The year 2020 has been an intense rollercoaster ride defined by a wide variety of unfortunate events. From the outbreak of a pandemic to calls for a declaration of a climate crisis, and so on. This year has undoubtedly forced us to rethink our lifestyle choices in major ways. More than that, it has affected countless industries, none more so than fashion companies.
Running out of Thread
Some might argue that the fashion industry is quite possibly on the verge of collapse. Under the context of the pandemic, many places chose to implement lockdowns which led to drastic drops in in-store sales for buying clothes and accessories. Although many people turned to online shopping, out of a lack of options, online clothing sales were still less than satisfactory. More people chose to buy household goods and other utilities over apparel.
As for the matter of the climate crisis, the global nature of the fashion industry makes them one of the most notable contributors to pollution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that the fashion industry produces 10% of the global carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Moreover, concerns regarding chemical waste and microplastics have also been on the rise. Fast fashion, specifically, has been identified as one of the significant causes. People who want to keep up with the latest trends that change overnight dispose of clothes at the blink of an eye.
Out with the Old, In with the New
From manufacturing to distribution, radical changes have to be made in order to mitigate the environmental impacts of fashion and make them more sustainable. However, consumers also have a crucial part to play in changing the culture of fashion. Yes, that means all of us. Fashion is a powerful outlet for showing off an individual’s personality. However, along with the fundamental changes this year has produced, there are now more cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly alternatives in which we can flaunt ourselves through our clothing.
Often, one of the simplest ways in which we can make a huge difference is already staring straight at us. Old clothing is usually just thrown away when a new trend comes along which is why fast fashion produces so much waste. The next time you decide to hop on the latest fashion trend, instead of overhauling your entire closet, why not try to upcycle your pre-loved clothes?
Redesigning clothes is easier than people think. Especially with all the available tools and technology at our disposal. And, who knows, you might even find yourself starting a new business venture once you’ve explored the wonderful world of upcycling.
For instance, shirts, or even ones with minimal design on them, are the perfect blank canvasses. Just buy yourself a couple of different dyes and some twine, you’ll have a tie-dye shirt in no time. Perfect for a retro, psychedelic outfit. If you want more elaborate designs, you could also visit some silk screen printing shops for those statement pieces that you won’t get anywhere else.
Customizing shoes is also a trend that’s been on the rise. With all the free time this pandemic has provided, why not hone in on your artistic tendencies? Grab a paintbrush, some paint, and just let loose on your old shoes. Even something as easy as cutting and sewing old flannels, jeans, or skirts could go a long way. Your closet is your oyster, and its pearls are scattered all over the place.
Something New, Something Borrowed
Honestly, with the coronavirus lockdown, there isn’t really much reason for any of us to dress up. Except, maybe when you want to post something cute on social media. Many fashion leads have noticed that some consumers purchase clothes only to show them off which makes physically owning the item excessive. This is where the idea of fashion consumption for the purpose of digital content comes into play, which is especially true for models, influencers, and various content creators.
The fashion industry recognizes the rising trend in people buying clothes, posing for social media, and never wearing them again after quite some time. This is specifically why certain clothing pop-ups have been created to serve as content creation studios. And the best part, you can choose to return or buy the clothes after using them. Clothing rental isn’t really a new concept, although, this idea simply caters to a specific market.
In line with this, the newer form of digital fashion is also beginning to gain some traction given the circumstances of the pandemic. If you’re familiar with purchasing skins in video games, digital fashion is something similar. Certain online stores now provide consumers with an option to choose from a selection of digital apparel. After which, the consumer uploads a photo of themselves, and the digital clothing is manipulated into place. Ready for sharing in an instant.
These lifestyle changes ranging from simple to innovative are just a couple of the ways in which we can help the fashion industry reconsider their approach and impact on our environment, and ourselves in the process. It all begins with us.