In late December 2019, an outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia emerged in China and successively expandend all over the world provoking severe consequences to national and international healthcare systems besides harsh global economic downturn. Governments and institutions globally have promptly declared emergency state in respective countries following the declaration of global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th 2020: cities lockdowns, social confinements, economic activities shut down, healthcare systems overloaded with high rates of patients and deaths, lack of confidence and psychological breakdowns are just few of the vast array of tolls endorsed. Inevitably, all economic sectors have been hit by the violence of the silent and unmanageable enemy, starting from accommodation and food services branch, proceeding with global tourism, ending but not ending with fashion system’s bleak collapse. Halt in production in affected countries, stroke supply chains across the world, a plummet in consumption together with a collapse in confidence have injured particularly hard fashion industry, with commercial stores closed around the whole world and big shows and important selling events postponed or cancelled. In this regards, pandemic outbreak had nothing but highlight fashion industry’s blemishes already investigated before disease struck, now emphasized. Fresh and incisive procedures should be undergone firstly to recover from pandemic consequences and in addition be able to respond adequately to new fashion environment’s breakthroughs.
The main goal of this work is to provide an example of disaster risk management unfolding attempt implemented by fashion industry.
The first chapter of the work will provide an overview on disaster management theory along with disaster management cycle process, starting from a general analysis on disaster definition and disasters classification. In particular, the reasoning will focus on epidemic and pandemic outbreaks, their possible origins and eventual aftereffects.
Moving on, the second chapter will centralize on fashion system reaction to pandemic struck: the topic will be introduced with a broader audit on pandemic and its results in numbers; further, the work will turn toward an in-depth analysis of fashion industry before, in response and in recovering from pandemic slowdown, with a brief outlook on Carpi textile district.
Last chapter will provide an empirical evaluation of “Elisa Cavaletti” brand’s crisis provoked by pandemic. The Italian fashion brand is owned by Daniela Dallavalle S.p.a., a company based in Carpi (MO). In account of disaster management strategic model reported in previous chapters, the investigation has been deployed through face-to-face interviews with members of commercial and production departments, highlighting hampered difficulties and relative endeavours to respond and recover from tough circumstances.