Eye9ja learnt that Nurul Zulkifli, the founder of the Malaysian-based clothing brand Mimpi Kita, is at its worse state as it being affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the world.
Eye9ja discovered during the Muslim celebration of Eid, her Islamic clothing is usually big business as she sells up to 90% of the year’s sales at this time.
“It’s something like Christmas where you buy a lot of stuff – the shopping time of the year,” she said.
But with the coronavirus pandemic, she says her sales have dropped by half. She puts this down to lockdowns, firstly in China, which disrupted her supply chain, then in Malaysia and the UK.
Her stores across Malaysia were forced to close, as were her stockists in London’s trendy Notting Hill.
“Not everyone in Malaysia really shops online. Some people like to try it on, so we’re lacking on that.”
The fashion brand owner revealed that the layoffs and uncertainty mean customers have also been unwilling to spend: “People don’t know whether or not we’re going to celebrate this Eid.”
According to recent report obtained eye9ja from consultants McKinsey & Company forecast indicates that revenues for the global fashion industry will drop by up to 30% this year, with that figure coming in at 40% for the luxury end of the market.
It also predicted that if lock-downs persist for up to three months, more than 80% of brands will be in distress across Europe and North American.
Eye9ja also discovered that one of the Singapore-based label Esse, has faced similar challenges to Mimpi Kita.
Esse, which specializes in sustainable, eco-conscious fashion, had launched in New Zealand in February with a number of pop ups and events. It was off to a good start but now, with lock-downs and deliveries of non-essential items banned in New Zealand, both markets have all but dried up.
The brand owner, Esse’s, discovered that there are a lot more important things on people’s minds than shopping and fashion. That has definitely impacted people and how they’re choosing to spend their money.”
Mimpi Kita and Esse have switched their social media strategies towards creating uplifting, positive content rather than focusing on sales.
Changing their clothing range is more challenging. Esse is looking to team up with a bed linen company, to use their leftover material to make clothing for staying at home.
The reports states that Mimpi Kita, has already spent most of its budget for the year, they don’t have the resources to make anything else. They have moved their factories towards producing PPE with hopes the business can hang on until lockdowns are lifted.
“If the sales stay like this – actually I’m not sure what will happen for us. But we will try our best,” said Ms Zulkifli.