It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic shutdowns have led to unprecedented setbacks for the textile sector, including disrupted supply chains and declining consumer spending.
Nonetheless, this situation has fueled the shift to more sustainable supply chains that not only affect the future of the fabric industry in its entirety but are also crucial for businesses.
With that being said, let’s explore the post-pandemic opportunities that textile and fabric companies can tap into.
It’s a no-brainer that factories are crowded places. Therefore, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, technological innovations have come to the rescue. They include 3D printing, data applications, laser-cutting machines, nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and sewing robots, to mention a few.
The advent of technology will go a long way in skyrocketing efficiency by personalizing, automating, and speeding up every aspect of textile and fabric companies while cutting down labor costs and increasing the profit margin.
The pandemic has also fueled the need for blockchain technology to create traceability and transparency across the supply chain, delivering other opportunities within the textile market.
Wearing masks in public has become the norm. Therefore, it ushers in the opportunity for textile companies to repurpose their production capabilities to meet the growing demand for community masks in a vast assortment of materials and designs.
Community masks and other emerging textile trends have the advantage of easy production. Furthermore, they are reusable and washable. The next logical step will be for consumers to start searching for fashionable items with matching community masks.
There’s no better time for textile and fabric companies to invest in their social media presence. After all, the pandemic has restricted regular face-to-face contact with customers.
Regular social media communication allows you to remain connected with your consumers and provide invaluable information. It’s the perfect opportunity to properly engage customers by showing them that you’re transparent, ethical, responsible, and authentic.
Spending more time at home means they are probably checking social media more frequently to gain insight into what their suppliers are doing to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, safety will undoubtedly be one of the new selection criteria among most buyers. The steps that apparel companies take to ensure safe working environments and stop the spread of the virus will become crucial to doing business in the textile manufacturing sector.
If you’re evolving towards a pandemic-free factory, you should utilize this unique selling point (USP) by showing consumers and the world your investments and actions.
The ideal way of reaching a wider target audience in today’s digital era is via textile marketing on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
As public health systems and governments have managed to flatten the curve, businesses will embrace the new reality that will usher in ‘adjusted’ consumer habits and trends.
Textile companies should pay close attention to these emerging consumer preferences. For instance, the ‘working from home’ trend as opposed to daily commutes to the office can significantly affect consumer habits that impact apparel demand. This trend can result in a necessary change in the types of products that consumers will demand.
With corporate offices gravitating towards working from home, consumers can substitute their formal attire with a casual wardrobe. While they’ll still need to professionally represent their respective companies, for instance, during Zoom meetings, demand for formal wear will decrease.
Keeping that in mind, textile and fabric companies can monetize the opportunity to manufacture workout attire and loungewear such as sweatpants, shorts, hoodies, and t-shirts, to boost their sales.
Abrupt government lockdown policies led to the closing of most clothing stores. Things started coming undone for a myriad of textile and fabric companies when they suddenly had no income or customers.
Without acting fast, they would’ve also had no business. It’s these unfortunate circumstances that forced companies to repurpose their production lines. They are now using their facilities to contribute to the public health needs and immediate COVI9-19 response.
For instance, Barbour is manufacturing medical gowns. Furthermore, ten sneaker factories in China that previously manufactured for renowned brands like Puma and Nike are now churning out face masks.
With that being said, textile companies that are having trouble filling their production units’ capacity and retaining their employees could consider manufacturing face masks.
While the textile industry has taken a nosedive due to the ongoing pandemic, one thing is clear. Each crisis offers countless opportunities if handled well, so the ball is ultimately in your court!
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