Tag Archives: fast mode

Uniqlo Is Interested In Becoming The World’s Top Fashion Retailer By Keeping Away From H&M And Zara | Instant News

Fast fashion retailers are considered to be the bottom feeders in the fashion world. They are widely credited – or discredited depending on which side you are on – by imitating designer-inspired trends, overproducing them and selling them for a penny of their namesake brand dollars.

H&M Sweden operates 5,000 stores worldwide, Zara with 2,200 locations, owned by Inditex Spain and Uniqlo with 2,300 stores, owned by Fast Retailing Japan, is the undisputed leader in so-called fast fashion.

Fast mode reaches the speed hurdle in the Covid pandemic. The supply chain has stalled because factories are closed and consumers who order at home have nowhere to wear new clothes. Shoppers are retreating from trendy styles to comfort options.

All leaders have something to offer in the world of comfort fashion, but Uniqlo has a more, more lifestyle-oriented – or as the company calls it. “LifeWear” – rather than mode driven like H&M and Zara.

The battle for fashion domination

The strict line-by-line comparison of the three fast-fashion market leaders is difficult due to different financial calendars, but it can be said that the competition is fierce between the three giants.

H&M Group just reported until November 30, 2020, recorded revenues of $ 22.4 billion (SEK 187.0 billion). Latest Inditex spanning the nine months to 31 October 2020, reported a total of $ 17.8 billion (€ 14.1 billion), including all seven of its brands. However, in 2019, Zara earns about 70% of the company’s total revenue of approximately $ 34 billion.

And Fast Retailing made $ 22 billion in fiscal 2019 83% below Uniqlo (total 2,287.5 billion Yen and 1,898.9 billion Yen for Uniqlo). Based on first quarter 2021 results, it is estimated that total turnover is $ 21 billion for this fiscal year ending August 2021 (Yen 2,220 billion).

Even so, Uniqlo has a target to become the number one fashion brand in the world and is on the way to fashion dominance.

It just claims the title the number one fashion brand in China. And it has far more penetration in that market than any other competitor – 800 stores in Mainland China compared to 500 H&M locations and about 200 Zara stores.

With China is projected to overtake the US As the world’s number one apparel market in 2023, Uniqlo has an edge over the competition.

Here’s how Uniqlo took the crown:

Quality over quantity

While Uniqlo shares the fast fashion label with H&M and Zara, it takes a very different approach for these other retailers. Rather than just pumping up lots of clothes for immediate consumption to throw away for next week’s or next season’s style, Uniqlo specializes in basic apparel that has seasonless appeal.

“We don’t chase trends. People mistakenly say that Uniqlo is a fast fashion brand. We are not. We are about clothes that are made for everyone,” CEO Tadashi Yanai explained.

It can be seen from the number of products offered on the site. Edited, which is a market intelligence platform that collects data about products available on retailer websites, found that in early February, Uniqlo lists 6,209 SKUs, compared to the Zara 9,198 and H&M 20,860.

“Zara and H&M bring in a lot and often do,” explains Kayla Marci, market analyst for Edited. “Uniqlo is quite calculated and very consistent in its more moderate rhythm. Given their moderation I would call Uniqlo a ‘diet’ fast fashion brand. ”

This restraint provides greater stability in the buying cycle, with about a third of Uniqlo items available between six and nine months, while 66% of Zara products are under three months old.

And with its focus on quality over quality and longevity rather than fast expiration date, Uniqlo made promise of sustainability.

Essential tools that are easy to wear and go great with collaboration

Comfortable and easy to wear basics are Uniqlo’s trump card and are getting more from it because of the changes people have made in their clothing choices during the pandemic. Yanai Fast Retailing predicts consumer casual comfort style will continue even after.

“The days of suits are over and the days of everyday wear have begun,” he shared interview with Asia Nikkei. “People will choose clothes that are comfortable to wear as work clothes or at home. There is no need for clothes that are worn for a year and then thrown away. ”

However, for male customers who still need classic business attire, Uniqlo offers a customization service for blazers and shirts promising tailor-made shades at off-the-rack prices starting at $ 99.90 for jackets and $ 9.90 for shirts.

For easy mixing and matching, nearly 90% of the items currently listed on the Uniqlo website are plain, with no patterns other than simple lines. “Good everyday work is what Uniqlo is famous for,” said Marci of Edited. “Other retailers are just catching up now.”

