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Andy Warhol once said: “They always say time changes things, but actually you have to change them yourself.” He might as well have been speaking about the global fashion industry today. With the impact of COVID-19 catapulting us into a time of unprecedented uncertainty, fashion has been one of the hardest hit sectors but the industry has been undergoing a paradigmatic shift years in the making.

In the early 2000s and into the 2010s, the fashion industry was operating in a decidedly different world than the one in which we live today. It was the time of Mickey Drexler’s heyday…


Tools like Shopify and Squarespace have made it easier than ever for would-be entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses and the pandemic has propelled growth. But how many will actually succeed in a crowded marketplace dominated by incumbents?

2020 was an epic year for Shopify, the e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Walmart announced a partnership with Shopify to open its marketplace to Shopify’s small business sellers. During Shopify’s most recent earnings release, the company posted results showing sales grew by more than 90% year over year for the third consecutive quarter and saw aggregated sales of $5.1B over Black Friday weekend. The company expects revenue in 2021 to grow rapidly but slow down from the 2020 pace as brick and mortar shopping returns. Its competitor Squarespace, valued at $1.7B …


What’s old is new again: the business model that will rule climate-conscious fashion in the 2020s

Fashion retailing has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. Clothing was undergoing a seismic shift and the pandemic accelerated it. Consumers are buying fewer garments, and revenues contracted -35 to -39 percent in 2020. The fashion industry is expected to grow only 1 to 4 percent in 2021. Re-commerce — the selling of used or previously owned clothing — has emerged as a bright spot. thredUP, an online consignment and thrift store, projects that the resale market will reach $44B by 2029, totaling 17% of the entire apparel market. Coming international climate regulations will accelerate re-commerce.

Trove, formerly known as…


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Life as we know it went through unprecedented upheaval in 2020 and uncertainty still reigns supreme in the early days of 2021. The fashion industry has been hit especially hard. Western brands and retailers are the primary demand engines for this industry, and for many, revenue streams completely disappeared overnight in March 2020. This led to the delay and cancellation of billions of dollars worth of completed orders, which has had a devastating ripple effect on the lives of low wage workers in developing countries who are dependent on employment in the apparel manufacturing sector. …


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Will 2020 be the year that changed retail forever?

2020 was a year of contrasts. A year that exposed the growing divide of haves and have-nots in the United States. A year of stock market euphoria, record earnings, long unemployment lines, and disappearing working class jobs. 2020 began with Amazon, sustainability goals, experiential retail, “no brand” brands, Gen Z, and immersive product experiences. 2020 ended with Amazon on steroids, a flurry of tech IPOs, bankruptcies, an accelerated shift to personalized e-commerce, and the rise of emerging business models: resale resonated with consumers and SaaS platforms helped companies navigate treacherous waters during the onset of the pandemic and beyond. Building…


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Technology platforms created the gig economy, promising flexibility and opportunity for workers. But do they really make work better for workers?

As an “old” millennial, I was born into a world where technology didn’t touch every aspect of my life. Yes, the optionality was there, but it wasn’t all consuming. E-commerce was around but I preferred shopping at the mall. I didn’t have a Myspace account until college, and I first joined Facebook when it was a network exclusively for college students. I remember feeling conflicted when access was opened to anyone — not just college students — and then they added the newsfeed.

My part-time jobs in high school and college were in retail sales at Gap and Banana Republic…

Ashley Barrington

I am a supply chain enthusiast passionate about the future of work and improving sustainable practices in the fashion industry. Let’s connect @ashley-barring.

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