The future of fashion

The clothes we shop and the way we shop for them is changing faster than ever. From embracing slow fashion to challenging the very idea of ownership, here’s my round-up of the new options emerging, and where we might be heading!

End-to-end sustainability

Consumer awareness and demand for ethical and sustainable fashion brands is growing. Shoppers are becoming savvier, calling out greenwashing and demanding more transparency. You can learn more about the issues from campaigns such as Who Made My Clothes from Fashion Revolution, and the Clean Clothes Campaign who work tirelessly to improve garment workers’ rights, pay and working conditions. It’s not just supply chains and working conditions under the microscope though, but the raw materials used and the environmental impact of fashion. Get ready to see a lot more recycled materials and low-impact fabric, information on the carbon footprint of the clothes you buy, and even brands offering lifetime repair services.

Resale rather than retail

There’s no doubt that shopping second-hand is booming, so much so that the market is projected to triple in value over the next 10 years. There’s a dizzying array of marketplace apps to choose from such as Vinted, eBay and Depop, there’s specialist designer platforms such as the Vestiaire Collective, and then there’s dedicated resale businesses such as Worn In Wardrobe, yours truly! Resale is threatening to make a serious dent in the conventional retail market, leaving brands scrambling to create circular buy-back programmes or similar. The jury’s out on the true sustainable value of these so-called circular schemes though in my opinion, as the conflict of interest with their main purpose to sell new clothes cannot be ignored. One thing is for sure though, thrifting is now seriously fashionable (excuse the pun!). Out with the new, in the with the old!

Swishing events

Similar to shopping second-hand, but with no money changing hands! People swap their clothes rather than paying for them, often at a specific swishing event. The idea is that everyone brings a few items of clothes they no longer reach for, and once you have donated them to the event you are free to pick a few new-to-you clothes to take home. These events are often organised locally, or to raise money for charity by charging an entry fee, but there’s even UK-wide swap options available through the likes of The Great British Clothes Swap, a dedicated Facebook group.

Rent your clothes

We might be used to the idea of renting a tuxedo, a kilt or a posh frock for a special occasion, but the era of renting your entire wardrobe has arrived! Forward-thinking subscription services such as The Little Loop Clothing for children’s clothes are game-changing. For womenswear and menswear, there’s a range of affordable options and luxury rental specialists, for example Hirestreet and Hurr Collective.

Last but not least… get ready for it… Digital Fashion

As we spend more and more of our time online, the idea of building a digital wardrobe is growing. You may start seeing brands you know and love creating digital fashion lines sooner than you think!