficult to know how wereached the point whereby the Primark store on London’s Oxford Street now contains a SausageRoll swing located within a ‘Tasty by Greggs’ café. Amid the fast fashion goods the in-store dinerserves up the food company’s iconic rolls alongside pizza and aRead full story

Read full story

Customisation and automation

When standing in-line at the service counter of my local Pret A Manger waiting for my typical morning order of a cappuccino recently, it struck me how often I seem to be the only person requesting a bog-standard coffee. There are a cornucopia of options now being requested with various milk types, syrup flavours, decafRead full story

Read full story

Sustainable Fashion: Greenwashing

Welcome to the latest column within our broader sustainability section, which focuses on what fashion retailing is doing to address the issues in its industry. This month’s column highlights the very real dangers of greenwashing for both the companies involved and consumers. Brought to you by Retail Insider with Clipper and Give Back Box. Earlier this year theRead full story

Read full story

Back to the future with London’s Lost Department Stores

Our high streets are still littered with the remains of former department stores including the shells of once dazzling outlets of Debenhams, House of Fraser and BHS that have been recently joined by various John Lewis & Partners properties. Amid the carnage today it is incredible to believe that London (and its suburbs) alone supportedRead full story

Read full story

Retail Insider ‘Digital Retail Innovations Report 2022’ launches

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Retail Insider ‘Digital Retail Innovations report 2022’ (sponsored by Trust Systems). This year a small company in the vanguard of apps tackling food waste has ranked highest of all – a reflection of the importance and intrinsic value that innovations in sustainability now enjoy. So congratulationsRead full story

Read full story

Innovative Retailer: Biscuiteers

The Name: Biscuiteers The Place: Well, the Biscuit Boutique and Icing Cafés are in Notting Hill and Belgravia and the main icing factory is Wimbledon so I think we will say its heart is in London although online is the main and original sales channel so technically everywhere. The Story: If you had to pickRead full story

Read full story

See you in the future at Wired Smarter 2022

On the near term horizon is the Wired Smarter conference that takes a look beyond the short term and brings together a mix of speakers that will provide some answers as to where we might be heading in the future. This year’s event, on October 11, in London, begins with the inventor of the internet,Read full story

Read full story

Sustainable Fashion: Keep calm and get it repaired

Welcome to the latest column within our broader sustainability section, which focuses onwhat fashion retailing is doing to address the issues in its industry. This month’s column highlights how the old-fashioned concept of ‘make do and mend’ isfinding new relevance on the High Street. Brought to you by Retail Insiderwith Clipper and Give Back Box. We reckon highRead full story

Read full story