Summary: Every meaningful conversation in fashion has gravitated toward ethical practices and sustainability over the past few years. The onus of conscious distribution has fallen on every brand that is taking center stage in fashion. With consumers inculcating practices that are fair and calling out the ones that aren't, a few thoughtful interpretations are all it takes to build a collection that looks good and does good, both at once. Here's the lowdown on the redefined sensibilities of sustainable fashion and examples of leading brands in India that are covetable yet conscious.
As the long pause was imposed upon the world in the wake of a pandemic, reinvention followed. An unprecedented slow lifestyle that consumed only essential commodities and pared-down clothing made sustainability an ideal approach globally. With this switch to mindful times, sustainability in fashion is being championed more than ever.
As the prestigious fashion shows got canceled season after season only to make a humble comeback with runway shows that were not defined by season, the offerings of every designer changed to trans-seasonal collections. #VocalforLocal became more than a byword, bringing homegrown brands to the center stage, and encouraging small-scale businesses to reach out globally with an e-commerce setup.
As the building blocks are being reassembled, fashion's commitment to the rights of the laborers that suffered in this pandemic outbreak has become significant as clean and honest brand values. The health and economic crisis put a question mark on the future of those blighted artisans who are behind the painstaking workmanship of couture creations.
The designers are facing their share of challenges in terms of sanitization measures, social distancing and other hygiene standards in their production houses where tailors and craftsmen work in groups customarily.
With the thickening concerns of climatic changes led by the fashion industry, sustainability in fashion is the need of the hour. As consumers are more educated and have become more accountable for the environmental and socio-economic impacts of their choices, emerging brands can maximize this transition and get more and more audiences to embrace a renewed future of fashion.
The industry has turned a new leaf with the supply chain shifting from trend-led to trans-seasonal. Brands are not just limiting sustainable fashion to organic and bio-textiles, but also revisiting traditional handloom techniques and embroidery, promoting craftsmen clusters, and educating customers about conscious fashion.
The fashion industry has hit the brakes on the fast-paced demand and supply chain, with mindful steps implied in the production. Brands learned some ways to make existing wardrobes trans-seasonal and appropriate for more than one occasion. Given due credit, the versatile pieces in the wardrobes transitioned from the end of winter to spring and now summer; humble loungewear received its due attention.
As slow fashion stood the test of time, the industry moved toward a change in the way fashion is consumed. Treating craft and community on par with the style quotient is one notable step toward a better future for fashion.
Stella McCartney is distinguished for her inclination toward vegan fashion. She has spearheaded the sustainable luxury fashion movement offering vegan-friendly accessories and cozy sweaters made from regenerated cashmere and wool from the herd of sheep that she raises consciously on her farms.
A brand revered for its swimwear, Mara Hoffman's redirection towards sustainable sourcing of materials adds more value to the flattering feminine swimwear. Gabriela Hearst puts a purpose into every piece she designs for socialites. From evening-ready gowns to meticulously tailored trousers, her signature pieces are consciously designed using luxurious fabrics.
As the name suggests, rotational wardrobe must-haves at Harvest & Mill are made from organically grown cotton sourced from farmers in the USA who practice innovative regenerative agricultural practices. The brand consciously looks at reducing the impact of its manufacturing with in-house mills, designing, and sewing.
Amour Vert follows the concept of the circular economy by putting headstock fabric to use. The brand collaborates with American forests to plant trees and has set up its own pre-loved clothing resale marketplace called ReAmour. It follows operations mindfully through the entire lifestyle of the outfit—from the fibers used to production processes, how the workforce is treated, and ensuring no piece of clothing ends up in the landfill.
A frontline player in the sustainable luxury market, Nanushka is a vegan-friendly brand known for creating cruelty-free faux-leather outfits and buttery soft textured vegan bags. The clothing line is crafted from mindfully sourced materials like cupro, organic cotton and TENCEL.
Sustainability in fashion sensibilities has become one of the most important components of a well-curated closet. Established and emerging designers are tapping into lost arts and crafts, rendering even couture in natural dyes and locally sourced fabric to translate their vision of magnificence. Consumers are considering the provenance of every designer ensemble that they invest in. With the inclination turning from trendy to timeless, the forces of fashion are directing their production toward elements that promise everlasting flair.
As future-proof fashion becomes an ideal direction to head towards, emerging brands need a set-up that works towards a better planet than just a fashion quotient.