Fashion & Sustainability
Unless you’ve dwelled under a very stylish rock in the past few years, you have most certainly noticed the mindset shift that has slowly begun to transform the world into a more Earth-mindful place. From a growing number of eco-friendly and cruelty-free beauty brands, all the way to organic and locally-sourced foods, this green craving has shaped the fashion industry as well.
The green revolution has proven to be a major influence on the way designers approach their latest collections. Since the fashion industry is still one of the leading culprits of pollution, this may be one of the most significant changes our wardrobe will undergo in the immediate future.
The effect of circular economy
Ever since the term of circular economy was coined back in 1976 by Walter Stahel, the idea has become a very alluring one in the realm of reducing waste in every aspect of our lives. However, very few fashion brands comparatively have applied the principle to its full potential.
Although the process is still in its infancy, a number of global labels, 64 of them to be more precise, has set sail towards this circular system. Among them are some of the names you’re likely wearing right now, such as Adidas, Zara, H&M, and Tommy Hilfiger alongside many others, with specific goals outlined in an effort to create an eco-friendlier fashion system with a greater focus on recycling, circular design methods, and repurposing textile.
Boosting brand loyalty
But it’s not the brands alone that are changing their tune. According to various studies conducted on shopping habits of the modern Millennial, this young generation now dominating the customer base is much more likely to shop sustainably. The green-oriented youth has also had a tremendous impact on brands to reshape their business operations to deserve their customers’ loyalty.
That is why designers and future fashion revolutionaries paving the way for a greener world are going back to the essence of fashion through proper education. A growing number of courses, such as this Master in Menswear Fashion Design at Raffles Institute in Milan, aim to equip the modern designer with the skills to tackle this ever-changing world of beauty. The ability to be the forerunner of change, and not just a follower, is what the contemporary world of fashion needs more than ever.
Faux as the real deal
As one of the key components of change, a switch to using faux instead of real fur and leather has been in much greater focus in 2017 and will only skyrocket in 2018. Stella McCartney has been leading the way in the practice ever since its inception in 2001, but even the most beloved Calvin Klein piece of the show, the famous yellow coat, is actually made entirely out of acrylic.
So, if luxury brands can maintain their luxe, high-end look and feel while simultaneously going for a more animal-friendly approach, then why wouldn’t other brands follow suit?
Better employment practices
Yet another piece of the sustainability puzzle in 2018 will be moving towards a more ethical working environment from start to finish. And aren’t we all looking forward to discovering more ways to prevent another Bangladesh disaster with more humane conditions for workers and the environment alike?
Since the customer is happy to pay a bit more for the price difference of the local and more sustainable production system, brands are slowly transitioning to meet the new market demands. A key element to enable the customers this information is another game-changer, which is transparency. Fashion labels now do their best to educate their customer and share their business practices – and this level of visibility promises to attract more loyal customers in time.
Although the industry still has a long journey ahead in order to make a significant difference on a global scale, these changes made by individual brands are a clear sign that we are all striving towards the same goal: a future of waste-free fashion.