The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a fundamental weakness in the traditional fashion system: aligning supply and demand. Mountains of unsold inventory, order pushbacks and cancellations, job losses and bankruptcies all combined to show how the industry’s traditional long lead times, overproduction and environmentally impactful manufacturing models are increasingly out of kilter with brands and shoppers alike.

Picking this up in the latest issue of just-style magazine, we’ve looked at how fashion manufacturing is likely to change after the coronavirus. Having been left reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Asian garment sector is now at a critical juncture – with the crisis set to shape manufacturing in Asia for years to come.

But what about sourcing closer to home? We investigate the reality of rebalancing supply chains. Making use of the abundant data generated throughout the garment lifecycle from design to end of life is also key to boosting sales and margins in the future. And among the new manufacturing models likely to lead the way forward is a next-generation smart factory from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

As well as this, we highlight how deeper regional textile and apparel trade ties are set to result from the world’s largest trade pact; why a breakthrough textile-to-textile recycling process is a huge step towards a closed loop for clothing; and ask what’s the next stop in Hong Kong’s sourcing evolution.

Leonie Barrie, editor