But Uniqlo has also spiced up its plain vanilla outfit through licensed collaborations, most recently featuring artwork from Andy Warhol, Disney, street artist Keith Haring and the Louvre. It has also been successful in a J + collaboration with fashion designer Jil Sander who maintains the classic everyday Uniqlo style.

Make use of technology

Yanai Fast Retailing describes Uniqlo as “digital consumer retail company, ”Which summarizes how companies leverage technology from their factories through their supply chains and to consumers. Since 2016 Uniqlo has invest more in e-commerce than physical retail in its domestic market and has focused on expanding online shopping in Japan, throughout China and Southeast Asia and in the US

The investment paid off as the number of visits to Uniqlo’s website rose 30% year-on-year in 2020, much faster than H&M (0.9%) and Zara (13%), reported Caroline Kim, lead consultant for the retail industry. for SimilarWeb, a company that tracks online traffic.

It also offers higher quality online traffic than its direct competitors.

“Of the three players, Uniqlo over-indexed desktop traffic, which bodes well for sales as desktop buyers are highly engaged and more likely to convert,” stressed Kim. “H&M and Zara, on the other hand, have a percentage of mobile web users who are less engaged, stay on the site for a shorter period of time, and are more likely to leave the site.”

More than half (56%) of Uniqlo site visitors come from desktops, compared to 34% for H&M and 40% for Zara.

But Uniqlo is also leveraging technology into its apparel design and construction, similar to the corporate approach to sports and active wear but to a lesser extent in traditional fashion.

“The technical attributes used in garments really differentiate their products from other fashion brands, especially at such low prices,” said Marci of Edited, pointing to Uniqlo’s fabrication including HEATTECH to keep people warm and AIRism to keep wearers cool and dry. .

“Technology is a big component at the core of Uniqlo. It’s used not to cut corners or speed up processes, but to improve the product for the customer, ”he maintains.


With all the other factors at play, Uniqlo’s dedication to the needs of its customers is clear when it comes to pricing. This is heavily utilized in the $ 20 price range and below (59% of current offerings) compared to 28% for H&M and 25% for Zara.

It benefits there with an emphasis on underwear, socks, accessories and essential fittings that need to be changed more frequently than outerwear and denim. The need to repeat such purchases drives traffic to stores and websites where customers can find higher priced offers, such as the women’s cashmere blended jacket + J which sells for $ 179.90.

Given the financial hardships that consumers around the world are experiencing through the pandemic, Uniqlo’s Yanai firmly believes that the brand is well positioned for what’s to come next.

“As people save, the quality of brands and products becomes more important,” he said. “Consumers will choose brands that are reliable and really good.”

Uniqlo is unique

Uniqlo’s stated mission is to “unlock the power of clothing”, which means “by designing, manufacturing and selling fine clothes, we can make the world a better place.” It is a sublime ideal for a fashion brand and one that sets it apart from other brands that just want to make their customers look stylish and fashionable.

It is true according to the spirit of our times, as Yanai revealed in his latest CEO message:

“The meaning of clothing also changes as we witness a strong shift from clothes worn to beautify or emphasize the wearer’s social status to clothes designed to last and enhance the comfort of everyday life. We continue to develop clothing based on our LifeWear concept for simple, quality clothing that is engraved from efforts to fully meet the needs of everyday life and to enrich the lives of people everywhere. “


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How the fashion industry works to prevent its products from entering landfills | Instant News

Kristi Soomer is the founder and CEO of clothing company Encircled.

Glenn Lowson / Globe and Mail

When Kristi Soomer launched her sustainable clothing brand Encircled nearly a decade ago, she wanted to make sure her products were planet-friendly and socially just.

It’s not easy.

Fashion has grown into a $ 3 trillion per year global industry primarily because it is built on the premise of buying cheap and changes with the seasons. This is called fast mode.

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“The fashion industry is notorious for exploiting the workforce and the environment,” said Ms. Soomer.

Encircled Inc. Toronto-based is B-Corp certified, meaning it passes third-party assessments of a company’s social and environmental performance from raw inputs to worker wages. Encircled clothing and accessories are manufactured in Canada with 75 percent biodegradable materials.

Using sustainable materials and maintaining a low-carbon supply chain adds another layer of challenge, pressure and costs to the company, said Ms. Soomer.

