This issue’s tagline - ‘blurred lines’ - sums up the current apparel retail landscape perfectly.

The days of fashion consumers wishing to shop either in-store or online are long gone. The metaverse, which is arguably the retail buzzword of 2022, is allowing them to do both at once if they wish, and even while playing a virtual game or chatting to fellow avatars in the phygital space.

In the world of sustainable retail, the lines are also merging. Rental and resale business models are nothing new, but they are gradually making their way into the mainstream with no-one batting an eyelid at the prospect of renting or reselling a dress.

In fact, popular UK reality TV show Love Island, which was previously sponsored by fast fashion brands, is bringing these previously niche ways to shop even further into the spotlight by partnering with resale website eBay for its new summer series.

As a result, brands and retailers will have no choice but to stand up and take notice by creating clothing built to last the test of time or potentially giving consumers the option to repair their items at some point in months or even years to come.

If that’s not all, the growth of the direct-to-consumer strategy is quickly blurring the lines between brands and end consumers that were previously kept in check by wholesale retailers. Sportswear powerhouses like Nike and Adidas are not only protecting their margins by selling direct, they are also building crucial brand loyalty for the long-term.

This month, we explore all of these topics and how they’re each affecting the wider apparel industry. Plus, we delve into the contrasting effects of rising costs for womenswear versus menswear and how the world’s population rate could impact the sector in future.

We hope you enjoy the issue and please let us know what you’d like to see moving forward.

Laura Husband, managing editor