Like many other industries in the world, the fashion industry has been subjected to drastic changes to comply with the newest standards, which focus on the production of environmentally friendly products. Sustainability is most likely the biggest challenge, but also a promising opportunity this industry has yet to face in earnest in the upcoming years. With this in mind, let’s explore the most important trends in sustainable fashion in 2020.
Recycling and upcycling clothes
Recycling has been very popular for some time now, and this trend will certainly continue next year. It proves to be beneficial both for the consumers, allowing them to get rid of their old or unnecessary clothes, and the manufacturers, who reuse them and create brand-new clothing items. Some brands, such as H&M and Levi’s, for instance, give their customers a discount when they bring clothes for recycling. Moreover, these companies donate a certain amount of their recycling revenue to charity.
A similar process to recycling is upcycling. It implies transforming pieces of clothing into more modern and unique ones, and at the same time, minimizing waste and increasing the company’s income. Many fashion brands already employ this practice since it gives them the chance to not only produce intricate designs but also diminish the negative impact on the environment.
Renting designer clothes
In order to reduce water waste and carbon footprint, the fashion industry has been a witness to the appearance, and, recently, rapid expansion, of the rental market. As women are usually the ones who frequently invest in the garment, mostly for special occasions, this is the perfect opportunity for them to start creating smarter and much greener closets.
This initiative is widely present among young designers from all over the world. Aside from the exploration of raw materials and forms, as an innovative bachelor's degree in fashion design teaches its students, social factors are also tremendously important in producing conscious and original designs.
The rental markets will reach their peak in the following months as many world-famous designers are willing to participate and offer their unique pieces at a fraction of the retail price.
Buying second-hand clothing
As consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, they are looking for other, more tenable options when it comes to shopping. One such alternative is secondhand shops. Their rapid expansion and digitalization aiming to facilitate the process of buying and selling used clothes threaten to jeopardize the famous brands.
Apart from helping create a more economical industry, these shops are much more reliable when it comes to the quality of products as well because fashion companies tend to overproduce low-priced and expendable items. Developing from the charity, these shops do not rely on any supplementary resources in contrast to manufacturers. As a result, a serious decline in the consumption of new clothes has been noticed.
With the recent advancements in technology and the strong influence of social media, consumers have become the ones who dictate the trends instead of the designers and retailers. The actual demand for fashion products significantly facilitates the production, placement, and distribution process.
However, there are positive and negative sides of on-demand manufacture. Despite requiring lower financial investments and allowing greater flexibility, overall production, and transportation costs are increasing. Going forward, the fashion industry will have to work intensively on building strong and effective logistical and shipping networks to respond to the customers’ and markets’ demands.
The most common sustainable trend in the fashion world is the capsule wardrobe. Emphasizing quality rather than quantity, this approach reflects in buying only long-lasting articles of clothing. Customers are particularly fond of collecting essential items that are always fashionable and easily combined. Owning a compact closet allows a much greater maximization of a number of outfits that can be created and results in having an appropriate outfit for any occasion.
Capsule wardrobe has developed to such lengths that one can even hire a styling service, which helps in getting rid of excessive items of clothing and forming a more condensed closet with a more wearable wardrobe. While this trend has reflected negatively on the revenues of the fashion companies, it certainly increases its sustainability, and famous brands will have to adapt to newly established market conditions.
Eventually, achieving sustainability is one of the most demanding tests put before the fashion industry. In the foreseeable future, it will be crucial to focus on reducing waste as much as possible and increasing the market share of eco-friendly pieces of clothing. Brands within the fashion industry will have to conform to these norms to ensure their survival in a broader sense.
Written by Lillian Connors
About the Author
Lillian Connors can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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