The fashion industry has a long and complex history that dates back to the 18th century, but today, it faces a new set of challenges. When it comes to sustainable development, we have been taking tremendous steps. For example, in recent years, more and more apparel companies are adopting environmentally friendly practices and sourcing their cotton responsibly to reduce the negative impacts on the planet. But is this enough? What will become of our environment if nothing changes?
It’s not just about how fashion looks. It’s also about how it feels and how it impacts our environment. So you want your wardrobe to make an impact on the world as much as you want it to make a statement? Here are some sustainable fashion trends worth taking note of in 2022!
What Are Sustainable Fashion Trends?
The fashion industry is a $3 trillion global economy, and the good news is that it’s changing for the better. One of the first steps was to make sure that all of our fabrics and materials were responsibly sourced, which in turn reduced the negative impacts on the planet and helped our workers be more empowered. But what about further sustainability measures? Sustainable fashion trends are all about how your clothing makes an impact in the world.
Sustainable Fashion Trend #1: The Circular Economy
The circular economy is an economic model that focuses on recycling, reusing, and repairing products instead of extracting raw materials. This trend is gaining momentum in the fashion world as more brands are looking to reduce their environmental impacts by adopting sustainable practices. For example, Stella McCartney has recently committed to only using recycled or recyclable materials for its 2020 collection.
The Eco-Fashion Challenge
One way designers are making sustainable design a priority is by conducting eco-fashion challenges. These challenges encourage designers to create a collection from 100% recycled fabric and can be sponsored by any organization interested in raising awareness about sustainable design and the environment. Some companies have even taken it a step further by pledging not to use any animal products in their collections going forward.
Another way designers are taking sustainability into account when designing their collections is through using sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo fabrics. These materials are all created with natural methods that produce less waste and emissions than traditional farming methods which means we can start to reduce our carbon footprint today!
Sustainable Fashion Trend #2: Upcycling and Repurposing Clothing
Upcycling and repurposing clothing is becoming more popular, and for good reason. Reusing old clothing helps keep it out of landfill sites, reduces the consumption of new raw materials, and saves the resources that would be used to discard it. This can also help address the issue of textile waste produced by fast fashion trends: if we make a commitment to only buying what we need, there will be less excess that has to be discarded.
In 2022, you may begin seeing more people using marketplaces to find upcycled or repurposed clothing for their wardrobe. Along with being environmentally friendly, this trend is also budget-friendly and helps you stand out from the crowd. You can take clothes from your wardrobe that you no longer wear or have just stopped fitting into and turn them into something new, or buy from small business or local designers who creatively remake unique clothes from unwanted or excess fabric and materials.
Sustainable Fashion Trend #3: ESG Reporting and Fashion Sustainability Transparency
ESG reporting is a common practice for many companies, but not all. What is ESG? It stands for environmental, social, and governance. These reports provide information about the company’s performance in these areas, which allows investors, consumers, and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions.
Apparel companies have had a history of being secretive about their practices in terms of sustainability. This has created an air of distrust among the public and customers. But now, many are taking steps towards transparency by providing ESG reports that include information about the company’s supply chain management, product lifecycle, and its contribution to the environment.
Sustainable Fashion Trend #4: Green Business Certifications in Fashion Supply Chain
The sustainability certification movement is slowly progressing and has been picking up momentum in the fashion industry. This is a step in the right direction as it ensures that businesses are supporting sustainable practices throughout their supply chain. Green certifications will be essential for any clothing company looking to incorporate sustainability into their production and sourcing processes.
But what does this mean for consumers? You’ll start seeing certification labels on everything you buy. This can be a huge help when you go to purchase new clothes and want to make sure you’re buying something that is eco-friendly. Some of the more common green certifications are:
- Better Cotton Initiative (BCI): cotton sustainability standards through water efficiency, soil and habitat health, harmful chemical reduction, and ethical work standards
- OEKO-TEX: has a portfolio of independent certifications verifying fashion companies to act responsibly and make sustainable purchasing decisions, with standards such as STANDARD 100, LEATHER STANDARD, MADE IN GREEN, DETOX TO ZERO, and ECO PASSPORT.
- Fair Trade Certified: standards on responsible business and conscious consumerism to support farmers, workers, their families, and their communities around the world
- ECOCERT: organic textile certification and the use of raw materials for the textile industry must qualify for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OCS (Organic Content Standard), and/or Ecological & Recycled Textiles (Ecocert Standard) certified
- Global Recycle Standard (GRS): requirements for certification of recycled materials from third parties
- USDA Organic: agricultural products that have been produced through approved processes and marketed in the United States
- B Corporation: companies with social missions built into their core have to document, disclose, and be assessed regularly for their impact
What These Sustainability Trends Mean for the Fashion Industry
Sustainable fashion is a growing industry, and it is continuously evolving to meet new trends. These are some sustainable fashion trends that are popular in 2022 and should not be overlooked.
With these fashion trends in 2022, we can foresee these norms in the near future:
- Processes in the circular economy will be easier to apply and be seen as an easy, green supply chain effort.
- Upcycling and repurposing clothing will be popular among eco-conscious shoppers looking for bold or unique clothing.
- ESG reporting and transparency will be expected by shoppers and investors, who look for clearly-communicated impact analysis and sustainability efforts to help them make better decisions.
- Green certifications will be more achievable, popular, and relied on to measure the “health” of a fashion brand’s sustainability impact, similar to how nutrition facts are used for foods.
In conclusion, these are some sustainable fashion trends you do not want to underestimate in the future because from design to production, or from seller to buyer, these green fashion trends will affect the decisions you make and improve the clothes you buy for the better.