Helping Apparel Retailers Anticipate the Future of Fashion

Trends toward resale, rental, and resilient brands

In a world buzzing with urban energy, technological leaps, and evolving style preferences, the fashion scene is undergoing a serious makeover. As city life draws more folks in and sustainability takes the spotlight, creative solutions are cropping up to meet these changing demands.

Of course, there are several ways to leverage technology to transform the fashion landscape in an eco-conscious way. Let's delve into key trends and explore how automation and green initiatives can shape a more sustainable future.

Urbanization on the rise

By 2030, the world’s population will increase from 8 billion to 8.6 billion, with 60% residing in urban environments. As our population continues to expand and urbanization takes center stage, the cost of servicing customers will increase.

In a world where connectivity is king, technology is shaking up retail operations, and the fashion sector is no different. Automation and real-time data analytics are revolutionizing inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer engagement. And speaking of engagement, Generation Z (Gen Z), the digital-savvy generation and largest demographic of online shoppers and consumers are presenting new, specific challenges …and opportunities.

As an example, Gen Z is driving a significant portion of spending in the growing sector of secondhand fashion — resale stores and thrift shops — catering to a new generation that prioritizes environmental and community impacts when making purchasing choices. Worldwide, the market for secondhand fashion is expected to grow 127% by 2026 to $218 billion worldwide.

A new approach

Up until recently, fashion trends like fast fashion were all about inexpensive, disposable styles. But times have changed. The emergence of Gen Z as a major player in the market is amplifying the call for sustainability. With their discerning choices and ethical considerations, this generation is reshaping the very essence of fashion. The appeal of repurposed, recycled, and sustainably produced clothing is undeniable, leading to a purchasing shift toward trends that emphasize reuse:

  • Resale: Purchasing used or refurbished clothing items.
  • Rental: Renting clothing items for temporary use.
  • Resilient: Purchasing quality clothing items with longevity in mind.

For retailers who are either in the business of selling or renting existing apparel or creating new, high-quality apparel, there is a growing need for the technology and very specific software that makes success possible in this market. 

A time to tag along

Dematic has recognized these trends with reseller brands in the apparel market and are an active participant in the collective effort to redefine the future of fashion. With our extensive expertise in software for returns processing, we find ourselves well positioned to benefit secondhand resellers and rental shops as the steps for returns and resale are essentially the same:

  1. Receiving items into an incoming area
  2. Transferring them to an inspection area
  3. Running the items through a quality check system
  4. Processing the items and either buffering or storing
  5. Fulfilling orders either to store or directly to customers

Dematic is making a difference

Whether you’re a retailer selling new or used fashions, Dematic solutions can provide a foundation to support eco-friendly operations. These solutions streamline supply chains, reduce waste, and minimize carbon footprints, perfectly aligning with the sustainability values embraced by Gen Z.

The Dematic Pouch Sorter subsystem for example, offers numerous features and benefits for sustainability, including: 

The success story of Arvato stands as a testament to our ability to enhance delivery quality and customer satisfaction through technology-driven solutions. The Dematic Pouch Sorter subsystem improved Arvato’s processes by:

  • Providing a single solution that handles a wide range of product shapes and sizes, from cartons to hanging garments
  • Taking advantage of unused overhead space, making it ideal for space-constrained operations
  • Integrating returns processing so that returned items in pouches are immediately accessible for new orders
  • Processing very small orders as well as complex orders with many different items and sizes
  • Reducing maintenance and operating costs

The rise of a circular economy within the apparel industry holds promise for a brighter, greener future. By melding innovative solutions with eco-friendly practices, Dematic is not only changing the fashion game but also guiding the industry towards a more responsible and efficient future. With a steadfast commitment to sustainable fashion, the industry is primed for a new era of environmentally conscious and technology-driven success.

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