The Future (Waistband) is Elastic
Fortune.com is now reporting that after working remotely in sweats and yoga pants for two years, many Americans are rethinking their wardrobes to balance comfort and professionalism as offices reopen. That has retailers and brands rushing to meet workers' fashion needs for the future of work including blazers in knit fabrics, pants with drawstrings or elastic waists, and polo shirts as the new button-down.
Why are we talking about this in an ag program?
Well, the U.S. Department of Agriculture now says it will commit $50 million to assist eligible apparel makers of wool suits, sport coats, pants, or Pima cotton dress shirts. The new Cotton and Wool Apparel Program is part of the USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative and the department’s efforts to help the food, agriculture, and forestry sectors get back on track.
According to the Farm Service Administrator, “The transition toward remote work at the start of COVID-19 led to a dramatic decrease in consumer demand for dress clothing, which has continued to affect the entire supply chain of cotton and wool.” He goes on to say that, “while many manufacturers switched to making personal protective equipment, the industry is still struggling to recover from a persistent and significant decline in sales.”