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June 2023Insights Study
Black swan scenarios
and impacts along
the fashion value chain
What if the unexpected happens?


Those that adapt, survive


The fashion industry has always recovered from a crisis.

adapt survive adapt survive adapt survive adapt survive adapt survive

adapt survive adapt survive adapt survive adapt survive adapt survive

Looking back
Where are we heading now?

There's a new industry reality

Not everyone is capable to act
High debt levels, reduced profitability and high overstock is tying up capital and increasing change reluctance
Changing role of the store
Direct exchange with customers – e.g. via social media – will become inevitable to build strong brands and long-lasting customer relationships
More than just a product
Clear brand purpose and sustainability efforts are becoming vital. Having a great product is not enough anymore – brands need to care
Supply under pressure
Unstable supply chains and rising costs of materials (e.g. cotton, zippers) and logistics require more dynamic and flexible processes
The established is challenged
Mainstream champions, formal wear and even successful business models are under pressure from the shift to casual / athleisure / outdoor and fast-growing disruptors (particularly from China)
More uncertainty than ever
Low pre-orders, unsecure consumer spending, exchange rate risks and increasing legal requirements call for scenario planning

What else could be on the horizon?

What if the unexpected happens?

What if the unexpected happens?


Whatever happens, all is not lost


Seven hypothetical Black Swan scenarios that could disrupt the fashion industry and change its course as we know it

Drastic raw material cost increase

The drastic increase in the cost of raw materials means brands will have to shift to more sustainable ways of production

Severe regulation tightening

Tighter regulations caused by climate centricity, fair trade and resource scarcity will drive significant changes

Shutdown of regular waste disposal routes

New landfill regulations could cut off waste disposal routes, leading to severe strain on domestic disposal systems

A new and stronger pandemic

Another global pandemic could increase inequality yet again

Severe economic recession

Another severe economic recession will test luxury brands' integrity and put smaller houses at the risk of insolvency

Drastic escalation of political turmoil

Escalating political turmoil will have an undeniable impact on supply chains and markets

China market slowdown

Brands with a high exposure to the China market might want to rethink China's role and diversify to avoid market risks

Download the full study

Black Swan Scenarios in Fashion 2023

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How will you adapt to the new normal?