The fashion industry needs to become more sustainable, as increasingly demanded by consumers. These 6 sustainable fashion trends show how this can happen
There is a mood in the fashion industry that calls for change. Consumers are demanding more sustainable fashion and related production methods. Brands are now increasingly relying on transparent processes, efficient supply chains, fair working conditions, recyclable materials and much more.
Through this new development, the fashion industry is significantly changing and setting sustainable trends that enable new, responsible ways. This encourages small businesses and start-ups, which bring new wind into the fashion industry, especially through their agility and flexibility. But even established large companies do not have tied hands. They can serve as a trailblazer and create a big impact.
6 sustainable fashion trends enhance the world of fashion
The results are from the McKinsey study "The State of Fashion 2019", which was created in collaboration with the Business of Fashion (BOF). For this, experts questioned almost 300 fashion manager in-depth interviews.
1. Sharing and borrowing
In accordance to trends like car sharing, consumers in fashion are also keen to switch to new ownership models. This allows, among other things, more variety, is more affordable and drives sustainable fashion forward. Experts believe that the resale market will be larger within the next decade than that of fast fashion.
For the fashion industry, this means that the number of well-known brands entering the rental, resale or recycling business is likely to increase. In addition, this new development may increase the number of brands offering only rental and subscription models. This is especially true for luxury items and accessories that find their way into several closets. The fashion industry now faces the task of fully understanding consumers and correctly interpreting the emerging signals about the changing desire for ownership.
2. Shop consciously
Especially younger consumers like the Millenials & Generation Z are increasingly interested in social and environmental issues and are dealing extensively with the offers of new and already established brands. Ultimately, this is also reflected in their shopping behavior: they prefer sustainable fashion from brands that are in harmony with their values. Many brands respond by integrating these topics into their products and services.
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3. More transparency
Encouraged by a series of major data breaches and consumer delusions, many consumers are now more alert and, above all, less trusting. They demand greater transparency and want to know what happens behind the scenes of the company. Companies are now increasingly required to rigorously review their business practices and identify potential areas if they do not wish to continue undermining their customers' trust.
This could be done using new technologies such as blockchain, where each node of the network can see the entire transaction history. This increases the transparency of the supply chain for all participating service providers as well as the end customer. This method is already being used in the financial sector in so-called cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in order to rule out possibilities of manipulation or fraud. For the fashion industry, however, more transparency also means admitting one's own mistakes in the event of a crisis, reacting quickly and assuming responsibility for them. So has the luxury brand Burberry as they recreated their sustainable realignment.
EVERLANE ethical production & 100% transparent - image source & copyright EVERLANE
4. Individual fashion to order
Design and production are usually lengthy and cumbersome processes. Sometimes it takes almost a year to plan and launch products. Especially start-ups are part of the solution: They manage to react quickly to the procurement and development of products, to shorten production times and to optimize sales.
The increasing desire to produce or personalize products on demand may be driven by smaller companies. A new generation of start-ups provides tailor-made products that are made to order and which, thanks to their uniqueness and perfect fit, contribute to greater sustainability. Larger companies could do this through pilot projects.
5. Second hand and vintage
Clothing has always been in exchange, whether on online platforms like Rebelle , flea markets, within the family or in file sharing. This trend for sustainable fashion is becoming ever more prevalent and increasingly understood by the industry as its own business model. While the fast-fashion sector is producing more and more goods, consumers are realizing the danger behind it and are trying to make old clothes up-to-date again.
You'll also recognize the charm of worn and fancy pieces that no one else possesses. The revival of second-hand and vintage fashion not only benefits the planet thanks to this new attitude, but also the desire of consumers to own unique and individual pieces.
6. In-Store User Experience
Almost all of our purchases are already impacted by online and social media. Digitalized shopping models in the offline segment are on the rise. Online platforms are increasingly opening flagship stores and showrooms in the hot spot of major international cities. In addition, virtual reality and innovative shopping apps will revolutionize the shopping experience in the future. But also (VIP) events should lead more people to the offline shop.
Cartier Store in Ginza Japan, Tokyo, Japan
Trends come and go, but sustainability remains
The fashion industry is well on the way to establish new ways to make the industry more sustainable. This will meet the desire of young consumers in particular for sustainable fashion. This movement offers opportunities for both new companies and established brands to protect the earth and be careful with resources.