Sustainable fashion has gone from hippie-style to haute-couture. As concern about our environment increases, so too the public’s demand for clothing that is both chic and eco-friendly. From organic cottons and bamboo to upcycled fabrics, recently there has been a surge of popular sustainable fashion trends that are raising the bar on fashion and sustainability.
1. Eco-Friendly Chic: The Rise of Sustainable Fashion Trends
Fashion trends are continually evolving, and sustainable fashion is quickly becoming the latest way to stay ahead in the fashion game. Consumers are seeking more sustainable solutions, and it has never been more important for fashion designers, stores, and retail stores to provide eco-friendly products. Here are a few of the biggest sustainable fashion trends that are rising in popularity, giving shoppers the perfect way to look chic while being environmentally friendly.
- Upcycling is the act of taking an item of clothing that might otherwise be disposed of and giving it a new life. This trend is a great way to reduce wastage and see an old item in a new light.
- Upcycling is especially popular with vintage clothing; clothes from the ‘80s and ‘90s have had an increased presence on the runway and are quickly becoming fashionable again.
- Instead of buying a new item of clothing, many fashion trends involve taking an old, pre-loved garment and refashioning it to fit more modern styles. This is a great way to be creative and look good with a smaller contribution to the environment.
- Refashioning can often be done at home using myriad techniques and a few creative ideas.
- In the same vein as upcycling and refashioning, recycling is a sustainable fashion trend that many fashion designers and retailers are beginning to embrace. By recycling textiles and materials, fashion retailers are able to create new items in a much more sustainable way.
- For everyday fashionistas, there are plenty of stores out there that sell pre-loved and recycled fashion items, and these can cater to a variety of styles and budgets.
Fashion trends come and go, but an increasingly eco-friendly approach to fashion looks set to stay. Sustainable fashion is a great way to be stylish while being kind to the environment, and these trends show that ‘eco-friendly chic’ is here to stay.
2. Rethinking Our Relationship with Clothing
In a world where the average person wears less than 20% of their clothing, it’s time to rethink our relationship with clothing. It’s easy to get caught up in buying “trendy” items, fast fashion, and things we don’t really need. But instead of letting trends dictate our wardrobe, let’s start incorporating mindful practices into our closets and dressing habits.
Keeping it Simple: Instead of snapping up new clothes in favor of the newest trends, keep it simple. Invest in timeless pieces you can mix and match for any occasion. Not only will this eliminate wasteful purchasing, but it will also save you time planning outfits.
Sustainable Alternatives: We can start to incorporate more sustainability strategies into our fashion habits. This includes favoring second hand clothing over new items, buying from sustainable or ethical brands, and mindful consumption.
- Choose Local
- Invest in Quality
- Consider Recycling or Donating Items
Getting Creative: We can go beyond mindful consumption and start to incorporate more creativity into our closets. Take inspiration from other fashion styles and creative techniques. This ranges from DIY projects to alterations making it easy to be creative and have fun with clothing.
3. How the Fashion Industry is Stepping Up for the Environment
The fashion industry is renowned for its fast-paced lifestyle and glamorous trends, however as of late, sustainability has been put in the spotlight, thanks to a steadily increasing understanding of the environment’s fundamental role in our health and well-being. Now, more than ever before, the fashion industry is attempting to step up its game when it comes to being eco-friendly, in ways like:
- Going organic — some major fashion brands are actively investing in producing organic materials that are grown without synthetic herbicides, fertilizers, or insecticides.
- Ethical production — measures such as the banning of hazardous chemicals, improving waste management, and improving labor rights are some of the steps the industry is taking to ensure that production is ethical and safe.
- Improving the recyclability of products — the trend of adding design elements that allow for easier recycling of materials is on the rise. Brands such as Patagonia are actively working on designs that have ‘the lowest possible environmental footprint’.
- Using renewables — textile manufactures are experimenting in utilizing renewable forms of energy during the production of clothing, such as solar, and wind.
The Rise of Conscious Consumerism
The greatest contribution to this shift towards sustainability comes from conscious consumerism, individuals who understand the responsibility they have in selecting eco-friendly clothing, and companies that create products that are more sustainable for our environment. Consumers can now consciously explore options that are healthier for both the environment and ourselves. Instead of fast fashion, options such as buying second-hand, eco-friendly fabric brands, and organic materials have become much more available.
The fashion industry is no longer just about looking good, but doing good, and the fantastic thing is that these changes are also fashionable.
4. Choosing Mindful Materials for Apparel and Accessories
It’s increasingly important to think about where our clothes and accessories come from. It’s equally important to think about what materials they are made from. It’s a combination of these two factors that dictates how ethical the clothing is.
Naturally sourced materials such as organic cotton, linen, silk, wool and hemp are the best choices if you’re looking for ethical fashion. Natural fibres are biodegradable and renewable, so they don’t cause as much damage to the environment as synthetic fibres. Plus, they’re softer and nicer to wear than synthetic fibres.
Synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and acrylic aren’t as ethical as natural fibres. Most are made from petroleum derivatives and will take hundreds of years to decompose. It’s better to avoid them, but if you must, look for synthetic fibres that are recycled or made from recycled materials.
Leather and Fur
Leather and fur have been used in fashion for centuries, but these days, it’s more important than ever to be mindful when choosing these materials. for leather and fur, look for materials that are sustainably sourced, cruelty-free and/or recycled. Also, check the credentials of the makeup of the material – some treatments used to create leather contain chemicals which can be damaging to the environment.
5. Sustainable Style: Fashion with a Positive Impression
Fashion has the power to make a lasting impression – whether positive or negative – to those who observe it. Through sustainable fashion, we can use our wardrobes to make earth-friendly choices and lead more sustainable lifestyles.
As fashion continues to evolve, people are increasingly becoming aware of the impact their clothing choices have on the environment. To take a step towards a sustainable wardrobe, here is what can you can do:
- Choose Ethical Brands: Look for clothing that is made from natural, recycled, or repurposed fabrics. Many ethical brands today are passionate about producing sustainable attire that is made with non-toxic materials, to reduce the environmental harm caused by the textile industry.
- Buy Second-Hand Clothes: Thrifting is a great way to own stylish garments that are kind to your pockets and the planet. Vintage items are not only better for the environment, but they also help to extend the lifespan of a piece of clothing and reduce textile waste.
- Develop a Maintenance Routine: Taking care of your clothes will keep them in good condition for longer and help them last for many years. Knowing how to mend and properly maintain your clothing ensures you can enjoy them for years to come.
Ultimately, it’s up to us to make conscious purchasing decisions and support sustainable fashion. Let’s put our wardrobes to work for the environment!
As we continue to celebrate the wonders of fashion in all its shapes and sizes, let’s not forget about the power of eco-friendly fashion. Choosing sustainable, conscious designs is one fashion choice we can make to ensure a more sustainable future. Going green is always in style!