The more attention climate change gets, the more industries are changing. It is not different for the fashion industry, in fact, this is one of the biggest places we are seeing major changes this year. Which is good, because the fashion industry needs an overhaul. Most magazines will tell you about ruffles and hem lengths when discussing fashion trends. We have a better idea. Let’s look at the ways we are seeing fashion improve from the inside out. You can decide for yourself if you’d prefer to wear ruffles.
Over the past couple of years, consumers are becoming more and more aware of how their clothing choices impact the environment, and they are starting to leave behind fast fashion. Sustainable fashion trends have been increasing, so here are some to keep an eye out for in 2020.
Recycled materials are the bright future of fashion
By now, we all know that the Earth is very polluted, especially the oceans. We are all becoming aware of how plastic products impact our rivers and seas. So one of the most significant trends this year is recycled materials. Eco-friendly companies like Rockay collect the plastic from landfills and oceans and give the materials a second chance. A lot of brands have joined in, and now you can find a variety of products made entirely from recycled materials.
As long as they are Oeko-tex certified, these fabrics are a better option for certain garments than virgin synthetics, as the process is a closed loop system that is less harmful in production. Just remember that washing synthetics such as nylon and polyesters means microfibres in the oceans and food chain, which is a big deal. So either wash using a fibre catching product like a Guppie Bag, or use synthetics only in things you don’t wash often, such as shoes and handbags.
Sometimes you will see on the clothing tags the word ‘recyclable.’ This term is often confused with ‘recycled,’ but they have a different meaning. Recycled means that it is a product of a material that was already used, while recyclable refers to what you can do with the item after you decide to stop wearing it. It is best if an item can be both recycled and recyclable, which is often the case. This way of reusing a product is part of something called ‘circular economy,’ which in theory means that nothing will ever end up in a landfill or the ocean because everything we use can be either reused or composted.
That is the kind of future we should strive for.
Thrifting for a trendy vintage look
Second-hand clothing is on the rise in the last couple of years, and hopefully, the trend will continue to grow, especially with so many celebrities and influencers joining in on the thrift-store look.
Buying second-hand is a great way to turn your back on the fast-fashion, but also save and reuse every piece of clothing that is otherwise destined for landfills.
Even the high-end fashion is involved, and you can now find stores that sell second-hand Gucci clothing and accessories.
But, it is not only the number of thrift stores that are growing. These days there are plenty of websites that sell second-hand clothing or even individual resellers on Etsy or Instagram. These days it is effortless to buy second-hand, so join in on the trend and enjoy some vintage goodies.
The growing trend of algae
What if I told you that you could make clothes out of algae- that greenish, slimy plant that grows in swamps and lakes and is home to frogs and mosquitoes? When thinking about toxic materials, clothing is probably not very high on your list, but the clothing industry uses a variety of chemicals, some of them even carcinogenic. Researchers have been highly focused on finding healthier and more sustainable material options, and they found it – algae. Although when we think of this plant, we think of a dark green color, in nature, algae come in a variety of colors. Coloring the cotton and other materials with pigments from algae has turned out quite successful. But there is one quite unexpected side effect. The pigments in algae tend to change over time, so if you have a green shirt, it may turn blue at some point. The researches described this effect as ‘living colors’, which is very exciting.
But, algae are not only used for their vivid colors. Recently algae have been used to make footwear, such as flip-flops and even running shoes!
So how do they do it? It is a straightforward process where algae are dried with solar energy until they are charcoal-like texture. Then they are turned into powder. Then the powder is molded into a foam.
Using algae is sustainable and eco-friendly because these plants release a toxin that accumulates in fish and can be harmful, and even deadly, for other animals and humans that eat them. So getting rid of so many algal blooms is a great thing, but it is even better when we can reuse them.
Can you wear a pineapple?
The trend of wearing the fibers from pineapple leaves does sound quite unusual, but in the last couple of years, it has become a trendy material. Even before cotton, pineapple fibers were considered the status symbol in Hawai and Brazil. But thanks to the growing eco-awareness, more and more fashion brands have turned to pineapple fiber.
The best thing about using this material is that we are utilizing something that will otherwise be a waste. Once they are processed, pineapple fibers are quite flexible, and they resemble materials like leather. That is why they are prevalent in the vegan fashion industry as the best alternative to animal-based products.
Doing more with less
Together with sustainability, minimalism is the growing trend of the past decade. And just like sustainable fashion, minimalist fashion is the way to fight climate change.
Your closed does not need to be filled with clothes to create the best look for you. Go with simple fashion that can be easily combined and mixed.
This is the prime time to react and save our planet, so choosing eco-friendly fashion is the best way to contribute. Start by selecting the brands that share your values and start actively participating in saving the planet from the harm that fast fashion has done.