This is one of the many COVID-19 impacts in the fashion industry. Because the prices of commodities and transportation are increasing, the entire world is being affected by inflation. The cost of shipping goods from China to Europe has more than quadrupled in 2021. Thousands of empty containers were left stranded in Europe and the US in the first half of 2020 when shipping lines canceled hundreds of trips as coronavirus lockdowns caused a sudden slowdown in global trade. Some countries have faced their biggest inflation “jump” in history.
Another issue that is helping to increase the prices of some of the most powerful textile producers countries, is the lack of labor availability, due to border restrictions on labor movement.
Cotton now has a strong demand due to sustainability issues, and it faced an average price growth of 35% from 2020 to 2021. Raw materials prices are expected to increase an average of 10% in 2022.
With suppliers of raw materials becoming harder to secure, inflation may not be just a temporary phenomenon. Manufacturers are not responsible for this inflation and it is quite hard to balance to avoid price increase. It’s up to us, manufacturers, to break down prices to show customers who are reluctant to spend.
Welcome to the era of slow-fashion!
Sources: World Bank Blogs, Tracc, The Manufacturer, Article Dr Maurizio Bragagni.
Keywords: Fashion industry; textile manufacturer, inflation, raw materials, raw materials price increase, covid-19 crisis