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An Interview on the Impact of Covid-19 on the Global Fashion Industry with Erdem Eren.

Hey Guys, I have been working on an interview series which I am super excited to share. This series aims at identifying the impact of Covid-19 on the global fashion industry as well as learning how Fashion Industry professionals are adapting to the change.

To kick start this series, I will be sharing the views of Att. Erdem Eren, the Founder and Chairman of the Fashion Law Institute Istanbul, Turkey. At the same time, He is the Head of Legal at Brandcared, fashion management company that works and has cooperation with many global well-known fashion brands. He currently resides in Miami and managing Brandcared’s Miami office.

let’s head straight to the interview without any delay.

On life under lock down, What does your daily routine look like? how are you adjusting to the lifestyle?

I am under my own self-quarantine nowadays. Since I live in Miami, we don’t have an official lock down here. However as you know, right now, there are over 1 million confirmed corona virus
cases in the United States. Unfortunately, Florida is one of the states that have the highest number of Covid-19 cases. That is the reason why I’m socially distancing by my own will.

In the mornings after I walk my dog without talking to anybody I turn back to home and start working according to my daily schedule. In general, I have virtual meetings with my clients and I meet with my students via Zoom, i don’t count this lockdown
as a disadvantage, I am always in touch with my circle. I’m used to use Zoom or Skype for my works since most of my clients reside in Turkey.

In the afternoon, I read, write or exercise. -practically trying to turn the conditions into something beneficial.

What has been the most challenging part of your business experience so far during this pandemic?

Not being able to go to Turkey. I visit Istanbul two times in a year to give lectures and attend the important cases of my clients. Because of the covid 19 pandemic, Turkey canceled all the flights for an indefinite time. This is a situation that interrupts a person who works internationally.

What impact do you expect this crisis to have on the global jobs market?

It is not a secret that everything will change but with Life change is constant. The Corona virus can be considered as an impact that just accelerates the process of change. Global jobs market will gather and is gathering around digital solutions which will shape how certain things work.
Sustainability will also be in the center. Since we understand with an unfortunate way how we treat the nature, it now came back and is hunting us. The companies that acknowledges the crisis will invest more in sustainable techniques, start-ups, solutions etc. and in my opinion, it is better they do.

How has this pandemic affected the fashion industry? What do you suggest is the best way for businesses/ companies to stay afloat during this pandemic?

I practice law mainly in fashion and textile industry so as we all witness, this sector is drastically changing. According to the report published jointly by Business of Fashion and McKinsey in April 2020, if the quarantine will continue for 2 more months, 80% of the brands in the fashion industry will have financial difficulties. Similarly, the fashion sector, which currently has a global value of 2.5 trillion dollars, is expected to contract between 27% and 30% in 2020.
I suggest the authorities of business/ companies do not to panic and before taking any action please and that they observe the market that they are in order to mover forward.

Times of crisis have historically also been opportunities for change. Are you optimistic that as we emerge from this, it could be a chance to create a better economy in your country?

I’m optimistic about nature than businesses. Since we don’t go out and pollute the world, the nature is recovering itself. This gives me hope. When we get through corona virus, the economies of countries won’t be that strong and individually people will have financial difficulties but this is an issue that can be healed. The nature had somethings to tell us and this is its way to communicate. On the other hand, in the US, we’re waiting a new economical collapse, also in Turkey, the economy has already started getting worse. For example, that’s the reason why Turkish government can’t have a full lock down. Therefore, I cannot say that the countries may create a better economy in short-term -not that positive- but still, I think this is a temporary situation.

What do you think would be a solid approach for businesses in recovering from the covid-19?

I believe we should help each other more than ever. We should choose small businesses instead of big brands and support them. What we should do is to share that we have and transform our businesses into more productive ones. I’ll give my example in the following question.

What is the most positive change you have seen in people’s behavior and attitude? What is most important to you right now in terms of getting through this?

As I explained in the previous question, the most important thing for this period is solidarity. For example, as Brandcared, we want to support voluntarily small business that don’t have the chance to reach a qualified consultancy budget for surviving in these times. Therefore, we take
responsibility and start the BRAND INTENSIVE CARE PROGRAM (BICP) with our supporters.

We’re planning to use our free time, which increases with our stay at home process, by supporting small businesses free of charge in the fields of textile, ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, accessories and cosmetics. In this context, we will provide a variety of support, especially the consultancy program, by selecting the 10 brands that we can benefit the most in line with our expertise areas, under the leadership of our jury members, who are working in important companies and academies such as Urban Outfitters, Hugo Boss, Anthropologie, Unilever, Microsoft, Linkedin, The Woolmark Company, Istituto Marangoni.
Within the scope of BICP, we will evaluate globally that 10 brands’ needs thanks to our offices in the USA, France and Turkey and with these 10 brands, we will always remember that 2020 is not a crisis, but a year that we have developed

I definitely learnt so much from my interview with Erdem Eren and i would love to find out what you learnt from this interview in the comment section.

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