It’s no mystery that online shopping has surged during the days of Covid-19. According to CNBC.com, online sales were up 34% from March to April. As shopping malls and retail stores have been mostly closed around the country, people are shopping differently. They’re not just changing the way they shop, but what they’re buying. Americans are buying more home furnishings, food, shoes and apparel than they ever have before - all delivered straight to your doorstep.
Comfort is key
Sales of pajamas were up 143% from March to April, while shoe retailers are reporting sneakers and slippers are the most in demand. Sales of pants (yes pants!) are down as American workers transition to the “waist-up” Zoom meeting culture of our new remote working model. Source:https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/12/what-shoppers-are-buying-comfort-is-key-as-virus-keeps-people-home.html
Athleisure, loungewear and comfortable shoes are in everyone’s carts these days. Here at Stegmann, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of customers who tell us they’re wearing our clogs to work from home.
Karen C. bought her first pair of WoolFlex Clogs and wrote to us:
“I Absolutely LOVE these wool clogs!
These clogs are amazing for high arches and/or plantar fasciitis pain. Since working from home, I have had to put sneakers on every day, but now I can be lazy and just put on these clogs. I can wear them all day with no pain caused by not having enough support, plus they are super cozy and feel great on bare feet!”
Nicole F. told us about her new Original 108’s:
“I bought them because I have begun working from home. I wear slippers constantly, but they were getting worn out very quickly and provide no support. I have had to 'break-in" these much like I did my Birkenstocks. I don't plan on wearing these out of the house, because I want to keep them as slippers, so I am not wearing shoes in the house."
MK shared why she loves the WoolFlex Clog for quarantine life:
“Love these for the COVID quarantine… I normally wear shoes all day at work, but being home all day now, my feet were not happy without arch support. I wear these every day and they are very comfortable! I struggle with bunions and my feet need support!”
Fast Fashion is no longer en vogue
Apparel and footwear designers around the world are rapidly shifting their focus from churning out fast, trendy fashions. Instead, they’re designing with purpose and intention. Sustainable materials, quality design and ethical production are taking precedence which keeps garment workers and our environment safer.
A shining example: Somali Fashion Designer Nimco Adam. She has designed in the past for dozens of fast fashion brands including Forever 21 and has now started her own label focusing on sustainable materials. After losing her sense of smell because of exposure to dye chemicals, she has pivoted. The designer now uses traditional African textiles woven from hemp, bamboo and even tree bark. She dyes garments with natural, extracted from roots, like turmeric.
“As a designer, it has been really important to stop and look at what I was doing, and really owning what it means to be sustainable,” she said. “And that means using what you have, paying fair wages, and finding ways to come together to be smarter and more sustainable in how we design and manufacture.”
Our team at Stegmann is encouraged to see the industry moving in this direction. Knowing where our materials come from and who is making our shoes helps us ensure that our entire supply chain is ethical and sustainable. It was with this goal in mind that we launched the EcoWool clog line, which are committed to continuing to growing
Our ability to actually visit our wool providing farmers and their flocks of sheep--many of which are endangered--is beyond rewarding. Even more inspiring is to watch our clogs being crafted just down the road. You are part of this storyline, too. By investing in a brand that puts people and the environment first, you are a part of creating important and far reaching change.
Sustainability is on trend
#Fewerbetter has been trending recently on social media. It’s been a rallying cry from both consumers and brands encouraging buyers to move away from low quality, unethical fast fashion items. This movement sees people spending more money on fewer items of higher quality.
The movement is encouraging Americans to invest in timeless, classic pieces that can be worn for longer. This shift has also bolstered the second-hand fashion market as more folks are able to “pass down” high quality pieces when they no longer want them. Consumers are demanding more versatility and higher quality in what they are buying these days. This has also led to a resurgence of the “Capsule Collection” concept.
“Covid-19 presents an opportunity for reconceptualization and retraining of designers, but also of consumers,” says Nkwo Onwuka of fashion label Nkwo. “It means thinking smaller—not a 60-piece collection, but maybe a 16-piece one, that is beautiful and wearable, made with less waste, by workers who are treated fairly.”
When you’re working from home and staying indoors more, following fashion trends and getting the latest and greatest seems much less important. Comfort, quality and value are trending. We’re thrilled about it! We’ve been building our clogs to last for over a century and we’ve heard countless stories from our customers about wearing the same pair of clogs for a decade or more. Frankly, it’s a little bad for business when our shoes last this long, but we never plan on changing. Trust and quality is what Stegmann was built on.
One of our long time customers, Cherylne D reached out and told us:
“True to the name.
I have worn Stegmann Clogs for almost 20 years. Why? Because of the quality of the product, the quality of the make of the product, and because of the quality of getting what I paid for. Checks all the boxes.”
Thank you Cherylne. We truly couldn’t have said it better ourselves.