Out with fast fashion and in with sustainable fashion.

by Nikki Montgomery

For a long time fashion was about quality not quantity. Through the 1950s many women still made their own clothes and clothes for their families. In the 1960s we saw a shift in fashion. Young people wanted new trends and rejected tradition. This is when fashion started moving at a dizzying pace. Fashion brands had to find ways to keep up with the demand for affordable fashion forward clothing and this caused companies to outsource their labor. 

In the 1990s we saw a huge rise in the amount of fast fashion retailers in the US. These stores offer trendy pieces straight from the runway to the rack at low prices, but these pieces are produced in such high volume little mind is paid to the quality of the items. 

There are some major problems with our current fashion system, such as unjust labor practices and negative environmental impacts. 

As we close out this decade and move into the next there is a lot of talk about the environment so in this blog we're going to talk about some changes we can make in fashion to help the environment. 

5 Sustainable fashion trends for 2020:

  1. Thrifting - Thrift shopping has seen quite an increase over the last five years. Up an average of 2.3% annually. Thrifting (donating and shopping) is a great because it keeps textiles out of landfills. Many thrift stores also have a charity element to them to help people in your community as well which is an added benefit. Thrift flipping is something that many people are trying out these days too where they purchase an item at a thrift store and update it by adding design elements, cropping, or completely changing the item to make it more trendy. There are even second hand stores specifically for designer goods like The Real Real so you can buy second hand Gucci or Fendi clothing and accessories.
  2. Algae - Algae are greenish slimy plants that float in ponds and swamps and they can make great textiles. Algae can be grown to produce foam soles for shoes and more. The benefits to this are that it is renewable, degradable and it can even release antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients into your skin as you wear algae based textiles. Kaney's next collection of Yeezys are said to be made from algae foam.
  3. Pina - Pina is the Spanish word for pineapple and it's what the fibers in pineapple leaves are called. Making fabric from pina is popular in areas where pineapples are native. It's quite a process, but the pina fibers can be combined with other fibers to be woven into fabrics. The pina fabric is lightweight, but stiff and environmentally friendly. We are expecting to see everything from clothes to shoes, to handbags made from pina in 2020.
  4.  Koba - Koba is a sustainable raw material derived from corn byproduct. Since we are seeing a rise in the demand for cruelty-free and vegan fashion this is the perfect answer. It is a much more environmentally friendly option than nylon and polyester. 
  5. Basics - Get back to basics. Capsule wardrobes started becoming more popular in 2019. The idea that you can make multiple outfits out of few clothes makes you really take a look at the clothes you already own and make them feel new by switching up pairings. The best way to make this work is by embracing basics in your closet. By having a few great high quality basics you can make lots of great looks without being wasteful. 

These environmental solutions to your wardrobe are not going to be cheap, but maybe we'll be more mindful of what we're buying and how we're buying them.


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