Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
While the tourism industry might be the hardest hit, as is the airlines and hospitality industries, the impact of COVID-19 will effect the world economy in entirety. IANSlife spoke with FDCI Chairman, Sunil Sethi, to find out how the lockdown and the closing of international borders will stress the fashion industry, and the staggering repercussions it will have on business.
“It’s going to hit us harder than we can imagine. There are going to be no sales as all retail stores are shut, export orders can not be fulfilled due to the lockdown and airlines cannot accept goods, letters of credit may expire, factories being shut orders cannot be completed, so I’m dreading the impact and the fallout this is going to have,” states Sethi
But 21 days isn’t the end of the road is it? Everyone knows this is just the beginning, and does the fashion industry have the resilience to power through the uncertainty? “It is a time of of gloom and doom. The designers and the fashion industry are in a dilemma as to whether they should hold on to working force or to let them go. If they hold on to them, then their resources will be depleted within just a few months. So the bravado of retaining and paying is limited to people who have deep pockets. This becomes unsustainable and irrelevant when we speak of new and young designers and the not very affluent designers. Should they choose to let go of them it will be a tough choice as I believe the Indian fashion designers work with a conscience and with good ethics, almost all of them believe in them that the workers and labour force should no face further difficulties or harm. I can speak for my fraternity and say that no one wants the people associated be it weavers, karigars, o all the people associated in the process to be harmed. So the dilemma, you can’t let them go and if you don’t then your own funds will be depleted, making it difficult to revive the business or suffer the losses,” asserts the stalwart of the fashion fraternity.
However, we cannot but underline that at the moment the question of an end date to the lockdown or the impact cannot be ascertained. There is no guarantee that there is going to be a rainbow at the end of the road. Can we say for certain that the customer’s mood will be inclined to buying or they will have the finances to indulge in retail therapy? The expert feels that,
“It is a myth that people say that after a period of slowdown there is surge in retail and that one can indulge and pamper themselves with luxury spending. The industry is going to be at the buyer’s mercy. But I know we are resilient lot; we have tided over rent hikes, tax hikes, GST, and in times of other calamities where sales are low we have powered through. The fashion industry has always bounced back. In this case we are not only hoping against hope, but counting on each one of us to power though, stronger together. This too shall pass.”
The FDCI would like to come up with a solution to help the industry get back on its feet in the aftermath of a prolonged crisis. But without assistance from the government this may be an uphill task. The chief of the industry expresses his concerns stating,
“Unless the government enforces some thing or initiates some scheme of a relief. Rents are at an all time peak, if all designers created a lobby and approached organisations to give them at least this relief it would be a great help. But this only works in situations like malls or shopping destinations, it will not benefit designers who have flagship stores, and dealing with individual landlords will be tough.”
With the industry on hold across the globe, business have stocked up for the upcoming summer season, which will go to waste if borders remain shut and a global lockdown continues. In the past year a lot of the focus on the fashion industry has been negative, in the sense that it has been established it is one of the biggest polluters in the world. Looking at the bigger picture, what of the environmental impact when all this production gearing up for summer will end up for naught.
The veteran mulling over the question feels, “the export market it seems will be in a bad situation because of the cycle — buyers in international market, fashion weeks and their buying schedule orders are placed three to four months in advance to meet the season, so a delay of three months due to Coronavirus will certainly spill to end of the season. But incase, as some over positive people are saying that they will manage to get sorted in two weeks in other countries, then if it gets resolved in a month or so there is scope for goods to be exported. But any delay of three months will be end of the season, the goods are not saleable so obviously the buying houses will not accept the goods in the first place. Are the international stores in a position to open, advertise and get their customers to buy? Will the mood of the consumer be to spend; this is viscous circle of the international trade. However, stores abroad cannot function without stocks and goods.”
But what of the domestic market, is the outlook as pessimistic so can we hope against hope for a silver lining. “I’m hoping as soon as the lockdown is removes the Indian fashion designer is able to produce, pack and ship out their stock, albeit it will be a few weeks late, but still it will help. But when it comes to the domestic market in most cities unless it’s the peak of winter or the peak of ceremonial season, like Diwali, before that time there is still ample scope to send goods for the season; it may be called an extended season. Whatever the Indian fashion designers have made they will see to it that the trends continue till ceremonial buying starts in October. We have a long time to absorb Indian merchandise, if the fraternity has to survive they should focus on that. Not everything is lost, there are still windows of opportunities and I wish that we are able to take advantage of these windows.”
Also Read- All You Need to Know About Fad Diets
Last and certainly not the least as the apex body of fashion in the country, what measures will the FDCI take to help through this time of trial.
“We are bit hampered with the lockdown, but we certainly want to create a Fund by which we can come to the help of the actual fashion designer who may really need our support. I don’t know how much we will be able to help out, I already have two veteran designers who without my bringing it up have volunteered to contribute and I hope others who can step up to the plate to help out. The FDCI board is with me on this and we are going to try and do our bit to whatever extent we can, and let’s hope we can make this a reality,” replies Sethi.
While no one can predict the damage a prolonged lock down and sealing of international and domestic borders will cause, it is yet to be seen if the aftermath will be one that the fashion industry and the world will be able to absorb or not. (IANS)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord