While last year brought it’s challenges to businesses worldwide, it certainly didn’t spare the clothing and apparel market. You might be thinking “oh, public spending probably hit them hard”, but in reality the entire supply chain itself was disrupted in almost every way possible. This made putting NoNetz suits in inventory nearly impossible and we are only just recovering.
If we think about the supply chain as a long road trip to the beach, with our house being raw materials (like fabrics, zippers, etc) and our sandy destination being a pair of NoNetz trunks, it’s a little easier to envision how things might get disrupted. We all know that road trips rarely pan out the way we expect because we take wrong turns, get flat tires, get stuck in traffic, need to stop for gas…and the list goes on…
So, let’s take a closer look at apparel. That anti-chafe fabric has to be woven at a mill and sent to a factory, where it meets up with its future raw material partners, so that a person can physically sew everything together and then eventually ship out our bathing suit. But back to our road trip analogy…all
is well until we stop for gas and hit our first pothole. The impact weakens the front right tire, adds a couple of inches to the crack in the windshield and spills hot coffee all over the front seat…
For our industry (like many), that pothole came in the form of the pandemic, when people stopped shopping retail, and forced retail businesses to cancel orders. Just like our car analogy, it shook up the entire supply chain, rippling throughout all of the businesses involved. When demand for finished goods got reduced, the upstream textiles businesses suddenly felt the pressure to reduce their risk. They then turned around to their raw material suppliers and canceled their own orders. This put all of the pressure on the beginning of the supply chain. In turn, this disrupted the entire chain and caused higher prices and higher minimum order quantities, just so these various businesses could keep their heads above water. The rippling effect has lasted months and the industry still hasn’t recovered.
After all of that disruption, we still need to get our bathing suits to our customers as well as design new products with new raw materials. The problem with shipping over the past year is that it lends itself back to our road trip…traffic doesn’t make a great friend to online retailers.
Whether it was the Suez Canal mishap, the 19 day strike in the Port of Montreal, lost containers (highest mark in 7 years) or just plain “not enough trucks”, you can see how we could be affected from getting our suits (not to mention the additional strain on the already delicate supply chain).
The good news? Manufacturing is starting to open again, and we are able to place our orders to get back on track and get our inventory to you. Nothing but clear skies ahead, with the occasional pot hole. :)
Thank you for your patience and support.