Down for Earth: 5 Sustainable Trends for the Eco and Fashion-Conscious
Sustainability is no longer a forward-thinking ideal in fashion - it’s an expectation. Even people who were once numb to habitat destruction or poor labour conditions are now “woke” to the cause. More people are saying “no” to brands that seem to care about the Earth and people. That is giving rise to brands focusing more on sustainability, which, in turn, is creating a new era in terms of how we shop and what we wear. This post will look at these sustainability trends and what they mean for fashion-conscious people.
The Capsule Wardrobe as a Sustainable Fashion Trend
The “capsule wardrobe” sounds confusing because it doesn’t look like anything different you’d probably wear (it certainly doesn’t look like a capsule). But a capsule wardrobe is just a small selection of apparel that’s interchangeable and complementary with one another. You can repurpose a small amount of clothing to create many outfits. So, for example, you can have 10-12 items you keep on rotation but can mix them to make dozens of looks.
Even though capsule wardrobes are a thing in 2022, they’ve been fashionable since the 70s and 80s. That is one of our favourite sustainable trends because it discourages wasting. If more people invested in capsule wardrobes, people would buy and dump less clothing altogether.
Recycling & Up-cycling Fashion Trend Will Take Hold
As a concept, recycled and up-cycled clothing is a dream come true for the environment. As a trend, it’s a slow-burning one - but it’s picking up steam in 2022. More brands are reusing materials to make their clothing gear, such as our very own Sundei Clothing and Hip+Happen brands.
But the sustainable trend that we’re paying attention to in 2022 is up-cycling. This trend involves the reuse of an existing piece of clothing, giving it a makeover or upgrade to look or even function differently. Up-cycling may include taking a pair of jeans into a jean skirt. It may mean sowing a pocket onto a pair of pocket-less pants. It may even mean good old fashion tie-dying of a shirt. Regardless of the method, up-cycling is a great way to repurpose clothing to prevent waste. It’s also mind-blowingly creative.
Local production: A New Look for Sustainable Fashion Trends
Representation is everything in the 2020s - fashion is no different. In 2022, there’s going to be a big push for locally-sourced clothing as a sustainable fashion trend, and that matters on multiple levels. On an environmental level, local production cuts down on transportation and, by extension, CO2 emissions. From a social perspective, companies can better observe working conditions and create ethical work environments (which is hard to do overseas). On an aesthetic front, local production can allow for more exotic designs from under-recognized groups of people. It’s a win-win for creators and consumers alike when you think about it.
Many of the designers featured here at Maison Orient hail from far corners of the Earth, including the Orient and The Middle East. Their items are locally produced, making their operations more sustainable while exposing their one-of-a-kind designs to the world.
Increased Transparency: A New Sustainable Fashion “Rule”
We all want more transparency from brands, including fashion powerhouses. Of course, that’s a tricky term to define. Essentially, knowing exactly how and where a brand produces its pieces, what it does to reduce pollution, how it treats its workers, and how it counteracts counterfeit production. In short, transparency is about how ethical brands are with consumers. That also includes “honest marketing,” which is 100% true about their marketing messages, ensuring that their claims match their actions.
If you’re a stickler for sustainability, you’ll want to know what your favourite brands are doing and how. Here at Maison Orient, we’re fortunate to work with brands that focus on transparency in their production and ethics.
Sustainable Fabrics & Next-Gen Materials
Textile production has a significant impact on the planet. For example, producing an oil-based fibre like polyester contributes to higher CO2 emissions and is not biodegradable. It takes hundreds of years for it to break down.
But a generation of savvy designers is changing the game by using environmentally-friendly fabrics. Some of these fabrics include merino wool, organic hemp and bamboo lyocell. Widespread use of these fabrics won’t happen just yet, but this is a year we’re seeing the use of next-gen materials as a sustainable fashion trend.
Sustainable Fashion is the Future of Your Wardrobe
Much of what we love about fashion isn’t friendly to the environment or humans. At its worst, it’s dirty, it’s unethical - and that needs to change. The sustainable fashion trends we’ve discussed in this article will slowly turn fashion away from “the dark side” and make it more Earth- and people-friendly.
With that said, many designers are already making strides here, and you don’t have to wait for the industry to catch up. Some of the brands we carry are already spearheading sustainable fashion. Not only will they look great on you, but they’ll also make you feel good about what you wear as well.
Are you looking for sustainable fashion brands to shop from? Take a look at this guide on designers who make apparel and accessories with sustainable practices.