Fashion face masks? Well, yes. Whether face masks work or not, having the world wearing them brings us together symbolically, visually, all against the disease. While for the general public, masks are less a reliable prophylactic against the virus. So far, Austria, Czech Republic, and Israel have instructed citizens to cover their faces while outside their homes. Against the Virus? The threat of Covid-19 has eclipsed the stigma of public mask-wearing. Right now, protective masks are no longer medical devices but key parts of our cultural landscape and fashion. Seeing people wearing face masks while venturing into town to pick up groceries, no longer feels strange. Somehow it feels like the new fashion ‘normal’. The ‘New Normal’ Granted, face masks are designed as a practical way to stop the spread of Covid-19. But, as these masks become part of one’s look, reflecting one’s personality and outlook on life, fashion must be embedded in them. In my daily walks, I see men jogging by. Some are wearing stretchy masks that look like were made from the same performance materials as their shorts and jackets. There’s a matching sense about those masks. Then, there are several people wearing fashion face masks in fun and retro patterns. Arguably, cut from the many discarded outfits they found in the recesses of their closets. Also, my Instagram feed is flooded by people wearing fashion face masks of any imaginable kinds.
Bengaluru: India’s e-commerce industry is expected to reach $99 billion in size when online commerce penetration will more than double to almost 11%. The growth rate for the industry in India, for each of the next four years, would surpass the same of established economies like the US, China, the UK, Europe and Brazil, according to Goldman Sachs’s review of e-commerce markets globally. E-commerce is expected to register a growth of over 18% for the current year but estimates for 2021 and 2022 show a year-on-year growth rate of over 33% and 28% respectively. To compare, growth rates for the same period for the US are 17% and 19%, while it is nearly 11% for China in the next two years. To be sure, the market size base is bigger in both the US and China along with higher penetration of the total retail market. The pandemic is accelerating both growth and penetration of e-commerce further in these markets, including in India.