Summary: Wasteful practices that cause harm to the environment have defined the fashion industry for decades now. In the last few years, however, many brands have displayed positive commitment and action to bring sustainability to the fashion industry. The right usage of technology and adoption of circular production processes are key drivers of this movement. These themes are only set to gain more momentum in 2023.
Even though the idea of sustainable fashion has been there for some time, 2022 really saw a turnaround as far as execution is concerned. There is high hope amongst environmentalists that 2023 is going be a groundbreaking year for sustainability in the fashion industry. However, to make this change sustainable for industry health in the long run, a hassle-free regulatory environment and a supportive customer base are necessary.
Before we deep dive into how the fashion industry is adopting sustainable fashion, let us understand the precise definition of sustainability for the fashion industry.
Creating sustainable fashion goods means producing them in a way that limits damage to the ecosystem, and also provides fair wages and good work-life balance to the workforce. This means limiting waste, using eco-friendly materials, and setting up ethical labor practices all through the supply chain.
The good news is, not only do fashion brands have more sustainability awareness now, but on-ground actions have also started yielding results.
Levi’s launched a campaign called 'Buy better, Wear Longer', that encourages customers to be more aware of their buying choices while solidifying the core message that apparel from the brand can last for generations. This was received very well by the target audience.
In another campaign, Levi’s roped in YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain to reach out to the younger lot and showcased its commitment to sustainable fashion. Such endeavors are likely to bring positive results for practicing brands.
Brands like Reformation, Patagonia, Aday, Fair Indigo, etc. are putting sustainable principles like using eco-friendly materials and fair trade into practice and also receiving customer love.
Here is a list of trends in sustainable fashion that is likely to be in focus this year.
1. Renting: In 2023, major retailers would be seen integrating resale wholeheartedly onto their websites. They already perceive that there is a surge in demand for second-hand clothing. Renting would be another central sales theme as brands like MatchesFashion, Harrods, and Selfridges have already started offering their customer a chance to rent out a luxury fashion piece rather than buy it.
2. Recycling: To date, less than one percent of garments manufactured by the fashion industry get turned into new clothing. A lot of brilliant minds have been trying to tackle the challenge statement of recycling for quite some time. The Swedish fashion brand Renewcell, through its Fibre Circulose technology, was able to create apparel made out of 100 percent textile waste. Many other brands are increasing investment in technology to bring in circular production for sustainable fashion.
3. Sustainable material: Apart from using existing textiles in their production cycles, brands are also looking at using sustainable and eco-friendly materials. For their Spring/Summer 2023 collection, Luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney introduced regenerative cotton for the first time. There has been more collaboration among supply chains to bring sustainable materials into the production chain. 2023 will see the scaling up of these solutions.
4. Tougher regulations: Authorities are stricter against the usage of misleading terms in the context of bringing sustainability to the fashion industry. This phenomenon is labeled as `greenwashing’ by the media. The regulators are going to focus on how brands communicate with the stakeholders regarding their sustainability credentials. Brands need to be vigilant here or else they run the risk of reputational damage.
5. Sustainable Technology: Brands are using technologies like Augmented Reality, 3D Virtual Sampling, and 3D body scanning to bring more capabilities to the supply chain and ensure good working conditions. This trend is likely to a get a boost in 2023.
A lot was done by fashion brands to bring sustainability to the fashion industry in the year gone by. Right from focusing on the use of technology to bringing in circular production as the main theme, brands took good strides on the road toward sustainable fashion. These trends are all set to gain momentum in the year 2023 and many brands start to get positive outcomes for their efforts in 2022.
1. The year 2023 would mark a tectonic shift in the movement towards sustainable fashion.
2. Technology is going to be used as a key enabler across the value chain.
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