Jennifer Lopez is one of many celebrities who dresses her children in Blu & Blue denim.
In North America, the fashion, apparel and beauty industry generates around $600 billion in annual revenue, but that number has dropped significantly since the early days of 2020. Like most others, the retail industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its subsequent lockdowns and the resulting economic downturn. A recent report by McKinsey & Co estimates that a whopping 75% of apparel and fashion companies are facing massive debt after three months of store closures. To adapt, some fashion companies have pivoted to producing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks. Nevertheless, these efforts can’t undo the negative impact of the current recession, and many brands will not survive.
Blu & Blue is a New York-based kids fashion brand that has been in the business of creating sustainable, toxin-free, premium-quality denim clothing for more than 35 years. The children of numerous celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and Ludacris, have worn the clothing. Blu & Blue is currently sold in over 200 specialty and department stores worldwide.
Aaina Jain Malik is the founder of Blu & Blue.
Blue & Blue
“COVID-19 is the worst crisis we have ever experienced in our generation, and for most of us, in our lifetimes. It is impacting our social interactions, our family life, our community, and our work at Blu & Blue,” says Founder Aaina Jain Malik. “We are hoping that by Spring 2021, the situation will get better, but there is growing concern in the retail industry even about that.”
With in-house manufacturing facilities in India, the past few months have been ones of immense uncertainty for Blu & Blue. The nationwide lockdown Prime Minister Modi declared on March 24 massively impacted their business, as employees could no longer work. In the U.S., the situation was not getting any easier. Buyers and stores started cancelling orders they had confirmed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Orders cancelled when goods were already in transit via sea or air have been left lying around in ports. Some buyers have filed for insolvency protection in order to declare non-payment to the fashion company.
To reopen its factories in India, Blu & Blue has undertaken extensive safety measures.
Blu & Blue
Nevertheless, Blu & Blue remains committed to providing for its workers and their families. Since reopening began in India in late May and early June, the company has brought back smaller teams to its factories for safety reasons, and they are taking measures to fight the spread of Coronavirus internally. Workers have their temperature checked upon arrival and at regular intervals throughout the day. Seating patterns have been revised to allow workers to maintain adequate social distance from one another. Blu & Blue has also increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning and engaged in other social distancing tactics.
“Despite the turmoil, we have managed to get our factories back online and have implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees at our sites,” says Malik. “Also, for the next few months, Blu & Blue factories will be working on producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and gear for first responders, nurses, doctors, emergency service providers and all the other current-day superheroes.” In these unprecedented times, she expresses deep gratitude to everyone who has remained loyal to the Blu & Blue brand.