Have you visited a mall recently? I did and what a big disappointment!
I visited my favorite Anthropology, Nordstrom, and Zara’s (most appealing merchandise). Of course, I realize the stores are in a state of confusion as to what to sell and the customers are also in a state of confusion as to what they really want to buy. For the past couple of years most of us have been working from home and zooming in sweatpants and maybe a nice top. Or, working out in leggings and then changing tops but those leggings are on all day! Like so many of us, I have a wardrobe full of nice clothing, but I have to admit they have had little opportunity to be worn and seen the last two years. Then what about color trends and trend forecasting? Does any manufacturer or retailer purchase them anymore and if so does the expense pay off with the new no trend clothing? Sustainability is another big demand that is changing the apparel industry, from both the manufactures, the retailers and the end consumers. The millenniums are often buying from the Goodwill and other thrift stores. One young millennium I spoke with recently informed me that she goes to the Goodwill and buys her clothing by the weight. She said that way you get really good deals! At least it holds the clothing from being discarded into landfill for a little long. Or, as some textile companies are doing is shred the old textiles and repurposing them in different ways. Synthetics can be melted down and recreated or blended to make other garments. Cotton can also be shredded, respun and woven or knit, or maybe used as fillers for those use to be down padded jackets.
Amazon is now opening its first bricks and mortar store here in southern California, and this will be another serious threat to the downward spiral of department stores. They have plans to do business differently for their clothing customers who are many. From what I have seen online they will merchandise looks in one size on display and then the customer can ask an assistant for their size to try on. For online ordering I have had little success that has often resulted in ordering garments that once they arrive, I do not like or the fit is not right and then I often have forgotten to ship them back. But add to this new Amazon bricks and mortar store the other new innovation that will change all this for people like me. The technology is there and is slowly being implemented. You can scan your body and see if a garment fits you and you change it and make it longer or shorter, wider or more fitted and approve all this virtually. Then your garment is made to your specifications all by new technology using computer science and robots to cut and sew. This new technology will also alleviate all the wasted fabric and garments from ending up in a landfill. Then add to these new technology the 3D printing that at the moment is used mostly for shoes and bags but as technology improves the 3D printed fabric will become softer to the touch. So, then you will eventually buy your own 3D printer and print a new garment each morning. At the end of the day you can keep it or melt it to create your next day’s new garment.
But, for me I find popping out to wonder stores on a weekend is my mindless stress releaser and frees up my mind. Even if I return home with another new top to add to my packed closet. It is like a relaxing meditation away from zooms and computers. Sometimes we need it! Surfing the net is not quite the same relaxation for me even though I walk an hour a day and go to the gym!