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Support Local: Fashion, Compassion and Community

As we are well into the second lockdown in the UK, it is more important than ever to feel a part of and support the fashion community. And what better way to do this than to support your local and independent fashion businesses!

Essentially, you’re unessential

Throughout this year, so many workers have been told that their businesses are non-essential. But what the government fail to recognise is that for many, keeping their business alive and profitable is essential for their livelihoods.

It is said that it takes two to three years for a new business to become profitable, and for new businesses in lockdown, I will do the math for you.

High demand in the high street…

Are we investing too much in the big brands? With the likes of massive profitable organisations such as Tesco and Asda being open for essential shopping, it is handy that they have their own clothing lines for consumers to still buy.

Yet, for the smaller fashion community, clothes stores are being told they are non-essential…A question to think about: do the big brands celebrate a sale as much as a local business owner would?

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) is supporting the #supportlocal scheme that The Yorkshire Post reports. Goodacre states, “Every thriving community needs this local economy to prosper. My message to shoppers is straightforward… think local when it comes to shopping.”

Thinking about the online presence of local businesses, why not do some research and see which fashion boutiques might appreciate some support? It costs £0 to retweet and follow local businesses online, but I’m sure it would mean a huge amount to small business owners out there.

Fashion community and ethos

With small businesses, I think the most important thing they can do is to create a meaningful ethos for consumers to resonate with. Relating to target audiences is imperative, and businesses who respond to their consumers’ interests are the ones who are successful.

Elle lists 100 Independent Fashion Brands to support during lockdown. Bethany Williams’s brand, for example, focuses on a social and environmental conscience, whilst Bethany also supports vulnerable communities in London as a part of her business.

With such a personable and compassionate ethos, Bethany provides her consumers with a reason to buy her products. In buying her garments, individuals are contributing to the wider community to improve living conditions. Not only are you supporting your fashion community, you’re making a difference to it!

The power of celebrity influence…

A sense of community derives from branding, and a lot of businesses do this though social media. I think the dream of every small business is to be retweeted or mentioned in someone’s story who has a blue tick.

Take Mrs Hinch for example, it would only take a tag in her story for a brand to gain thousands more followers from her 3.8 million follow base. Her Instagram is widely regarded as a community of people who want the best bargains, from cleaning to Mrs Hinch’s stylish get ups.

Yet, these retweets and mentions in stories come with their trials and tribulations. In June this year, Mrs Hinch advertised an Ebay brand’s jumpsuits for a bargain price of £7, only for their price to be increased to £16.99 when Mrs Hinch advertised them…I think you can imagine that she wasn’t too happy about this price increase after giving the fashion line such high praise.

A lesson for all businesses out there – do not follow in this brand’s footsteps!

Creating a communal online platform

But not everything has to be about gaining celebrity attention, any publicity is good publicity as they say! You can advertise your business for as little as £4 a day on Facebook, which could have a huge impact on the way local businesses get the word out to their target audiences. WordStream lists their 31 Fabulous Fashion Marketing Tips, which tells businesses to instil FOMO (the fear of missing out) and to give sneak peaks of garments they will sell to their followers.

As a consumer, when it comes to a sale, I know all about the fear of missing out! By giving sneak peaks to audiences via social media, brands can draw people in and thus, create an online community. It’s all about luring your audience in, and by doing this, consumers can feel like they are a part of something special; by shopping from a local business, you’re giving them a joy that I can’t imagine many high street stores would celebrate in the same way…

Could you start a local fashion community?

New businesses are on the rise, with over 75,000 companies being formed in June alone. Could starting a new business in your local area be your calling? Small Biz Trends give 50 Small Business Ideas for Fashionistas, from upcycling fashion items to setting up your own boutique.

Why not try something new, and start your own fashion community!


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