Fashion industry ponders post-pandemic world at MAGIC trade show
In Las Vegas, the fashion industry is looking toward a post-pandemic world.
On Wednesday, the MAGIC fashion trade show concluded its three-day event at the Las Vegas Convention Center, its first exposition in the city since February 2020.
This year’s in-person convention was a welcome sight for Kelly Helfman, commercial president for Informa Markets Fashion, after a hiatus of more than year-and-a-half thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Fashion is so tactile, these buyers want to touch and feel the product that they’re buying for their stores,” Helfman said. “So it’s really important that we’re here, in person, doing business.”
This year, MAGIC, dubbed the “most comprehensive fashion marketplace in the U.S.,” featured more than 700 brands and retailers. The trade show “aims to be a seamless one-stop shop” for young contemporary and trend apparel, accessories, children’s clothing, sportswear, menswear and footwear at “value to mass-market price points,” a press release from MAGIC states.
“Brands have been on the road and only doing digital or regional events this past year. This is their first big international live show, so I am eager to see how brands present their collection to buyers from all around the world,” Jordan Rudow, vice president of events at MAGIC, said in an event preview statement.
As vaccinations rise and the coronavirus pandemic wanes, this year’s fashion trends are all about “optimism, sparkle, drama, and also a little bit of fantasy,” according to Jessica Richards, the founder of JMR Design Consulting and fashion director for AC Magazine. (Read More on Review Journal
(Opinion) Ethical consumption can’t be the burden of shoppers alone
Imagine this: You’re browsing online and find two different shirts you like. One is from a company you believe to have good business practices. The exact criteria don’t matter so much for this hypothetical, but let’s say it tries to use more sustainable materials and only sources from factories where workers are paid decent wages.
The other shirt is half the price, and is made by a company you know has been linked to environmental pollution and poor working conditions at the factories in low-wage countries it relies on to churn out the huge volume of cheap clothes it sells.
You want to buy one of the shirts, so now you have a choice to make: Do you pay more for the first shirt, or less for the second?
It’s a question shoppers encounter all the time, even if they aren’t always aware of it. Many—probably most—will buy the cheaper option without a second thought. For those that do consider the conundrum, it will likely provoke other questions, like how much difference will any one purchase make?
Here’s a different question to consider: Why is that second shirt available to begin with?
Products that involve exploitative, environmentally destructive, or otherwise harmful business practices somewhere in their making aren’t hard to find on store shelves. They can range from the chocolate
we eat to the phones
we use. In some cases the practices are plainly illegal and companies are held responsible. Often, though, they toe the boundaries of legality, and companies avoid liability
because they don’t own the farms, mines, or factories themselves, instead relying on a chain of independent contractors who bear the legal risks for them.
In these scenarios, it’s generally left to consumers to decide which companies they want to support. It’s the free market at work: Give shoppers options and they will vote with their dollars, the logic goes. Ultimately the good will rise and the bad will fall. Consumers bear a similar responsibility for recycling, or avoiding single-use plastics such as bags and straws.
The paradigm ostensibly puts the power in the hands of ordinary citizens. But in doing so, it puts much of the responsibility for policing companies on them too, when they may not be in the best position to handle the job. It can be hard for consumers to gather all the information needed to make fully informed decisions, and even supposedly ethical shoppers don’t always make ethics the top priority in their purchases. (Read More on QZ