“It definitely adds complexity but I think it’s worth it,” said Ms. Soomer, whose company is part of what is known as the “slow mode” side of the industry. “Eventually, I started to see people get attracted to the reasons behind our brands and values, which are very attractive.”

As climate action becomes increasingly important to consumers and companies alike, Ms. Soomer’s persistence is paying off. Dircled, which sells directly to consumers (online only for now), experienced double-digit growth last year despite the pandemic.

The biggest challenge is competing in fast fashion, Ms. said. Soomer. Materials and labor costs are 10 to 20 times more for a sustainable product than for offshore mass-produced fashion.

But cheap and cheap clothes can be a calculation.

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The fashion industry’s profits will see a 90 percent decline in 2020 due to the worldwide pandemic, said global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. State of Fashion 2021 report.

At that time, consumers changed, he said. Fashion leaders need to overhaul business models that exploit people and the planet, says McKinsey.

The fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international aviation and maritime shipping combined, according to an report by the World Bank Group released before the pandemic. At that pace, it said, the industry would increase its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent by 2030. That is the opposite direction of the reduction target set in the UN Paris Agreement on climate action, which is to limit global warming. well below 2 C, preferably up to 1.5 C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

“They have a long way to go, but most of the industry is doing it,” said Coro Strandberg, president of Vancouver-based Strandberg Consulting, an expert in corporate sustainability and social responsibility.

Soomer created this brand in 2012 after envisioning a multi-purpose Chrysalis Cardi, one that saves luggage space and is versatile and fashionable.

Glenn Lowson / Globe and Mail

Canada is lagging behind other countries, says Ms Strandberg, but believes change is starting to take place in the industry. For example, he cites the Textile Lab for Circularity Metro Vancouver, which aims to divert 22,000 tonnes of clothing that goes to landfills each year.

Companies such as North Vancouver-based Arc’teryx have launched a second-hand marketplace online and several Canadian cities now have high-end fashion rental outlets.

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Arc’teryx and Lululemon Athletica Inc. are two Canadian clothing companies that have signed the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, said Ms. Strandberg, an initiative to reduce sector GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

But the industry alone won’t get there, said Ms. Strandberg.

“If we leave it to these startup companies, Patagonias, Lululemons, to innovate and transition their supply chains and products to be circular, low carbon and regenerative, we can be 10 years and we are barely moving. , “he said.” You can’t do this job at one company at a time. You have to work at the sectoral level, at the level of the industry as a whole. “

The federal government, which will host the World Circular Economic Forum later this year, has a role to play, he said.

First, it could equalize regulations such as carbon pricing, landfill bans and / or extended producer liability, which would require companies to reclaim end-of-use products for recycling.

Second, it can enable companies with financial and tax incentives to decarbonize and innovate, and can help organize sector-wide picking and sorting systems for recycling.

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“Right now, it’s an uphill battle because the entire logistics system is arranged to take goods from farms or factories and put them in landfills. That’s the system we have and it’s the cheapest system ever, “he said.

For example, the European Union is funding a circular economy initiative called the New Cotton Project, which recycles used textiles.

“We don’t see this kind of investment in Canada,” he said.

Fashion Takes Action, a Toronto-based non-profit that aims to transform the industry towards sustainability, recently suspended the Ontario Textile Shifting Collaboration after its foundation funding was cut.

“The Canadian industry has been slow to engage in sustainability but, in recent years, we’ve finally seen some progress,” said Kelly Drennan, executive director of Fashion Takes Action.

Circle makes all of their clothing locally using natural fabrics.

Glenn Lowson / Globe and Mail

More Canadian brands, large and small, are becoming B-Corp. certified, “which is not an easy feat,” he said.

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There are several key components to accelerating green fashion in the country, Drennan said, including government policies such as extended producer liability and changes to federal duties to prevent retailers from destroying unsaleable goods and excess inventory.

Governments and industry can also invest in research and development of sustainable technologies, he said, as well as ensuring industry transparency and accountability regarding environmental performance.

The fashion industry also needs to collaborate more to address these problems, added Ms. Drennan.

“We don’t have time to duplicate efforts or reinvent the wheel,” he said. “There are too many problems that need to be resolved, so it is best that we align our efforts because we will get to where we need to be faster.”

