4 Critical Takeaways From McKinsey’s Latest State of Fashion Report

Nogah Senecky
January 16, 2023

McKinsey’s annual State of Fashion report was recently released, offering clear guidelines to our industry regarding the trends to focus on and capabilities to embrace. These include upcoming styles, recommended production methods, and values. If reviewing the report is on your to-do list, but you still didn’t get a chance, here are a few key conclusions worth noting. Some inspiring, others slightly alarming, but all important. 


1. Consider the Global Economy Shifts


McKinsey’s analysts gave this section the title “global fragility,” and we can understand why. While fashion and retail sections like luxury items are booming, others could be doing better, and everyone must remain on their toes. McKinsey lists factors such as geopolitical tensions and environmental changes as the cause for the current volatile economic situation, calling on brands to plan their route carefully. 


What does that mean? We at Kornit believe that the key is to pay extra attention to cost efficiency by eliminating unnecessary expenses. We also know that today’s technology offers the tools to achieve this goal, which is good news for everyone. Businesses that harness advanced technology can cut costs without compromising their level of quality or creativity. Instead, they’ll boost these elements while reducing the production price tag. 


One recommendation we keep promoting is eliminating the need for costly inventory maintenance by switching to on-demand production. This will save the space, workforce, and materials invested in preparing stock in advance. Instead, businesses can invest resources in better technology and shipping methods. This line of work serves the bottom line while staying in touch with customers’ need for immediate delivery of the latest trends.  


2.  Stop Dividing Fashion Into Outdated Categories 


We were excited to see the section “Gender-fluid fashion” on McKinsey’s list of top ten trends to watch in 2023. We wrote about technology’s role in creating gender-neutral fashion in 2021, and watching this POV mature and evolve is inspiring. 


New generations wear whatever suits their mood and personality while placing less emphasis on gender. The result should be a different approach embraced and delivered by retailers, who allow people to express themselves, regardless of the technical categories they may or may not fit. 


3. Offer Real Sustainability, Not Greenwashing


There are two things today’s customers simply cannot stand to see brands do: display environmental carelessness and present fake values. The combination of both is greenwashing, the act of pretending to care about the environment while practicing the exact opposite. 


It’s easy to spot greenwashing brands because their acts easily disprove their call for sustainability. Consumers do their research and expect to find concrete, measurable results. It’s also easier for brands to move from greenwashing to actual sustainability by choosing better tools and methods. Kornit’s zero-water, energy-saving technology enables on-demand production that protects our planet and prevents brands from falling into the greenwashing trap. 


4. Digitization Is More Important Than Ever 


It’s funny to say this in 2023, but McKinsey’s report reminds us yet again that going digital is the only sensible choice in fashion and retail. According to the report, “Textile manufacturers can create new supply chain models based around vertical integration, nearshoring, and small-batch production, enabled by enhanced digitization.” Company analysts also state that two-thirds of apparel Chief Purchasing Officers consider digitization the most essential capability right now. 


When we look at the trends chosen by McKinsey, it’s easy to notice a pattern. They all serve a purpose for today’s audiences. We’re proud to say that many, if not all, of the trends highlighted in the report fit seamlessly with Kornit’s values and the technologies we offer, like the Kornit MAX. 


Staying in touch with the needs of business partners and customers is the only way to achieve success and grow your business. Using technology that builds a practical path is the practical way of getting things done. If you want to turn McKinsey’s report into your business roadmap, we’ll be happy to show you how.