‘Chic’ and ‘sustainable’ might be two words that you do not often put together. Some people think of sustainability as being a 70s movement that is all bohemian. While bohemian can be chic, it is not for everyone. Whatever your idea of chic is, you can adapt your style to become sustainable. Sustainability itself is a trend within the industry – fueled by Millennials and Generation Z on a mission to save the planet. You can still live out your Carrie Bradshaw and Blair Waldorf dreams while building a chic sustainable lifestyle.
Sustainable Fashion Trends
It is easy to think that adopting a sustainable approach to fashion means that you must turn your back on trends. While it is true that it means you should embrace your own aesthetic and not fast fashion, sustainability has its own trends within the fashion industry.
We think that sustainable fashion trends are even more exciting than fast fashion trends. Why? They are so much more inventive and innovative. Whether it is producing new combinations of recycled materials or reimaging a classic silhouette, sustainable fashion is all about reinventing signature pieces.
One trend that we are seeing everywhere – and that is chic to its core – is cork! While leather is infamous for its durability, it is not the most sustainable material choice. Cork is known as ‘nature’s leather’ as it is similar in feel and texture. It is just as durable and ages in an analogous way as leather. You get the look, feel, and aesthetic of leather without the environmental consequences.
Cork trees can regenerate themselves and regrow, meaning it is not like chopping down a normal tree. There are also not the same chemicals or dyed involved as traditional leather. It is a chic sustainable alternative that gives you the same look for less!
For sustainability, few trends are as big right now as thrift shopping. How is thrift shopping a trend? Well, it is worth looking at TikTok. Every other video is a Gen Z or Millennial sharing their latest find from a thrift store or charity shop. You never know what you are going to find, and the hunt is half the fun.
When you go thrift shopping, you are giving garments and accessories a second lease on life. You are saving it from a landfill and making sure it is enjoyed to the fullest. Trends always go in and out of style – but they always make a comeback. Right now, the early-2000s are back with a bang.
You can pick up some of the chicest fashion staples of the season from a thrift shop for half the price of buying it brand new. You get to look just as chic for a fraction of the price – all while helping the environment.
There is nothing chicer than saying “it’s vintage” when someone asks where your clothing is from.
On the other side, it is not just thrift shopping that is a trend – reselling is as well. ThredUP, one of the biggest clothing reselling sites, is growing 69% from 2019 to 2021. The next time you have a closet clear-out, round up your unwanted pieces and list them on a site like Depop, eBay or Poshmark.
Being thrifty with your clothes is just as chic as shopping at a designer department store. You can promote your Depop or other selling profile on your social media and make a little money in the process. You might even be able to make enough to buy the designer bag on your wishlist.
At the heart of sustainability is the idea of elevated basics. Whether you have a capsule closet or are a maximalist, elevated basics will always be on-trend. An elevated basic is a timeless signature piece that you can wear with any outfit. The right basic can give any outfit a luxury twist.
What staples should you look out for? Whatever your aesthetic is, there are a few universal basics that everyone needs in their closet. We count ribbed sweaters, square-neck tops, oversized blazers, and silk slips as our must-have elevated basics.
You do not have to break the bank when buying these pieces. You want to find ones that are made of high-quality and durable fabrics that flatter your body shape and match your aesthetic.
Recycled Fabrics and Upcycled Clothes
One of the biggest trends within sustainable fashion right now is recycled fabrics. The industry is always finding new and exciting ways to reuse fabrics and save them from landfill. Brands across the board – from athleisure to preppy fashion – are promoting their recycled fabrics. It is all about making you love your clothes from the inside out.
Upcycling is part of the recycled fabric trend. It is where brands take other clothing or mix-matched fabrics and sew them together to make something new. Is there anything chicer than taking something old and making it new again?
Changing the Fashion Industry
Trying to predict the future of any industry is difficult.
What we do know is that the fashion industry has no choice but to become sustainable. It is not impossible.
Just think of the strives we have made in reducing single-use plastic. The fashion industry itself has undergone massive change in the past. Significant animal welfare campaigns led to real fur becoming all but banned within parts of the fashion industry. Consumers became educated on the way animals were being treated and changed their shopping habits as a result.
Changing the fashion industry involves changing our clothing practices. It is about buying clothing because you like it and not because an Instagram influencer told you it was the must-have item of the season. It is about diversifying the supply chain and incorporating more recycled and environmentally friendly materials into our clothes.
The trends are all pointing towards an environmentally friendly fashion industry while still being chic and trendy.
If you want to get ahead of the curve, now is the time to build a chic and sustainable lifestyle that is kinder to you and our planet. The first planet to start is your closet!