Consumer Shifts Impact Apparel

Consumer Shifts Impact Apparel

The apparel industry is notoriously fickle — season by season colors, silhouettes, and brands popularity ebbs and flows. Although, for the past decade aspects have been changing on a fundamental level. These macro-subjective elements are transforming how we consume fashion and other goods. 

Judith Russell, an apparel and textile marketing strategic consultant, elaborated on this subject to Sourcing Journal Online. She said, “There’s a massive power shift from those who make to those who buy and consumers are gradually taking over. They want what they want at the time and price they want it.”

Brands Must Create Value 

The power is not just shifting to all consumers, but particularly the younger generations. The Millennial segment and Generation Z are at the forefront of it.  Millennials are the largest segment of the population with purchasing power. Last year it was reported that Millennials are the world’s largest population. Besides, they have a global wallet of 1.3 Trillion Dollars, which lends them some clout. 

In part, their impact is also due to social media. Moreover, social media has increased the desire for brand storytelling and transparency. This generation of consumers are voting with their dollars on not only what is catching their eye, but also for what values a company stands for. 

Judith Russel elaborated on how this is leveling the playing field between smaller and larger brands. This market trend is disproving the notion that the demand is only for the lowest price; consumers just want to know there’s value in what they are paying.

“Brands that can demonstrate value beyond the clothes,” whether it’s local manufacturing, the type of fabrics such as organic or smart fabrics with either technology built in or performance characteristics are also gaining in importance. They’re looking for brands that offer better quality, transparency, and authenticity, and are demanding multi-tasking clothing.” 

This is just one of many shifts that are affecting apparel from the ground up. Throughout 2019 we will further see how the future of fashion is shaping up to be. 


Author: Christine Duff

Christine wants to live in a world filled with cutting edge fashion, beautiful words and and an endless supply of leather jackets and boots. A product development grad of FIDM, she was the Editor-in-Chief of MODE Magazine where she reignited her love of storytelling. She has diverse experience within the industry with trend research, art direction and styling editorial spreads. She gained her most notable experience working in Los Angeles at the satellite operation for GQ and Vogue Thailand. Christine is passionate about social science and the role it plays in the consumer goods industry and apparel in particular.