The future of fashion. An öko prediction.
Who would have thought five years ago that people would wear mushroom or pineapple on their skins? Neither did my 14 year old me think I would wear flared pants ever again in my life. But here we are. The 21st century is repeating the past and creating itself.
Curious as I am, observing the recent trends in technology, material printing and other developments is a great activity to get a sense of what is going on. The fashion industry can likewise not escape recent innovations, set by a technological rise as well as groups of individuals simply thinking outside the box.
Today I want to present you four sustainable clusters on where I predict the fashion industry to be moving towards.
Mother earth can do incredible things our species definitely can learn from. Pairing the most basic natural inventions with today's innovation, our generation is able to source materials through a way past generations would have never expected. When thinking of pineapples, mushrooms and sea weed, one may come up with great recipes, but for sure won't think of wearables. And if so, in an incredibly stupid way. But in fact, besides traditional ways of sourcing materials like cotton, wool or leather, recent innovations lead to new materials, provided my mother nature.
The example of Pineapple leather: Piñatex, the pineapple leather is sourced from the leaves of the pineapple fruit. In the example of the Philippines, business woman Carmen Hijosa was truly inspired by a traditional Filipino shirt, woven out of these leaves as well as their durability. After 5 years of research in the US and Spain, Carmen finally found a solution on how to make use of these leaves. A bio-degradable solution far away from animal leather is being born. Today, Piñatex is being used for accessories like bags, shoes and belts.
Other explorers today now how to pair sea weed enzymes with cotton, to create a natural fibre. And indeed, some mushroom based leather exists already.
Rent, Borrow, Swop.
The generation of Millennials does not depend on ownership. We want to live free and travel often. We want to live instead of work. And we want to carry as little burden as possible. With vast amounts of Fast Fashion circulating on this planet, a lot of start ups jumped on board of this sharing economy phenomenon.
We don't need to buy clothes, if we can rent, borrow or swap them.
Within my master thesis on the sharing economy I've found fashion libraries popping up anywhere in the Western sphere. Sure thing you're familiar with your local fashion library (Kleiderei in Hamburg or Something Borrowed in Sweden), but have you ever thought of being a unique part in this global movement? Talking to older generations about swapping clothes with strangers may be resulting in a energetic discussion. But in fact, that is what we do. We swop clothes with people we've never met before.
Some subscription based models ensure you to have new items every month in exchange for paying the fee. They send you 3-6 pieces per month, which you can wear as many times as you want within the rental period. And once you send the items back, you receive a new package with exciting items.
We don't need to spend money on fashion items which in the long run simply hide in the closet. We want to experience recent trends, participate in fashion ourselves and want to do good. And badoom, that's a match.
Disrupt and Close the Loop.
Waste is no waste until you waste it. Circularity and re-thinking how we can make use of textiles after their life usage ends.
Clothes nowadays usually follow a linear process: make > take > waste. Once we buy the clothes and have worn them several times, which in the UK is a total of 22 times only, we get rid of them. A friend of mine has just uncovered how Australians recycle clothes and ship it to other countries. Check the short article on Seljak Brand here. Huge stacks of clothes land in developing countries, creating hundreds of tonnes of landfill. Instead of continuing this wasteful system, current pioneers create ways to make use of wasted textiles.
Based in Germany, Ina Budde invests her time in finding the perfect design for circularity: Firstly, the design of the items itself should be timeless. These products and their materials shall be made to be recycled.
Reusing waste in new products is another easy way to incorporate this vision. AEP for example is a backpack brand which incorporates 75% old plastic bottles into their textile. I by the way highly recommend their pieces. I've been wearing mine daily for 1.5 years now and cannot complain.
Companies thus collect, extract and reuse clothes and textiles which otherwise would be thrown away. This process makes someone's waste another one's treasure and brings it back in the loop of consumption. We here rethink the way a whole industry has been active as: from a linear model to a circular model.
I'm honored to be surrounded by inspiring circularity believers. Some want to make sustainable yoga mates out of reused plastic, others already have a brand for closed loop merino wool blankets. If you want to now more, comment below and I'll investigate in this field.
Live Long and Sustainable.
Second hand and vintage are on the rise. I'm not only saying that because I work in this niche with VinoKilo, but actually because I see a mindset shift happening.
In the 90's, second hand was considered to be for low income users, those who can't afford clothes in a regular store. By now, at least in the Western society as I know it, we accepted second hand independent from our wealth. Especially in Sweden, second hand is embedded as part of being sustainable. When I browse the stores, I'm able to see all types of people and that makes me excited. Not only hipster kids looking for items to freshen up their wardrobe, but many more.
It feels like society has accepted vintage and second hand as an alternative to new clothes.
I'm glad to see the chance towards good and can't wait for the wider mass to engage with previously loved items, how I call them
I hope you've enjoyed reading my little review. If you feel like I've missed a trend, let me know! Maybe there are materials, or FashTech like 3D printing I've missed! Leave a comment yoyo!