The Guardian reports that the fashion industry cancelled over 15 billion USD worth of orders during the pandemic, which has heavily affected the livelihoods of manufacturing workers, According to McKinsey, 40% of family-owned ateliers in Italy working closely with luxury fashion brands were closed during the lockdown. Forbes reports that over 1.2 million garment workers in Bangladesh were affected as some fashion companies refused to pay for completed orders, leading to labour rights activists as well as fashion groups like &M and Inditex pleading for the industry to uphold ethical business practices.
Sales dropped, manufacturing disrupted, fashion weeks moved online - the fashion industry has been facing an unprecedented challenge. The Business of Fashion reports that the industry lost 43 billion USD last year. According to Yelp's data, more than 160,00 shops in the US were closed to stop hemorrhaging cash, while ready-to-wear brand J. Crew, legendary menswear retailer Brooks Brothers, as well as denim brand G-start Raw Australia have all filed for bankruptcy.
The agriculture supply chain has been under siege during the pandemic - Travel bans restricted labour migration, farms failed to order inputs due to rigorous border checks, while food demand from restaurants decreased because of closure orders from various governments. The export volume for cereals and dairy products in the EU has dropped by 12& and 6.3% in 2020, and an article published in the journal Sustainability estimates that 54% of the agricultural workforce did not earn an adequate income during the pandemic.
Due to closure orders, dine-in food businesses around the world have halted since the outbreak of Covid-19. According to data from OpenTable, restaurant bookings have dropped by almost 100% in the UK. While in the US, more than 110,000 restaurants have closed, affecting the livelihoods of over 5 million restaurant workers, Bloomberg reports.