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WGSN Talks Post-Pandemic Trends

Erin Rechner, senior kidswear editor, weighs in on today’s difficult climate and what it means for tomorrow’s business.

Erin Rechner, senior kidswear editor, WGSN

With a global pandemic shaking up nearly every projection set for 2020 and beyond, Earnshaw’s reached out to Erin Rechner, senior kidswear editor at WGSN, for her updated take on what this all means for the future of the children’s fashion industry.

How has the global pandemic affected WGSN trend forecasts? The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many of our forecasted trends at WGSN, one being the Home Hub, which focuses on transitional items that can support school, rest and play. We will see this increase as both parents and kids are staying home together for an indefinite period of time.

Amid such uncertainty, are customers becoming more interested in repurposing/recycling product? Yes. You’ll notice more items that can be remade or repurposed, which has been in our forecasts for a few seasons. The focus is on expanding a product’s lifecycle beyond the first point of purchase, with more initial thought on how to remake, resell or reuse. We are also tracking the rise in resale through kids’ subscription box services, allowing quickly grown out of apparel to be exchanged and reused for a more sustainable and circular design chain.

What advice do you have for small business owners today? In difficult times, opportunity can rise from creativity and opening up to new ways of thinking. Boutiques and stores that are shuttering or have lost customers due to the spending halt should think of ways to connect with people on a deeper level. A good example is brand Hiro, who is shipping their spring orders with a free child-sized masks included in every order, already selling out 1,000 pieces. Think of ways to do good for the community–including your employees–and gain newfound loyalty. Look for immediate market needs that you can adjust your product line to fit into.

How will this pandemic change the way we do business? This pandemic will change everything about how we live our lives in the future. Individuals will prioritize the things that were taken away from them during this period, starting with connecting with loved ones, but also seeking out experiences and products that nurture and provide comfort. The global disruption will be incredibly difficult to get through, but it will also develop new jobs and opportunities with a focus on sustainability. The way we work, the way we consume social media and our position toward the environment will need to be addressed and adjusted.

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