From the daring home-made creations of 80s counter-culture movements, to the high fashion pieces that walk the world’s most glamorous catwalks, the inclusive fashion trends of today are here to stay. For decades, the fashion industry has been a prime example of exclusivity and perfectionism that often excluded figures that don’t match an intangible ideal. But, thankfully, those times have started to change – with a more diverse and inclusive range of models make their way to the runway. With the ever-growing depiction of diversity, acceptance, and self-expression, fashion is becoming more of a celebration rather than just a reflection of conventional beauty standards. Let’s take a look at how runways all over the world are now embracing these inclusive fashion trends.
1. Demonstrating Welcoming Embrace of Diversity
As we increasingly inhabit a global world, it’s no secret that societies are becoming more diverse. As the fabric of our societies changes, it’s important to consider how to foster an environment that embraces the diversity of cultures, physicalities, and thoughts. Here are a few tips for demonstrating a welcoming embrace of diversity:
- Cultivate Respect – Respect for one another is the cornerstone of any inclusive society. Respect goes beyond simply being courteous to each other – it requires a genuine understanding and appreciation for the unique richness of everyone’s background.
- Be Openminded – An open mind is essential for appreciating different perspectives, approaches, and experiences. Instead of viewing difference as something to be judged or ignored, an open mindset encourages exploration and appreciation of difference, which helps to build empathy and understanding.
- Create an Inclusive Environment – Having an inclusive environment extends beyond being courteous and openminded. It requires taking active steps to create an environment where all forms of diversity are not only tolerated, but celebrated. This might involve challenging stereotypes or changing workplace/social structures.
Realizing the potential of diversity requires actively creating the space for members of different backgrounds to contribute. This doesn’t require overhauling entire systems overnight. It requires continuous and deliberate effort to foster a culture of inclusion.
2. Fashion Reimagined for Everyone
No longer is fashion a preserve of the privileged few. With the democratization of fashion, everyone is getting in on the trend. The rise of sustainable fashion and buyer power now ensure that fashion is now accessible and affordable to all, not just those with a big budget.
The Rise of Affordable Luxury: Today’s designer items do not necessarily come with stratospheric price tags. Fast fashion has become more accessible, with a plethora of looks on the market. Websites like H&M, Zara and ASOS bring fashionable looks straight from the runway to your wardrobe. Inclusive sizing has also ensured that everyone can now find pieces that flatter their body and style.
Sustainable Options: Along with the democratization of fashion, there has been a marked shift in the way clothing is produced. More people are becoming environmentally conscious, and brands are feeling the pressure to create garments sustainably. The growth of the second-hand fashion industry has meant that more people are interested in buying and selling pre-owned garments. Consumers are increasingly opting for sustainable and ethically sourced materials and production techniques.
Impact of Technology: Technology has revolutionized the fashion industry, allowing for speed and efficiency. Innovations such as 3D printing are allowing designers to create garments with less wastage, while intelligent fabrics and materials are making it easier to create truly unique items.
As fashion continues to become more accessible and sustainable, it is clear that the fashion industry is being reimagined for everyone. From luxury designer labels to sustainable, affordable options, the sky’s the limit for fashion-lovers looking to stay stylish without breaking the bank.
3. Inclusive Trends Showcased on the Runway
Fashion Week has always been a platform for designers to showcase their unique creativity, and this edition was no exception. Though, the stage it set was much different with brands and designers prioritizing inclusivity.
Shaking off any stereotypes, the displays this season featured women and men of different shapes, sizes, skin tones, and disabilities. Visibly empowered, they strut down the runway with a newfound level of confidence.
One designer said that the concept was a no-brainer for her. The reason, she noted, was that there had been a long-term awareness gap that the brand wanted to rectify. She stated, “It never made sense to keep the displays exclusive when we are trying to reach and appeal to a mass audience.”
In addition to expanding the inclusivity gap, designers also took on the challenge of using eco-friendly materials and making the garments easy to re-make, up-cycle, and customize.
Some of the brands that made a statement on the runway were:
- Karina Venus
- Vavoleil Byres
To any spectators, it was clear that these designers had one thing in mind: providing clothes that are easily accessible and appropriate for every single person, no matter who they are.
The truth of the matter is that fashion is changing and it is finally being done in a way that is sensible and inclusive. Such is the epitome of progress.
4. Exploring the Brands at the Forefront of Inclusive Fashion
Fashion today is becoming more and more inclusive and diverse. Brands are exploring different types of body shapes, sizes, and personal expressions to cater to the wants and needs of their customers. Here are some of the leading companies currently pioneering the way with their range of innovative and inclusive collections:
- Nike – This global powerhouse plays a major role in expanding the fashion landscape with its ‘Pro Hijab’ initiative, which was launched to give Muslim female athletes better opportunities in professional sports. The brand has also been devoted to showcasing a wide range of body types and sizes in its women’s campaigns.
- ASOS Curve – As the first ever plus size brand to show at London Fashion Week in 2014, ASOS Curve is continuously proving that fashion isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of industry. Their vast selection caters to different sizes and focuses on highlighting the customers’ own sense of style.
- Universal Standard – The mission of Universal Standard is to make fashion available and affordable for everyone, no matter what size or shape you are. In 2018, the brand created its own patented size scale– ‘Universal Fit Liberty’– which encompasses sizes 00-40, making its pieces accessible to a greater number of shoppers world-wide.
- The Phluid Project – This is the modelling industry equivalent to a ‘radical revolution’. Not only does it sell inclusive clothing but it proudly embraces the gender-neutral movement by hiring only androgynous or gender non-conforming models. It also offers ‘clothing without label’, which in its most literal sense means you don’t have to worry about sizes.
These four brands are just a few examples of the wide range of countless innovative brands paving the way in the fashion world. It’s no wonder that now more than ever before, shoppers are looking for the perfect mix of designs, sizes and expressiveness. The result? An increased demand for more fashion that truly caters to everyone.
5. Celebrating Inclusive Trends in Style
These days, fashion trends are all about expressing individuality and embracing everyone’s unique style. Uniqueness is something to be celebrated! Here are five positive trends that foster a sense of inclusivity:
- Gender-neutral styles. Clothes are no longer confined to the boundaries of gender. For example, oversized shorts, long t-shirts, and hoodies are no longer seen as just “menswear”. Instead, they fit into anyone’s wardrobe. This gender-neutral trend not only embraces all body types, but it also encourages a greater sense of inclusivity.
- Size-inclusive fashion. We are increasingly seeing more sizes in fashion design, from petite or short to plus-size options. This brings more options to consumers and ensures that everyone can find something that looks and feels good!
- Redefining beauty standards. We are now seeing more diversity in models on the ramps and magazines, and generally more body-positive messaging. There is room for everybody to look and feel beautiful. An important step in creating a more inclusive fashion environment.
- Inclusive fabrics. Natural fabrics like linen and cotton are seeing a resurgence. These fabrics are more sustainable and comfortable for all body types. We’re also seeing fabrics made from bamboo and other plant materials gaining popularity.
- Adaptable designs. Designers are focusing on creating pieces that are versatile and can be used in different ways. This allows people to come up with new looks and invent their own style, which is very inclusive.
As these trends become more popular, fashion will become more inclusive and much more interesting. What’s more, embracing these trends is a fantastic way to express yourself, celebrate diversity, and promote inclusivity.
As fashion trends continue to shift, one thing is certain: embracing diversity is here to stay. From eco-friendly fabrics to inclusive cuts and styles, these runways demonstrate that fashion can be just as fashionable and conscious as our lives- and that’s a trend worth celebrating.