Fallout from Covid-19 has impacted every sector of society and has led to dramatic changes in the fashion industry which is struggling to chart a new course amidst big chain closures, the end of the runway calendar and uncertainty from head to toe. In this month’s fashion feature we talk to a number of the key players on the scene here, who explain how they’ve been affected and where their future lies.
First up the Retailer: Andy Collins, owner of Temple Bar based outlet, Indigo & Cloth.
“A great opportunity to showcase transparently what we do and why we do it.”
For Andy Collins, the owner of Indigo & Cloth, in Temple Bar, survival as an independent has meant an increasing reliance on online and their café and lifestyle and homeware offerings. “We’ve had a big increase in online trade for people brewing coffee at home,” he says. “We’re making the most out of the spike in online sales, with the café launching a subscription service at the end of the month.” Inevitably, their menswear has taken a hit.
“With no real purpose for people to be shopping… we’re highly stocked in shirts, suiting and other smart casual pieces, meaning it’s been tougher to promote while people are at home staying comfortable in sweats etc. That type of problem really highlights the issue with our industry in general. The traditional, fashion-focused buying system places a commitment on orders 6-7 months in advance, meaning it’s trickier to be agile and change stock in response to demand. Ideally, once lockdown procedures took hold, we would have changed around lot of stock and categories to suit people better.”
They now boast the largest selection of Aesop, the skincare specialist brand, which has facilitated them attracting new custom. “If anything, the lockdown has brought us so much closer to our community and those who support us,” says Collins. “From communicating through our social channels and even through some of our own campaigns (Brew At Home Series, Community Series) we were able to reach out to our customers, both new and old.
From hand-written messages with online orders, to editorials focusing on the people who we usually see regularly, we’ve engaged with our community more than ever. It showcases what makes us unique – our location and the people we encounter on a daily basis.”
In terms of the future and adapting to the new normal, Collins is “quite optimistic” that their championing of slow fashion and investment-worthy products and brands, provides them with “a great opportunity to showcase transparently what we do and why we do it.”
Words: Michael McDermott