Despite the difficult health emergency, the Spanish denim and fashion industry believe that the present and the future can bring new challenges and opportunities, while it gets involved in supporting its country. SI has collected some examples and opinions that show how Spain  - and the whole market - is reacting to an extremely critical situation.

Desigual logo before COVID-19
Photo: Desigual
Desigual logo before COVID-19
Supporting the country
Despite the lockdown imposed by the situation, denim manufacturers are involved in a series of proactive initiatives. Evlox, for instance, continues to operate by maintaining its ordering and shipping services active. The company’s sales team continues to keep in touch with its clients via smart working and through e-conferences. Along with it its R&D division continues testing and studying its upcoming collections, including the new f/w 2022 season. The company is also involved in fighting against COVID-19 as it donated fabrics for producing sanitary masks sewn throughout the country for health centers, security and police authorities.

 

Fast fashion brand Mango has donated two millions of surgical masks to the country’s Health Minister. The material has landed in Saragoza’s airport from where it was distributed through country. The company has also made available its logistic capacity for authorities’ need for helping facing the serious social, economic and public health consequences the virus is causing.

 

Jeanologia, the Spanish company specialised in manufacturing treatment technology, has converted a part of its company’s activities for a new task – sanitizing facial plastic protecting masks used in hospitals. “We carried out this project by converting the G2 ozone machines of our Valencia’s headquarters and creating a sanitization box inside our development center,” explained Enrique Silla, president, Jeanologia. "This treatment is highly powerful, naturally antibacterial and disinfectant. Thanks to this new system we can sanitize 15,000 masks per day and will manage to reach 100,000 per week. We have done a €500,000 investment in achieving this and are donating our support for free as we want to prove that people and the planet are our priority, but also want to do it the name of the whole denim community.”

Jeanologia's sanitization box inside its development center in Valencia
Photo: Jeanologia
Jeanologia's sanitization box inside its development center in Valencia
The result was achieved after about a month spent first developing the new sanitizing system, testing it and getting all the requested certifications. Then the testing phase and the reaching of the full-speed sanitization process was started in the last week of March. So far this system is working in Spain only, though it could become operative anywhere in the world. “All the 1,000 exemplars of G2 machines existing in over 55 countries worldwide can be adapted to achieve this task. In two hours each machine can be added with a special modular system and become operative anywhere in the world,” continues Silla.

 

Encouraging the consumer
Other initiatives – more focused on consumers – are also been carried ahead. Desigual, for instance, has launched the #stayathomestyle project via social networks. By making fun about shabby looks often worn during lockdown days, they asked consumers to wear some of their old Desigual pieces while staying at home and posting their photos on social networks. The Spanish brand has also redesigned one of the symbols of its brand, two stylised characters – a man and a woman holding their hands designed by artist Peret. Though this time they are portrayed while keeping social distancing.

#Stayathome by Desigual project
Photo: Desigual
#Stayathome by Desigual project
Looking at the future
Other companies are also concentrating on new projects for the future, when – hopefully soon – stores will re-open and life will gradually return to normal rhythms. Tejidos Royo knows that some aspects of the market will definitely change. “We think that the final consumer’s buying criteria will definitely change. They will probably focus on extremely necessary apparel and leave fashion victim behaviors become of secondary importance, at the least for the first months,” commented Alberto Guzzetti, sales manager, Tejidos Royo. He believes that activities will hopefully re-start in May or June 2020 and by then brands will be ready to quickly deliver summer 2020 collections to their shops and customers. Furthermore brands will be able to produce their fall/winter 2020/2021 while fabrics mills will be able to finalize and deliver the already confirmed fall/winter 2020/2021 orders. “We think that for the future working through extended seasons will be possible and useful as we think that very probably fashion shows and trade shows for fall/winter 2020/2021 will be cancelled or delayed.”
Alberto Guzzetti
Photo: Tejidos Royo
Alberto Guzzetti
“We also think that while almost every country will keep its external borders closed for a few months in order to avoid to import contagions, sourcing locally will become a new trend which will help each national industrial structure becoming more independent in terms of sourcing and production and - most important - it will create new jobs opportunities locally.”

Jeanologia will focus on a series of short-, medium- and long-term strategies in order to support the market in its recovery. “We guess the market might be ready for a restart indicatively by mid-June or July - in Italy and Spain - and by August or September in the US. For this we need to infuse new confidence in consumers once all this will be over,” commented Silla. “We expect that much will change for the future. For instance, many of the existing stores and companies will have to close down. Despite this, we have to recall people inside stores and, along with offering products that are ecofriendly and respectful of nature which consumers are truly looking for, we also need to offer products that are hygienised. Consumers shall feel comfortable when trying a pair of jeans without fearing to be infected, for instance, by someone who has tried that piece before them. For this we are working with some brands on creating new cleaner, more ethical and sustainable products produced according to digitalised working systems.” And continues: “In days of radical uncertainty we need to make decisions every day and be fast and optimistic. We need to give the best of ourselves as having a mission and a purpose is what makes the world move ahead.”




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