Top Sustainable Fashion Trends for 2021


Sustainability is a buzzword appearing everywhere these days, but what does it mean when it comes to fashion? Many brands are taking the first steps toward becoming more sustainable with their production and distribution processes, which is a necessary change for an industry that makes up 10% of human carbon emissions. Sustainability itself is trending, but for brands who are already sustainable, there are new trends emerging, from vegan sneakers to capsule wardrobes. Here are some of the latest fashion trends to make recycling, reusing, and eco-friendly processes more of a priority for consumers.

Fast Fashion Companies Embracing Change

Fast fashion companies have risen to staggering heights in the past few decades, unfortunately to the detriment of the environment. While it may be enticing to buy a shirt for $15, the cost that you are paying is reflected on the planet as 85% of textiles end up in a landfill. When the quality isn’t good, you won’t wear the product more than a few times and will end up throwing it away. Thankfully, many people are now refusing to shop at fast fashion stores, opting instead for high-quality clothing that can be worn forever. Fast fashion brands have picked up on this and as a result, it is now a trend for them to offer a line of sustainably produced clothing, like H&M’s Conscious collection.

Sustainability Gets a Bold Makeover

In the past, many sustainable brands were associated with neutral colors and minimalist aesthetics, as if the garment had come straight from the earth. This wholesome, muted branding of sustainable fashion is now getting a makeover with many clothing brands and sustainable sneakers adding in vibrant colors, bold patterns, and eye-catching textures. This is a way of branching out and appealing to a wider audience, which will hopefully help consumers see that sustainable fashion is not only good for the planet, but is exciting and looks good, too.

Vintage is the New New

While vintage has always been cool with certain crowds, it’s becoming more and more covetable on a mainstream basis. One way to shop sustainably is to buy used, and often vintage pieces are higher quality than their contemporary equivalent as processes have changed over time to include more machinery. Of course, you may not even realize you are shopping vintage as some brands, like Reformation, take vintage pieces or deadstock fabric and rework them into a new garment. 

Digital Marketing of Fashion

In the past year, we saw nearly all events, including fashion shows, get canceled because of the pandemic. As a result, most brands have now figured out how to modify their shows to suit digital mediums. A digital fashion presentation has far less cost and impact on the environment than an in-person show. While we do expect in-person fashion shows and pop-ups to return eventually, it’s likely that many brands will keep at least part of their marketing strategy for shows online.

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