5 trends in the fashion industry that are making the future more sustainable
We’re on the cusp of something as a civilisation. Future generations will look back at this time and decide that it was this generation that either condemned or saved the planet.
Mankind has been pumping carbon into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution – we can’t say we don’t know how to fix it. We do.
It seems like many of us are trying to fix it, but without everyone being on the same page, it’s an impossible task.
The fashion industry is at least recognising there’s a serious problem now and, at least in theory, is doing something about it.
Trends come and go in fashion, but recent trends all involve sustainability in some form.
Below are five recent trends which could help make the industry more sustainable.
Obviously agriculture takes up a large part of the apparel industry, but it’s at the point now where sustainability isn’t good enough.
Instead of making land and crops sustainable, we need to make them regenerative.
This means actively healing the land and soil rather than simply making it useable for next year’s yield.
Some big names like Patagonia are using regenerative farming practices to not only reduce their carbon footprint, but actively reduce the carbon in the atmosphere.
This is one area you can expect to see more of across the board, not just in the apparel industry.
Regenerative Agriculture is one way in which people, brands and companies are looking to make a difference in the fight against Climate Change.
Simply reducing your impact on the environment isn’t enough, climate positivity is now the target we should be aiming for.
As it sounds, this means making a positive impact on the environment, rather than simply trying to lessen your negative impact.
There are some truly incredible developments in progress at the moment, such as Post Carbon Lab, a London-based research studio.
Currently they are exploring the possibility of using living algae in our clothes that have photosynthetic or pollution-filtering properties. This means they can literally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as you wear them!
Circular economy and sustainability
We’ve talked before about the circular economy, and how it can help with sustainability.
To summarise, the aim of the circular economy is that all materials and products in society are used and circulated among people for as long as possible, in an environmentally safe, effective, and fair manner.
While this is great in theory, it’s difficult and expensive in practice, but that may change soon.
H&M, themselves one of the biggest culprits when it comes to Fast Fashion, are developing a machine that can separate and recycle polyester/cotton blended clothing.
This is possible at the moment, but is expensive and time-consuming. H&M claim this new technology can do the job at scale, and perhaps revolutionise the textile recycling industry.
The race is on to find a clothing material that’s 100% biodegradable, and bio-based materials are the obvious answer.
Previously our clothes were made from organic materials – leather, wool, fur, etc – but once polyester was invented, suddenly clothing became a lot more economical to make and therefore cheaper to buy.
But there’s a trend now in the fashion industry to buy real clothes, i.e. anything made from a natural material.
The problem here is not making animals suffer for our fashion, and so there’s been a huge wave of bio-based materials to come out in recent years.
Everything from leather made from cactus to puffer coats filled with wildflowers is now available to buy, but to make the industry more sustainable, these technologies need to be scaled up to replace the plastic we currently use.
If there was one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was to highlight the working conditions of millions of people in the third world working in apparel factories.
The lack of ethical conditions and fair wages, suffered overwhelming by women, caused outrage when factories shut down due to the virus.
Shining a light on the treatment of garment workers made it harder for companies to hide their practices, and increasing consumer concern added more pressure on brands to treat their workers fairly.
Moving ahead we should expect to see more companies opening up about their factories and workers, with those who don’t falling foul of consumer wrath.
The future’s bright, the future’s sustainable
There’s no doubt the world is in a bad place at the moment, but things are looking up.
Trends for sustainability are not just appearing in the fashion and apparel industries, but across society in general.
Thankfully, each generation is more understanding of climate change and how to fight it, and we’re seeing that with each passing year.
Of course, immago will be leading the charge.
We take sustainability very seriously, helping our clients make the change to sustainable practices where possible.
Big changes are coming in the industry, and with our help, you can ride the wave, coming out stronger than ever.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business be at the forefront of the sustainable revolution.