Eco-fashion has really gained a lot of attention recently. It's a growing response to fast fashion and its harmful effects on the environment. Today, even the biggest of designer brands and luxury groups are getting in on the action. But with all the major changes happening now, it does make you think: what does the future of eco-fashion look like?
Just a few years ago, only a handful of designers and brands were taking on ethical fashion, essentially creating their own little niche. But as the effects of climate change worsened and people started to take notice, more and more brands took to going eco-friendly as well. Suddenly, sustainable style appeared on more high fashion runways and mainstream retailers, and before long, the whole fashion industry was taking action. In Australia, for instance, the Legacy Summit was started in Sydney last year which is an annual forum that talks a lot about Australian eco-friendly fashion and how retailers can further expand the movement to make it more mainstream.
Some of the biggest names in the industry have embraced organic fashion and made it undeniably luxurious. These days, designers are no longer just clamouring to give you the most well-tailored suits or the most flattering pair of jeans. They take into account the sustainability of the materials of your clothes and the ethical processes they undertake.
Designers like Vivienne Westwood, Virgil Abloh, and more have incorporated ethical standards and have made them a huge part of their respective brands. They're essentially telling you, the consumer, that eco-fashion has risen to the level of luxury.
Aside from being luxurious, the industry is making eco-friendly fashion essential. Big and small businesses have taken it upon themselves to offer you essential everyday wardrobe staples and rework them in organic fabrics and through environmentally-friendly processes. Even down to your underwear! It's a way for them to normalise this new movement and make it seem less of a major change in your wardrobe and shopping lifestyle. Nowadays, whether you’re trunks or boxer briefs kind of guy is beside the point. The more important thing is that the essential piece of clothing—one that you wear every day—was made out of a sustainable material.
More than just the new clothes they offer, fashion has also embraced recycling and reusing clothes. It's not enough that they overhauled their own businesses for the sake of the planet. They're now looking to influence you to change your approach to fashion. GQ insists that it's important you cultivate personal style for the sake of sustainability. This way, you'll know what you want and will be comfortable enough to pick pieces that you can wear again and again. And though it may not feel like it, re-wearing and reusing your clothes is actually helping the planet effectively.
With eco-friendly fashion comes more ethical processes of making clothes. A huge part of that is dyeing clothes. Before, the $7 billion textiles dye market made use of harmful chemicals that damaged the environment. But now, according to Vogue Business, there's also a major shift in this industry. They report that, in recent years, dye company giants have introduced more sustainable dyes and new ways in which they reduce the use (and ultimately waste) of water. They also relayed that there's been a surge of interest for more natural dyes, and fashion companies like Pangaia have released clothing lines with naturally-dyed pieces.
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT ECO-FASHION?
It's not enough that you stay by the sidelines while the fashion industry seeks to uphold eco-fashion. You have to do your part in shifting the business to go more eco-friendly. By changing the way you buy and use your clothes, you're essentially keeping the industry on track in maintaining the ethical standards. You're also doing your part in sustaining the planet. Here are the best and easiest ways to do it:
1. SHOP WISELY
Money talks, especially in the fashion industry. Part of why organic fashion is popular nowadays is because of public pressure. Many consumers have now realised they can no longer deny fashion’s part in damaging the planet. In response, they're focusing their attention and money on eco-friendly brands with sustainable values. And it's those same labels that are gaining more traction these days.
2. REUSE AND RECYCLE YOUR CLOTHES
It's no longer sustainable to shop every season for new clothes and throw away your old ones. It's better to reuse and recycle them to decrease the waste brought about by fashion. But if you do want to shop, go to Viney’s instead. Not only will they help you save more, but you’ve essentially helped in reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.
3. PRESERVE YOUR PIECES
Instead of throwing your old clothes out, preserve them. And if you see an opportunity to make use of them again, at least you made sure these clothes weren't damaged. In many ways, this is why some families shave their own heirlooms. So they can pass down their clothes from one generation to the next. And though they have their own reasons, the preservation of their clothes actually helps in pushing forward eco-fashion and the movement of sustainable style.
The future of eco-fashion looks bright but only if people make it stay that way. There's still a lot to be done, both on the side of the industry and of the consumers. It's integral that people realise that fashion can help in sustaining the planet. Everyone has to do their part!