One of the biggest challenges, however, is addressing consumer demand for novelty, said Katie Wilson, senior manager of sustainability for Vancouver-based Arc’teryx.

“It’s a demand that consumers have and that’s part of what creates this cycle of overconsumption,” said Wilson. “It’s not easy and certainly a challenge we have to face: How to make a new impression without producing more products.”

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Arc’teryx, which works with 20 factories in a dozen countries, always offers repair services. The used gear market was recently launched on its US website, but Canadian customers can trade-in for a discount.

“That’s one of the ways we are achieving after our climate goals is to actually invest in a business model and product offerings that don’t require us to create new products,” he said.

Clothing resale is one of the fastest growing segments of the fashion industry. In the United States, the second-hand clothing market is expected to reach US $ 64 billion by the middle of this decade, up from about US $ 28 billion currently, according to a report from ThredUp and GlobalData Retail. The report says used goods are expected to make up 17 percent of consumer cupboard space by 2029, up from just 3 percent in 2009.

Consignment and second hand clothing in Canada was estimated to be worth $ 2.4 billion to $ 2.8 billion in 2018, according to a report from Trendex, a marketing research and consulting firm.

The fashion industry needs to “stop dithering,” said Ms. Wilson.

“It depends on businesses and individuals making decisions to act and finding the path to progress, not perfection. We don’t really know the answer. It’s inconvenient for us to set big, frightening goals, but it’s also important to drive action. “


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Is China’s $ 15 Billion Mysterious Fast Fashion Retailer Ready To Shop? | Instant News

More than 30? Then you better keep reading. Shein may not be a household name like e-commerce giant Alibaba

, Taobao, or JD.com, but as China’s newest retail Decacorn, its shrouded low profile only matches its singular ambition of becoming a global fast fashion retailer.

Founded in 2008, Nanjing-based Shein is aimed directly at Gen Z, captivating young shoppers via Instagram and TikTok influencers and a barrage of discount codes for low-cost styles – with dresses only half the Zara equivalent, according to Societe Generale – uploading hundreds new products online every week.

Yet outside of her teenage audience, the ultra-publicity shy Shein remains largely unknown. But that anonymity could all change after the Pearl River-based company became a surprising potential bidder for ailing British fashion group Arcadia. Despite failing in that attempt, the message was clear: Shein was ready to take on Main Street.

The story really starts in early 2012, when renowned hardworking founder and CEO Chris Xu (sometimes known as Yangtian Xu) – an American-born graduate of Washington University – gave up his wedding dress business to acquire the Sheinside.com domain. Initially selling women’s clothing, in 2015 she changed her company name to Shein, focused on overseas markets, and started attracting fashion rivals.

The US is now Shein’s largest market, while it also ships to 220 countries, with websites for Europe, the Middle East, Australia and the US Rapid growth has been driven by a series of funding rounds, most recently the completion of Series E funding in 2020, which gave Shein an assessment. the lucrative account of more than $ 15 billion. Revenue was not disclosed but is estimated locally at more than $ 10 billion annually and has continued to surge during the pandemic, while currently a number of Asian and international VCs and private equity houses are among its supporters.

Shein: Fast Mode, Made Very Fast

Remember the age / consciousness split? Well, in the week starting September 27, Shein appears to be the most downloaded shopping app globally on iPhone, according to analytics platform App Annie. It is ranked in the top 10 in the US, Brazil, Australia, UK, and Saudi Arabia.

To serve the US market, product is shipped from Shein’s warehouse in Foshan, Guangdong province, to a warehouse near Los Angeles, Ca., and fulfillment can take more than ten days, glacial by Amazon Prime’s.

standard next day delivery. Yet its affordability has ensured a loyal customer base, captivated by the ever-changing list of women’s clothing and accessories being added to an average of 2,000 SKUs daily.

Shein is obsessed with identifying popular searches and trends in different countries to predict which colors, fabrics and styles will hit, with cycles faster than Zara owner Inditex. It is then heavily promoted with an Instagram and Weibo friendly image, for a mode that is accessible and achievable on all of its social platforms.

However, Shein’s climb was not without problems. In July, the organization was condemned for having a swastika pendant available (a mistake that led to profuse apologies), while paid posts from celebrities and fashion influencers have elevated the brand’s image as well as slowly debunking its low-cost, low-quality rap. The label even managed to alienate stars like Katy Perry, Lil Nas X, and Rita Ora for May 2020 #SHEINT together global streaming events.

