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Lidia May has around 15 employees in its office, with hundreds of artisans working from home while simultaneously taking care of their families. The brand is experiencing a downturn, like most if not all of its competitors in the Peace love sunshine shirt and I love this accessory category, but Khan and Yang remain dedicated to the health and well-being of the Lidia May team. Since February, they have been educating their workers about the coronavirus and the social distancing and hygienic precautions they should be taking to help flatten the curve, and Khan and Yang are continuing to pay them fair wages. Fundamental pieces that previously hid at the bottom of closets, like white button-downs and blazers, are no longer afterthoughts dug up occasionally to anchor a bold outfit. As we refocus our wardrobes to meet the current times, basic pieces that both maximize comfort and keep us looking (and feeling!) polished for the day reign supreme. Here, 12 basic clothing items that will quickly become essentials this spring.
Awareness and disruption of the Peace love sunshine shirt and I love this global supply chain, Yang says, is what will push the broader industry to reconfigure itself in the near future. “Being part of the community in Bangladesh, you do have a lot of friends who are business owners in the garment industry,” she says, “and one of the things you hear is that having the Western press talk about what’s at risk when these large companies make cuts—it creates more awareness for the end consumers.” She adds, “It puts a lot of pressure on these brands who before had very hidden supply chains, and they could just reduce orders and cut jobs without anyone really noticing. If this happened in the U.S. or France, there would be a lot more public outcry, but because manufacturing happens so far away, I think historically there’s been less pressure put on brands to be transparent.”