Green is the New Black: The Effects of COVID-19 on the Fashion Industry’s Need for Sustainability
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
The thesis examines the impact COVID-19 has had on global fashion since its onset and aims to predict what the post-pandemic future may look like. First, it adopts a literature review methodology that aggregates information regarding COVID-19, sustainability in fashion, past financial crises, and how the industry from companies to consumers reacted to such shocks. Then, it investigates in detail the trends that the industry has embraced specifically due to COVID-19, whether they are similar or different from previous recessions. Highlighted trends include increased digitization (i.e. e-commerce, interactive media, and extended reality) and the rising consumer demand for sustainability (exemplified by the changing consumer mindset, second-hand shopping, and hyperlocality). Finally, the paper argues that a case study of China is a glimpse into the future of fashion after the pandemic because of 1) its quick recovery in COVID-19 cases and economic health 2) current and future position in the industry and 3) consumer trends and cutting edge technology that was in place much earlier than other countries. Through such reasoning, the study demonstrates that through COVID-19, the Chinese apparel industry has unequivocally turned to sustainability, hinting that industry-wide changes will soon after occur as well.