Even with such an unexpected year, the fashion industry was still able to make significant strides in terms of sustainability. What will 2021 bring?
It is fair to say that this year was completely unpredictable. The amount of worry, pain, and loss that was suffered by many is unfathomable, and while people around the world did their best to come together to challenge institutions that have neglected to take accountability, there is still a lot that needs to be done. Yet, there is no denying that even through this difficult year, there have been moments in where significant change has altered the way society views and approaches transnational issues. One of the most notable being an increase in environmentally sustainable practices within the fashion industry. But is sustainable fashion actually viable in a society dominated by consumerism? 2020 may have broken barriers – especially with post-pandemic fashion shows – but can 2021 create new standards of ethical and eco-friendly fashion?
Most may seem a little pessimistic, and it is understandable as to why. According to The World Economic Forum, “the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply,” proving that the industry’s latest strides towards sustainable practices isn’t enough to offset the environmental damages it causes. And while there is so much more to be done by industry leaders and big brands, sustainable fashion in 2021 will have to encompass more than just pledges and commitments promising eco-friendly and ethical practices.
Yes, the growing number of sustainable brands and collections are great and have forced consumers and other brands to think about their environmental impact, but sustainability in 2021 has to be much more than a thought: it has to become a mindset.
Interested in learning about the biggest sustainable invention of 2020? Read How H&M's Green Machine can change the future of fashion and recycled fabrics.
“Mindful consumerism requires buying less, buying quality, and making purchases from companies that treat workers fairly and pay living wages. For fast-fashion brands (both large and small), survival will mean ripping off that “cheap” label, which represents the exploitation of people and our natural resources—because as the mindful-consumerist movement advances, fast fashion won’t be forced to slow down; it will be forced to stop.”
Change is always scary, especially when the urgency doesn’t impact everyone in the same way. One shopper may tell themselves that buying another t-shirt wouldn’t make that much of a difference since it’s already made, but that’s 700 gallons of water right there – for just one shirt. Sure, the shopper may still have drinking water after that purchase, but that doesn’t mean that other vulnerable communities will. Yet, to be critical of this consumer cycle one must also be critical of big brands and major fashion corporations that continuously make garments that produce obscene amounts of waste only to be thrown out when next season’s collection hits stores.
However, if more consumers, as Barenblat points out, become more conscious about how their purchasing power can compel fashion institutions to change their practices by supporting local and global brands that are committed to sustainable efforts, then sustainability won’t just be a trend that comes and goes.
To discover brands committed to sustainable practices, read Brands with Inspirational Sustainable Initiatives that You Need to Know About.
By presenting you with sustainable brands, collections, designers, and initiatives every week, The Daily Fit wants you to feel empowered about the fashion decisions you make as a consumer. Sustainable habits and a sustainable mindset might be hard to form at first, but our commitment to being the number one sustainable fashion search engine demonstrates how this site will go to great lengths to inform consumers about the latest in environmentally conscious practices that are worth supporting. ShopYourFit is one of the most successful online platforms that reduces textile waste by ensuring accurate size recommendations across a multitude of brands, including your favorite sustainable brands. Therefore, there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed about the future of sustainability in fashion because you can start making a difference by shopping with ShopYourFit.
Besides, if there is anything that this year has taught us, it is to expect the unexpected, and by the looks of it, 2021 is going to be the year that anything can happen.
Stay up to date with the latest in fashion when you read our Conscious Fit section.