Sustainable fashion is trending globally and is the most spoken about. Pandemic has made more than 50% of shoppers slow down, rethink and reconsider their choice and where they are headed with a conscious perspective of impact on the environment and following climate change. It has even made us change the way we dress and it is during this period people learned about the unfair labour practices many garment workers across the world face.
Sustainable fashion adopts practices that make fashion less threatening to the environment. From the prevention of wastage in the textile industry to the adoption of minimalism and the provision of long-lasting materials which are environmentally friendly and also safe for workers.
Since the beginning of 2020 there has been a 37% increase in online searches for sustainability-related keywords, including terms like “upcycled fashion,” “second-hand,” and “pre-owned.”
This article will help us learn about the latest sustainability trends:
Biodegradable raw materials:
Using biodegradable raw materials is on the rise. Alternatives such as plant-based leather(java), rose petal silk, cactus, pineapple, mango and mushroom leather, jute, organic cotton, bamboo, wool, and others are on rise. These fabrics are eco-friendly, biodegradable and can be disintegrated naturally into their base elements by fungi, bacterial, or other biological processes.
Zara has declared that by 2025, all of its clothes will be produced from only sustainable fabrics. Inditex, their owner pledged that all of their polyester, linen, and cotton will be organic, recycled, and sustainable.
Giving back to nature:
In lieu of the major CO2 emissions by the fashion industry, an increasing number of brands are looking at natural workable solutions to remove carbon from the atmosphere, adopting regenerative farming practices—that involve no-tilling and grows a diverse range of crops to help restore nutrients into the soil. Many sustainable brands are contributing to programs where every item purchased will lead to planting a tree. Studies have shown that such programs can eliminate two-thirds of emissions caused by human activities.
Pre-owned or second-hand clothing has become the biggest trend for sustainable fashion. Thrift stores are emerging as a weekend activity for many. Many influencers and celebrities have embraced this trend and often promote thrifting to their followers and fans, enabling them to enjoy quality craftsmanship at a much more affordable price. Owing a thrift outfit is not considered as downgrading one’s social status anymore, in fact, people can find unique, vintage gems and stand out from the fast-fashion rollout.
Pandemic has changed the way we dress. People saw the need to buy clothes disappearing and found themselves wearing the same work-from-home clothes and restyling. People are looking into getting a minimalist closet to reduce the overconsumption, overspending, and cut down on clothes junks. A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of clothes and accessories that can be mixed and matched and last for years. Buyers are now interested in high-quality materials such as pure cotton or silk that will last a lifetime if properly cleaned and cared for.
Gone are the days when people purchased new outfits specifically for one-off special occasions like weddings or parties. This trend is not only a cost-effective solution for consumers but also a way to preserve the environment and keep clothes out of landfills.
Supporting local brands:
The past two years have adversely affected the local businesses. Local brands source their raw materials locally. Also, since their manufacturing unit and shop is set up in the vicinity, this requires less transportation to source their materials, reducing overheads to a great extent. It is a great way to support the local economy and boosts the economy.
Another trend in the sustainability movement is production on demand. In this, instead of large-scale bulk production, manufacturers are launching new collections by collecting pre-orders. This prevents overproduction and unnecessary textile waste and produces quality products as per demand. Also helps manufacturers by saving the cost of maintaining large inventories and dead stock.
Fashion trends keep changing, but sustainable fashion is here to stay. Environmental justice, racial inequality, and cultural appropriation have been brought to the forefront as an agenda of many brands and the pandemic has forced us to literally clean up the act. Consumers are taking the job upon themselves to protect the earth in any way possible. However, a lot of work has to be done to reshape the practices in the fashion industry.