It has been widely reported on for the past few years that huge fast fashion chains such as Zara and H&M aren't helping the smaller businesses in the fashion industry. With prices being driven so low by these huge high street retailers, competitors simply can't gain any business and can't produce collections large enough to be of interest to the mass market. So how do you gain a following without having to seriously cut down your margins? New emerging designers have to find their creative niche. Simply put, designers have to offer products that consumers can't get on the high street. One way to do this is, for example, personalisation.
Personalised accessories in particular have become hugely popular over the past couple of years. This is because millennials like to have a choice or some say over their purchase to reflect their personal style, especially if they are spending outside of the Zara and H&M price point.
Design focused labels that produce intricate, specialist or bespoke designs will also have an edge thanks to their unique aesthetic. This is why designers such as J.W Anderson have proven so successful. These brands will create a following and community which will remain loyal to the designer.
Another way to beat the fast fashion market is to provide luxury, high end goods that simply wouldn't make it into the hands of such retailers because they are too expensive to produce. This is why there is always a place for luxury goods that have features such as high quality leather, expert manufacturing and luxury packaging. Buying a bag at Zara might last you the season, but it won't last for years to come and it won't stay in style. The luxury handbag market produces iconic pieces that become wardrobe heroes. A Chanel classic flap bag has remained one of the most sought after handbags since it's creation.
Buying into fast fashion is unavoidable in today's market. But the key is to remember that there is always a place in your wardrobe for those pieces that you just can't live without. Now with the pre-loved market growing rapidly, these pieces are more accessible than ever and you can even sell an unwanted item in order to have the bag you've always dreamed of.