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Navigating Covid-19 | with Fashion Equipped

You’ve heard it many times before and we’ll say it again, these are unprecedented times… Elizabeth Formosa, Founder of Fashion Equipped talks through navigating your business through the Covid-19 crisis. Watch a series of Q&A video sessions with Industry experts including AFC’s own Leila Naja Hibri, and Jodie Hilton from the New Garde. ..

by The AFC

4 April 2020

 Navigating Covid-19 | with Fashion Equipped

You’ve heard it many times before and we’ll say it again, these are unprecedented times…

We are fortunate here at Fashion Equipped that we can work as a collective with our 'Start Your Fashion Business' Programme Community, our 1:on:1 Clients and our Industry Partners to face this challenging time together as a collective.

WORDS | Elizabeth Formosa from Fashion Equipped

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Our first step is to understand exactly what we're all facing when it comes to any impact on businesses, on livelihoods, on wellbeing and on our futures during this time of uncertainty and rapid change.

To start with, businesses are scared, sales have dried up, cash is drying up and the harsh reality is that consumers are not thinking about shopping right now.  They are thinking about their safety, their wellbeing, their future, home schooling their kids (just think about your own personal life and buying habits right now). 

But the silver lining is, this won’t last forever, however it will not be ‘business as usual’ when we come out the other side. 


For now, we recommend you seek support, this is not a time to be navigated alone.  Sit down with your team, a trusted mentor or a fellow business owner and really assess the status of your business right now.

Reassess the way you’re currently doing things, your value to your customer, recalibrate your strategies wherever needed and most importantly, REFLECT + BRAINSTORM SOLUTIONS + PLAN + TAKE ACTION.

This is not the time to be overcome with fear and sit idle.

If you feel frozen right now, and you’re not sure what your next move should be, seek the support you need for yourself and your business so you can keep moving forward. 


Here is the result of our March THINK TANK based on the impacts of COVID-19. This list is not exhaustive and things are changing daily, but AWARENESS is key. These tips may just get you thinking in a new direction.


  • Manage cash flow as a priority in your business right now. Delays in manufacturing > inventory cut-backs and controls.

  • Focus on reducing spend.

  • Launches being rescheduled – pushed out – shorter seasonal selling period.

  • Immediately reviewing your expenses, minimise costs where you can and diligently managing your cashflow.

  • Review of marketing plans + value to customer.

  • Thinking outside of the box. Can you do more with less?

  • Focus on your customer service + delivering as much value as you can.

  • Increased focus on customer acquisition– keep the pipeline flowing.

  • Reforecast. Be realistic with expectations at this time due to consumer confidence.

  • Work smarter - not harder.

  • Spending less should not equal doing less.

  • Seek help + support if you need it.


  • It’s about safety now, not shopping.

  • Social distancing is seeing brick & mortar retail impacted significantly.

  • Many are vulnerable, some have lost jobs, businesses and income.

  • Customers will buy less of some things and more of others.

  • There are increased opportunities for ecommerce + home delivery.

  • Reduction in discretionary spending. Essentials are being prioritised.

    Watch as Elizabeth talks you through the above points in detail here:


Need more inspo on what to do next ?

Watch Fashion Equipped’s latest Industry Support LIVE Q&A Series. 

 During this difficult time, Fashion Equipped is committed to providing as much additional support to our community as possible. Last week, we started rolling out a Q&A Series for members of the 'Start Your Fashion Business' Programme.

The conversations have been so valuable that we feel it's a must to share these insights with our broader community at this time.


Q&A, with Elizabeth Formosa in conversation Leila Naja Hibji, CEO, Australian Fashion Council

  • Short + Long Term Impacts on the Fashion Industry

  • Tips for those in the development stage of business

  • Tips for those already trading

  • Navigating & embracing change

  • Opportunities post COVID-19

 Key Takeaways:

  • This is not a journey to be taken alone – reach out to your team, community, friends + family

  • Accept things are changing daily

  • The biggest challenge some businesses will face is just to stay afloat

  • Stop and prioritise your spending

  • Looking at cash flow is the single most important focus right now – how can you stay cash flow positive?

  • Become more resourceful than ever and consider new revenue streams

  • Values need to be at the forefront of any decision we all make

  • Put aside all your learned assumptions & step up

  • You may need to implement the ‘tough calls’, but make those on yourself first before rolling out to teams and resources to make any transitions easier

  • We will fast forward to a more digital world at every touchpoint and Fashion Tech will accelerate

  • Take time to upskill, learn something new and reconnect with your WHY

  • Take this opportunity to pause, reflect and reset

  • This is an opportunity for not only each business, but the entire Fashion Industry to reinvent itself

    Watch the Q&A here: 

Q&A with Elizabeth Formosa in conversation with Jodie Hilton, founder The New Garde

Elizabeth & Jodie talk about:

- Short + Long Term Impacts on the Fashion Industry

- Local Sourcing in the face of non-essential service closures

- China Sourcing slowly resumes

- Minimising your inventory risk 

- Brand Strategy - why strong branding, brand experience, and purpose lead brands are more important than ever 

 Watch the LIVE Q&A here:



Want to connect with a like-minded community lead by industry mentors? Fashion Equipped are running a free LIVE webinar on Tuesday April 7th at 7pm AEST.

In this webinar, Elizabeth Formosa - the Founder of Fashion Equipped - will share how their ‘Start Your Fashion Business’ Online Programme, online community, network of mentors and access to WGSN can give your startup the competitive EDGE to success.

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If you feel your business has been significantly impacted at this time and require any assistance, please reach out to Elizabeth directly at

Fashion Equipped is here to help ❤️

Contact Details:

Instagram @fashionequipped

Facebook @fashionequipped



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