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With the fashion industry going through upheaval in 2020, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the conversations being held by many fashion executives have shifted from volume to sustain. This year we are seeing sweeping reforms in factory management, labor laws, supply chains, and considerable investments in sustainable textiles. With emission produced by the industry set to rise for the 3rd straight year, urgent action needs to be enforced. Below we will be looking at some of the major trends we are going to be seeing within the industry as it moves to be cleaner, greener, and more inclusive.

1. Circular Fashion

Circularity, the movement towards materials being used again and again within the industry, is a trend that is taking off in a major way this year. We are likely to see attempts to scale-up new recycling technologies, such as the H&M-backed Green Machine, or Adidas’s circular products ranging from sneakers to activewear. There is still a long way to go for fashion to be truly circular, though, with the Global Fashion Agenda reporting that brands only met 64 percent of their circularity targets for 2020.

2. Reuse and Repair

Reusing clothes has never been more popular amongst Gen Z and Millenniums. With Covid-19 virtually stopping all forms of social gatherings, the need to buy new clothes is not a priority anymore. More and more of us are digging into our closets and re-wearing clothes, deconstructing them to make new outfits, and repairing clothes that were intended for the bin. New fashion tech startups have received massive growth in 2020 to help the reuse, repair movement. Startups such as Brazil’s Repassa and the UK-based Sojo App cater for used clothes and local seamstresses respectively.

3. Bio-based Materials

The introduction of new sustainable materials into the market has resulted in the boom of organic clothing. From cactus leather, pineapple leather, Linen, and rose petal silks we are seeing an increase in sustainable materials entering mainstream shopping sites and platforms. The biggest challenge is scaling these technologies without damaging the environment.

4. Social Impact

With the pandemic shining a light on the treatment of textile workers, local artisans, and social projects, social impact is an area that brands will have to improve on. Increasing consumer concern with the environment means there’s more pressure on brands to share information about their suppliers, their environmental impact, and measures they’re taking to ensure ethical working conditions, fair wages, and sustainable growth.

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