Fast Fashion in 2016: Digital Opportunities and Agile Threats Part II

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Nov 2016

This report is the second part in a two-part series examining the impact fast fashion has had on the apparel and footwear industry and identifying key opportunities and challenges for brands, as purchasing behaviours shift and new consumerism alters priorities. Fast fashion’s disruptive business model has long dominated the industry, however, as consumers’ sustainability expectations surpass business developments and the concept of agile retail become more widely adopted.

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Fast Fashion in 2016: Digital Opportunities and Agile Threats Part II

Fast fashion’s slow developments in digital need to pick up pace

With the ongoing shifts to digital retailing, particularly among younger generations, fast fashion brands will need to pick up the pace in their digital developments that have until recently been fairly slow.

Mobile and social media pave the way for future growth

The move to mobile retailing provides considerable opportunities for fast fashion players. Encompassing the influence of social media and transactional platforms all on one device enables brands to provide a truly personalised service through their brand apps as well as s-commerce concepts.

Rapid movements in traditional apparel and start-ups

Traditional players are increasingly moving to more agile operating systems in a bid to compete with fast fashion, while technology start-ups seek to utilise big data and rapid production strategies, threatening fast fashion’s speedy USP.

Sustainability proves elusive for fast fashion industry

Despite recycling initiatives and the use of sustainable raw materials, the very nature of disposable fashion continues to contradict the premise of building a sustainable fast fashion company.

Shifts in consumer values threaten fast fashion and benefit slow fashion

With a greater awareness of ethical and sustainable practices, consumers are increasingly turning away from the conspicuous consumption trends of the past to investment items that can be re-used, boosting the popularity of slow fashion.

Initial signs of fast fashion fatigue arise but fail to hinder growth

The throwaway nature of fashion as it stands today is already showing signs of moderation with the rise of ethical orientated brands such as Everlane. However, giants continue to perform well as consumer trends move at a slow pace, providing time to review and implement business strategies.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings
Defining fast f ashion

Social Aids and Digital Developments

Social media revolution plays into fast fashion growth
# Hashtag goals
D emocratic fashion
Not so fast online
Mobilising online
Potential power of s-commerce

Threat of Agile Retail

See now, buy now implications
Niche fast fashion
Fast fashion on speed
Value found in off-price

Sustainability Oxymoron

Fast fashion + sustainability = oxymoron?
Fast fashion initiatives
Volume consumption outweighs recycled textile waste…
…and fuels waste intensity
Rapid supply processes threaten ethics

Beginnings of Fast Fashion Fatigue

Experience over stuff
Conspicuous to conscious consumption
Is fast fashion heading for a slowdown?
Has fast fashion fatigue begun to set in?
Rise of slow fashion
Slow and steady wins the race

Key Takeaways

Summary of key takeaways
Mobile: Paving the way for digital and social strategies
Fast fashion in the Age of the Consumer
New consumerism: Not so fast
Slow developments in a fast-moving industry