How has coronavirus changed the way we shop?

Can you believe it’s already been well over a month since the high street closed its doors? While many of us are were already shopping online more, it feels slightly bizarre to have the privilege of seeing the physical product before purchase taken away from us. 

Food shopping has of course dominated spending habits, and there have also been spikes in people buying literature in order to pass the time. But what about the retail industry? At the time the crisis began to take a head, many brands had already shot, and even launched their SS20 campaigns, featuring idyllic imagery of beaches and dreams of exotic summer holidays. In reality, the only exotic we are truly experiencing is Joe Exotic from Tiger King. To combat the issue with the imagery, many companies have had to add a note to their campaign releases, commenting that it was produced before the pandemic. 

Of course, with the cancellation of impending holidays, weddings and other occasions, this has had a knock-on effect on what people have been spending their money on. One hero of the now, however, is loungewear. With street style becoming more and more prominent in the style stakes, it was already on the rise – yet the current climate has now made it even more popular, as many fashion-conscious shoppers see both comfort and style as equally important. This is great for fashion ecommerce in Manchester, the home of many popular brands with a wide selection of casualwear. Although this may not come as a huge surprise, (I say this as I’m typing in my pyjamas…) what is more intriguing is that people are keen to spend more on quality product, in particular, sustainable pieces.

With Earth Day (April 22nd) creating more traction than ever, and many high street brands such as Zara, ASOS and H&M pledging to do more over the coming years, being ethical is definitely in style right now. As well as this, as shoppers have more time on their hands and the economy in the UK diminishes, they’re starting to consider exactly where their favourite products are coming from. If they’re coming from Asia – why is this, when there are more than enough resources to product the same product in the UK? In cities with fashion companies like Manchester or London, this may be easy to organise, but those with more limited resources will have to consider how to do this.

One positive of the current crisis is the increase of humanity. From clap for carers, to the amazing honorary Colonel Tom Moore, we are starting to think of other people in a way we haven’t for a long time. People are keen to support small companies, be it supermarkets, restaurants, or fashion brands, many of which pride themselves on following ethical practises. From this, it seems like we are going in the right direction to make our wardrobes better for the environment – but will this trend stay relevant? Only time will tell…