Sustainability has been a much-discussed topic in recent years. More brands than ever before are looking for ways to go green. But, with so many ethical fashion brands shaping the future of fashion, older companies now need to keep up to the test of time. They need to make more conscious decisions and be held accountable for their actions.
With promising developments on the horizon, what innovations can we expect to see? Here are seven ethical fashion trends in the luxury industry that will soon become the norm.
- Regenerative Agriculture
When shopping for clothes and shoes, most of us see fabrics and final materials. But, all those fabrics and materials are the result of agriculture.
Cotton and bamboo are the main plants utilised for making natural fabrics, but growing just one kind of crop has a negative impact on the environment. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that most brands are now eco-conscious.
The same goes for farming; more and more designers are turning to alternatives such as low-carbon-footprint faux fur and faux leather.
- Climate Positivity
The growing interest in regenerative agriculture fits into the wider climate-positivity movement. Designers want to do more than just limit their negative impact. More and more fashion houses actually want to have a positive effect on the environment.
From reducing carbon footprint to replicating natural processes in laboratories, there is room for improvement. The future looks bright – some startups are considering “living” clothes made of algae, designed to reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as you wear them.
It may not look like it, but fashion plays a crucial role in the loss of biodiversity. Growing cotton, breeding livestock, water pollution, deforestation, and waste – all have a negative impact on wildlife.
Gucci is one of the first brands to take action against this. The brand unveiled its 5-year biodiversity strategy in 2020. Similar commitments are coming from many other brands, so hopefully, we’ll see truly sustainable fashion in future.
- Circular Thinking
Circularity isn’t a trend set to go away in 2021. We’re likely to see attempts to scale up new recycling technologies that allow brands to recycle fabrics on a mass scale. Needless to say that this could be a potential game-changer for everyone in the fashion industry.
- Brands Embracing Resale
One element of a circular business model includes resales. For decades, we were led to believe that buying secondhand was shameful – it does mean decreased business for the fashion house, after all. That might not be the case in future.
Trendsetters come – almost always – from Italy. Gucci is once again in the limelight. The company announced that it plans to set up a partnership with a resale platform. Not only will you be able to wear vintage garments and past collections without feeling out of fashion, but you might be able to grab a bargain, too.
- Bio-based Materials
Bio-based materials are things such as rose petal silk or cactus leather. Scaling these technologies means less damage to the environment. With bio-based materials, vegans will be able to enjoy the same luxury goods as non-vegans.
- Social Impact
If the 2020 pandemic taught us something, it’s that many workers in the fashion industry aren’t treated fairly. Brands have a strong social impact, but not necessarily a positive one. Hopefully, this is to change, with more and more brands claiming they’ll pay more attention to the working conditions of those that actually make the garments.
With so many ethical fashion trends emerging this year, it’s safe to say the fashion industry is on the right path to sustainability. Sure, we might not see the changes immediately, but we expect a brighter future by the end of this decade.
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