From a once-popular trend, sustainable and ethical fashion is now a growing fashion industry. The Business Research Company has estimated that the global ethical fashion market would grow from US$6.35 to $8.25 billion with a Compound Annual Growth rate of 6.8%. Future sustainable fashion trends are strongly influenced by today’s issues and events. These can often not be predicted.
We can all see how much our lives can change within a year, as we look back on the year that saw a global pandemic and the BLM movement, flash floods in Indonesia, an Australian bushfire, flash floods in Australia, and a volcanic eruption in Philippines. It is easy to see how more intelligent technologies will continue to redefine the way we think about time and change as we look forward to the next year. EWP is constantly monitoring consumer attitudes to sustainability concepts. This research has inspired us to create our sustainable fashion trends predictions.
1. Colors and prints
While sustainable fashion has been associated with classic, timeless designs and neutral colors for many years, mainstream fashion continues to be dominated by bright colors and a lot of vibrant patterns, it is now referred to as “sustainable fashion”. This was, for the most part a way to distinguish sustainable fashion from fast fashion and mainstream fashion while also embracing minimalism. This “traditional” concept of sustainable fashion is beginning to shift. One of the most important sustainable fashion trends will be a greater emphasis on vibrant colors, bold designs, and fun patterns. There are many designers who are trying to fill this gap by offering sustainable clothing that is colorful, fun, and trendy. We can also expect next year’s sustainable fashion year to be very colorful because designers will use bright designs to offset the drab, slob fashion year caused by the pandemic lockdowns.
2. The rise of capsule wardrobes
The pandemic has had the biggest impact on our style in this year’s fashion. Working from home meant that we had to use a lot of loungewear, sweatpants and loungewear. Lockdowns also meant that people realized that professional dressing is possible with only the most basic items. This has encouraged people to make more outfits using less. Low consumer confidence has been a result of the economic effects of the pandemic. Because it is impossible to predict the future, many people prefer to save money rather than spend. We can expect to see more people embrace capsule wardrobes, as fashion isn’t high up on the priority list when money is tight.
3. Digital sustainable fashion
As a result of social distancing and the lockdown, fashion events such as fashion shows were virtually non-existent this year. If they were, they moved online. Fashion brands used digital fashion to reach their customers. Fashion labels entered the digital world this year, and this trend is expected to continue into next year. If done correctly, digital fashion is infinitely more durable than conventional fashion. We expect to see more of it in the coming year. Digital fashion does not have the same problems as mainstream fashion, such as environmental pollution and the problem of unpaid or forced labour.
4. Rawer goes mainstream
Over the years, the pressure to wear different outfits for every occasion has changed significantly. However, the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown of cities helped to stop this trend. After conferences and physical events were cancelled, people stopped asking the question “What new outfit should I wear?” and it was illegal to network and socialize in person. It became less popular to buy new clothes because we all remained in our homes. Celebrities and news anchors shared a common belief that everyday fashion was less important and that it was acceptable toyshop’ and reuse your existing clothes. This year, fashion priorities were drastically changed. The trend of wearing the same outfits and reweaving clothing will be a mainstay. Renting is more popular than buying if you want to indulge your love for a new outfit for special occasions.
5. Inclusion and diversity are increasing
Companies that display their products on models with different characteristics – such as size, skin tone and age, shape, personality, and other non-binary gender attributes – are more popular than ever. Fashion brands like Tomboy, Girlfriend Collective and Reformation have already updated their missions to provide a variety of sizes for women of all body types. Many fashion websites allow customers to exchange clothes between models of different sizes and shapes before they purchase. Next year, the key words in fashion will be ‘diversity and ‘inclusivity. These words have been used over the years by ethical fashion professionals as they address issues such as cultural appropriation and environmental justice. Girlfriend Collective is a sustainable activewear brand that makes size-inclusive activewear made of recycled plastic. Already, we have seen a shift in the market towards inclusive and diverse marketing. More fashion, beauty, and skincare brands now offer more options that take into account age, gender, color, sexuality, and identity. We can expect fashion brands to employ more inclusive language and hire diverse models and employees, as well as use visual marketing and merchandise to communicate these values.
6. Mainstream fashion labels create sustainable collections
As mentioned earlier, sustainable fashion has seen a tremendous growth over the past few years. It is predicted to grow 6.8% in the future. This means that mainstream fashion brands will be forced to enter sustainable fashion markets, as more consumers are becoming environmentally and socially conscious. Fashion businesses must produce ethical clothing. Mainstream brands will have to change their operations in order to retain customers. They will also need to show genuine commitment to sustainability since a more conscious generation of shoppers can now discern “greenwashing” cases. Many fashion brands will be introducing ‘sustainable’ collections next year. ASOS already has its Circular Collection, made of recycled materials. H&M continues to release Conscious Collections, which include sustainable fabrics like recycled polyester, Telcel, and organic cotton. The lockdown allowed for room to rethink, even though it was unpleasant. Social distancing created an easier environment for small designers to be heard and seen. Fashion brands had the opportunity to take a step back from the rat race and reevaluate their offerings after the pandemic. This has led to more fashion brands working towards ethical and expanding their mission to include environmental causes.