Resilience and innovation in the fashion industry in the days of COVID19

Colombians continue to consume fashion products, and the industry continues to produce for a market with new needs due to the pandemic.

Woman checking clothes on a rack

The fashion world survives the crisis due to COVID-19. / Photo: Pexels

The Woman Post | Maria Lourdes Zimmermann

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The most recent report from Inexmoda, RADDAR and Sectorial, showed that in May 2020 Colombian households spent 1.39 trillion pesos on products that are part of the fashion basket. Consumption represented 2.4% of the expenditure of Colombian families, represented in 58.42 billion pesos.

Despite the pandemic and economic deactivation in Colombia and worldwide, Colombians continue to spend on clothing with a representation of consumption of 57.3%, jewelry items by 25%, footwear by 10% clothing household 6% and clothing and footwear services 1%, according to Inexmoda.

Digital penetration within the industry reached close to 70%. Figure that indicates the response of the sector to the adaptation of the situation that is experienced globally.

Precisely this adaptation of the sector led many Colombian entrepreneurs to produce and innovate in response to new market needs. Procolombia has been highlighting how several companies launched new collections with products such as face masks and anti-fluid materials in their garments.

This first step in innovation and transformation has allowed them to find opportunities in the international market, taking their products to countries such as the United States, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Panama, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, among others.

The commercial agreements have been achieved in joint work with ProColombia. The president of the entity, Flavia Santoro, stated that due to the high demand of the Ecuadorian market for Colombian garments, a showroom was launched with that destination, where 70 Colombian exporting companies have shown their products that have protection and design components. and about 25 virtual business appointments have been generated with Ecuadorian buyers.

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One of those business examples is Maaji, who in just over 10 days launched its '1World 2gether' collection with overalls, joggers, pants and jackets with masks. Carolina Restrepo, director of innovation and sustainability, said that “although our focus is on swimsuits, with our creative team we were able to get this collection out in no time. Of the 52 countries where we export our products, 20% of them have already placed an order for these new garments that would be arriving in early June; especially, the United States, Germany, Greece, Japan, Spain, Canada, among others ”.

Along these same lines, the Polito company, which has been in the children's clothing and accessories market for more than 40 years, quickly adapted to new circumstances and designed a collection with jackets with masks included and complete suits. Natalia Zabala Rivera, Polito's commercial and marketing manager, indicated that “thinking about how active children are, we wanted to have these happy, fun, tender and colorful clothes so that they continue to enjoy their childhood, but with safety and protection. For June we already have an order for these garments for Ecuador and later we hope to get this collection to more countries in South America, some in Central America and the United States. "

On the other hand, Mónica Bonilla, director of Corporate Affairs at Totto, assured that “ our latest collection, Totto Element Block, with anti-fluid fabrics, has reusable protection overalls, shoe cover leggings, multipurpose protective collar, windbreaker jacket, protector for two-layer adjustable backpack and face mask. At the moment we have received requests to send these products to countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Chile, Aruba and the Dominican Republic, mainly.

Bonilla added that "we hope that the first exports of this collection are made during June in order to have international coverage and transmit our commitment to care for and protect people around the world

Likewise, Cueros Vélez, who launched a line of leather face masks with various designs and functionality, among other products, stated that “since the beginning of the pandemic, ProColombia doors were knocked to find possible markets in Asia and Europe. We already have an order with the Netherlands for the sale of face masks in advance and we have already advanced several contacts with Spain and England to generate effective business. Finally, with the United States and Canada you have prospective clients and we are quoted. ”

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