The global apparel industry as we know it has unravelled since just-style magazine was last published back in March. At the time, the impact of the coronavirus was largely limited to China, with factory lockdowns and travel restrictions placing huge pressure on raw material supply chains.

Since then, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen retailers around the world forced to close their stores amid country-wide lockdowns to try to halt the spread of the virus. Orders have been cancelled and postponed, impacting manufacturers and their millions of workers, already amongst the most vulnerable due to low wages and poor labour conditions. Countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar have been particularly hard-hit.

The influence of the outbreak has been inescapable in putting the latest issue of the magazine together. For our special focus on factory auditing, we’ve looked at how restrictions around on-site visits are accelerating trends into areas such as self-inspection. We’ve also reported on the critical steps buyers can take now and in the near future to help build resilient clothing and footwear supply chains that will be ready to meet demand when it returns.

And there are hopes that the lessons learnt will lead to the end of the current high production, fast fashion model and instead put the focus firmly on a more sustainable future for the fashion industry that values quality over quantity.

Leonie Barrie, Editor