THE FUTURE IS NOW
A recent Ipsos MORI/Fashion Revolution poll found that Europeans consumers now demand to know more about the environmental and social impact of the clothes, shoes and accessories they buy, with 75+% reporting that fashion brands should be required by law to be ethical and sustainable.
At Inside/Out, our mission has always been to spread the message of emerging, sustainable and conscious brands. But, this movement is now getting bigger and the majority of the fashion and athleisure industries are shifting and rethinking their touchpoints: from design to fabrics and from marketing to retail.
For fashion, all signs show that 2019 will be a pivotal moment, namely with the future of clothes, shopping and dressing becoming experience and joy.
It’s not just a matter of feeling better about our clothes. But rather about feeling rewarded by our conscious choices. Here’s how in 8 trends…
Source: the 2019 Global Wellness Trends Report
When thinking about the future of fibers, sustainably sourced naturals like silk, linen, organic cotton, wool, flax, hemp or alpaca most likely come to mind. Or semisynthetic and cellulosic fibers, such as modal, rayon, Tencel, lyocell and cupro - all easily biodegradable. But there’s so much more… Think hyper-renewable algae, fungi fashion, clothes made from decomposable mushroom roots, and even further afield, biofibers from Pineapple leaves, banana stalks, sugarcane and corn.
The “trashion” trend is about recycling all kinds of garbage into new clothing. Some brands have been recycling water bottles (plastic water bottles are an environmental scourge, with a million a minute sold worldwide). Other trash-trawling fashion includes for example transforming ocean waste (whether plastics or discarded fishing nets) into regenerative materials or transforming used chewing gum into rubber for shoes.
A Size Free World
If social media has done one thing right, it is spreading the voice of feminism. For a couple of years now, social imagery has played a key role in increasing diversity of body types for women. Brands are finally taking notice of the size-inclusive market (expected to jump from $21 billion globally to $60 billion by 2020) and launching their +size collections. But the future is yet to come and the diktats of sizes and labels to disappear.
Gender Fluid Fashion
The new generations are breaking from established ideas on gender identity and fashion follows suit, of course, with a rise in unisex collections. While the 90s celebrated androgyny and a desexualization, these days we are witnessing gender-neutral clothes that are fluid, non-binary, mixing the masculine and feminine in an expression that is both fresh and celebratory.
On-Demand Bespoke Clothes
With emerging AI and 3D design technologies, digital-only and data-powered fashion design shows the first signs of becoming far more sustainable, with production volume and overstock dramatically reduced.
Custom-designed pieces, fitting customers perfectly, will surely have good chances of actually being worn.
Empower the Workers
The Rana Plaza factory fire in Bangladesh (2013) that killed 1,134 workers was a major call for consumers to realized that buying something very cheap most likely means that the production chain isn’t clean… It is necessary to demand ethical fashion, pressuring brands to get their priorities right and have a long-term plan on how to empower the economic lives of local makers and artisans.
From Activewear to Active Well
It’s already possible to find outdoor products adapting to environmental change - heating jackets, for example - or to track performance. It will soon be possible to access a whole new level of features like measuring stress, self-cleaning pieces, clothing that hydrates your skin based on body mapping, and ultimately clothing that will adapt to your mood with color-adaptive material. Like the brand Become Clothing, ‘designed specifically to help control body temperature, and regulate Hot Flashes & Night Sweats’ for menopausal women, or Under Armour’s Athlete Recovery Sleepwear that ‘helps female athletes recover quicker at night so they can hit the field harder during the day.’