Growing up in Denmark, summers to me meant long light evenings, bare feet in the grass, koldskål (a delicious butter milk dessert), strawberries from the garden and trips to the beach.
The 23rd of June is the day we gather with friends and family around a bonfire and sing traditional songs to celebrate midsummer, one of the longest of days.
Since this day is considered the middle of season, it follows that summer lasts from early May till early August. Indeed, having lived in London for many years, we are fortunate to enjoy warm weather usually well into September.
You are probably wondering where I am going with this and what it has to do with fashion. Have you ever tried shopping for a summer dress or bikini at the end of July for your upcoming holiday?
If you have, you have most likely discovered that by then most fashion brands have launched their autumn collections and summer items are gone from the shelves. If you are lucky, there will be a rack at the back of the store with a few dregs in odd sizes from the summer sale...
These days a lot of high street fashion retailers launch their end-of-season sales in mid-June, while most of us have much to look forward to in the hottest of months. It is even more marked in winter, with many retailers going into clearance at the end of November, despite the Met Office defining the winter months as December, January and February.
Why are the fashion seasons so out of kilter with the weather seasons? Why this need to kick off both the new collections and the clearance sales so early?
There is nothing that many love more than a good sale, and we all know that the more we save in the sale, the more we can spend. Thus, we buy items that we really don’t need - and sometimes don't love either.
The fashion retailers know this and "Clearance" sales are now a way for retailers to increase turnover. Many actually budget, plan and buy for the sales. It is the peak of their season. A feast of consumption!
And why move the sales to so early in the season?....the ‘fear of missing out’.
Fashion retailers know that if their competition goes on sale and they wait, their otherwise loyal customers will not be spending their money with them; and while many retailers have great intentions of returning their sales and collection launches to their natural place, when it comes to actually doing so they usually get cold feet.
It’s a vicious circle. The earlier one goes on sale, the earlier one will have to launch the next collection as otherwise there is nothing for your customers to buy. And the earlier you launch your new collection, the earlier you will have to go into clearance since the collection will begin to look tired and customers want something new (little did they know it was going to be winter boots in August!)
As a sustainable fashion brand, we are a great advocate for minimising over-consumption and making more mindful choices regarding purchases. We would like to slow things down and return the clearance sales to their natural place at the end of the season, with items on offer that are genuinely excess stock.
We also aim to move away from the traditional fashion seasons, and instead launch more frequent capsule collections with items that work for many months at a time and transition well from season to season. That way we will give you more relevant choices throughout the year.
Right now, summer is still here - enjoy it!
PS: If you love a treasure hunt and want to be the first to know when VILDNIS does go on sale, sign up for our newsletter. Hint: it will likely be at the end of the season ;)
CAPTION: Ballehage Strand, one of many lovely beaches near my home town.