Fashion and sustainability are two words you don’t frequently hear together in the same sentence. However, things may be changing.
It seems that fashion has finally got a conscience and sustainability is now making waves in the industry. From small unknown designers to large commercial outfits such as Levi’s and American Apparel, the fashion industry is making giant leaps forward.
Sustainability is not a quick fix and both designers and consumers are beginning to think responsibly to ensure that the fashion industry keeps with the times. 2015 was an excellent year for sustainable fashion.
We saw the release of The True Cost: Documentary Film which brought the fashion industry under a severe magnifying glass.
The film sparked global awareness as to the impact the fashion industry has upon our planet and its resources.
So what is next?
What sustainable fashion trends can we expect in 2016?
Can you still remember the days when you would save up to buy that perfect coat, pair of shoes or handbag? I do, and it was a long time ago! We now live in an era of fast fashion where anything you want you buy cheaply and often. What happened to good old fashioned top quality products made with love and care that lasted?
We repair or phones, cars and furniture, so why not our clothes? Is it seen as uncool now?
One sustainability trend that experts predict will return in 2016 is the notion that consumers may revert to viewing clothes as an ‘investment’ instead of a weekly shopping trip. Let’s hope so.
Fiber recycling is on the lips of every sustainable fashion designer this year. Every person in the fashion industry is awaiting a viable fabric that is suitable for mass-market apparel.
Although not here yet, 2016 may be the year in which a recycled-fiber developer produces and offers this technology. With the onset of deforestation and low water levels, the recycled-fiber can’t come quick enough!
New materials being used
Another trend for 2016 sustainable fashion is the use of new materials that are more environmentally friendly.
Although cotton comes from a plant, the cotton industry is actually responsible 16 percent of global insecticide releases! This is more than any other crop in the world and throws the fashion industry into star relief when it comes to protecting the environment.
To combat this, sustainable fashion designers are using new materials that don’t have the same negative impact upon the environment. Textile manufacturers are now using materials such as bamboo, corn, soy and wood pulp to create viable alternatives to cotton. A number of top designers are also using natural dyes in their clothing to create more sustainable clothing.
It’s a slow process making not only designers, but also consumers aware of the harmful impact that fashion often has upon our environment. Everyone loves a bargain and many people love to shop.
However, in this day and age it’s not enough to simply buy something without thinking of the repercussions it has. Custom items and hand-made garments are often far more rewarding as they tend to last much longer and therefore bring longer lasting joy.
Even the little things count, just yesterday I saw some cool custom zippers that made me realise that everything down to the last button or zipper can be of high or low quality and can impact our environment.