Emerging Global Fashion Players

All of this is kept in mind for a company that didn’t even have its own supply chain before 2014, preferring to buy directly from the Guangzhou Shisanhang Garment Wholesale Market. However, in the face of surging demand, Xu created an in-house design team and within two years had assembled a strong force of 800 people dedicated to designing and manufacturing prototypes for ultra-fast production. It has also earned a reputation for on-time payments, something that rarely happens in China, and as a result when Shein moved her supply chain operations center from Guangzhou to Panyu in 2015, nearly all of the factories she worked for moved.

That same year, Shein entered the Middle East and sales soared, with revenues in 2016 rising to $ 617 million and exceeding $ 1.5 billion the following year.

Shein and the hundreds of factories that work with the company have come together in a production cluster that bears a resemblance to A Coruña in northeast Spain, where Inditex’s headquarters are surrounded by its upstream and downstream suppliers. It has four R&D facilities in Nanjing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, plus six logistics centers in Foshan, Nansha, Belgium, India, and on the US East and West Coast. It also has seven customer service centers, based in Los Angeles, Liege, Manila, Yiwu, and Nanjing, and employs more than 10,000 people.

Future plans are thought to include developing new businesses in mobile payments, supply chain finance, advertising, and, of course, opening physical stores. Whatever happens, it will most likely do it very quickly.


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Where it all begins: How the black community influences fashion trends | Lifestyle | Instant News

Fashion trends come and go, but often times, individuals will follow fashion trends without thinking twice about where they come from. For some people, clothing may be merely a means of expression, but for many cultures, there is a deep-rooted history behind why and what they choose to wear.

“Fashion, especially in Black culture, has a deep history and meaning,” said Bria Felix, a junior in apparel, merchandising and design. “I really hope that people educate themselves to know why we wore things that we had in the past. This is such a profound thing that I hope people understand more. “

Even though many may not even be aware, a large number of trends circulating around the fashion world started within the Black community.

From tracksuits to bucket hats and even bodycon dresses, many of the items that were considered very “stylish” today are not always considered the same. Often times, trends that start in the Black community cycle become mainstream fashion after they lose association with Black culture.

“Growing up as black women and starting out as young girls, a lot of the things we did to our hair like beads and hairpins were made fun of, and it’s something that makes us feel sad,” said Laquetta Buchanan, senior in clothing, merchandising, and design. “It’s something we have to strive to accept about ourselves, and it’s sad because so often, the same thing will be lauded after being adopted into white culture.”

For many black individuals, watching fashion trends come onto the scene can be extremely frustrating not only because their community is often the first to wear an item, but also because many black designers are simply not praised or recognized as their white counterparts. when it comes to designing items.

It may also be difficult for many people to see something that was once ridiculed by one culture become “very popular” when it was taken over by mainstream culture.

Some of the current fashion trends, such as bucket hats and shoulder bags, were popularized by black women many years ago but are now making a comeback as a mainstream fashion trend.

“To be honest I often think the difference between how a trend is viewed is just how it relates to black people,” says Felix. “Once we basically get rid of the trend, it’s cool and it becomes new, but when it’s popular in the Black community, it becomes ghetto or weird.”

While the popularity of a trend emerging from Black culture may seem at first glance positive to the community, there are also difficulties that can arise because your original idea is taken up and used in ways you don’t want it to.

“It’s complicated because on the one hand, popularity sometimes does bring more awareness to black designers and their brands,” said Buchanan. “But then there are also so many white designers who are creating the same and more popular products, which require far less money from Black designers. “

While the idea of ​​cultural appropriation is often a difficult topic for many, when it comes to clothing, most individuals just want the average person to have a slightly better understanding of where their clothes come from.

“It’s harder with clothes because you can’t just say a culture has clothes, even if those clothes make it popular,” says Felix. “What I personally feel about it is that I don’t think it’s appropriate, but it just frustrates me because so many people don’t appreciate the trend when we wear it but then change their minds as soon as they switch cultures.”

For most, more understanding and research is desired from the many communities who so frequently use their trends without context or respect given to them.

“I really just hope people will better understand that when the black community talks about fashion it’s an important aspect of who we are,” said Felix. “I think that’s why research and asking questions is so important because it’s the way it is. the most important part of who we are. “


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