What will sustainable fashion look like in 2021?

2020 is over! With the new year comes new hope, including for the future of sustainable fashion. Check out The Green and Blue’s predictions for this year and beyond.

Circularity is the undeniable future.

Reselling, recycling, reworking, repairing, and renting clothes is the only way to reduce waste truly. While conscious consumption, minimalism, capsule wardrobes, and more slow shopping habits have been popular among a small group of consumers, an investment in circularity is necessary to make a noticeable dent in fashion’s waste problem.

Prediction: Practically everyone, from journalists to brands to consumers, will be talking about circularity in fashion as the concept becomes less wishful thinking and more grounded in reality.

Consumers expect, and deserve, better from brands.

Even though sustainable fashion didn’t become popular until the last decade, brands like Patagonia and Esprit pioneered sustainable fashion back in the 1980s. This means brands have had plenty of time to implement and perfect their sustainability projects. So consumers, rightly, expect more than just a collection of organic cotton shirts symbolizing sustainable fashion.

Prediction: Consumers will not only use the term “greenwashing” to call out brands that don’t provide proof for their marketing claims, but they will also accuse brands doing the bare minimum on sustainability of “greenwashing.”

Innovative materials will scale because we need them to.

Now that the debate between recycled polyester and organic cotton has been well discussed, brands are finally starting the realize the need for a new material that doesn’t have a flaw. Luckily, startups creating innovative materials are popping up all over the place. From companies making leather out of cactus to tech operations producing a material that can capture greenhouse gas emissions, the solutions to the material conundrum exist; they just need to be scaled.

Prediction: Brands will begin investing sizable amounts of money into startups and small companies that can provide alternatives to flawed materials.