A guest post by Natalie Wilson
Fashion is a constantly changing industry, and it’s not always just the style of clothes. Fashion has never been as lucrative as in the past few years, and with designers now offering collaborations with streetwear, the prices are rising in the industry. Sourcing materials, ethical practices and brand values have now become an interest to shoppers, and brands are now making a conscious effort to highlight their ethos. Here’s a look at some of the most significant changes in the fashion industry you should look out for in 2019.
The manufacturing of materials is now something ethical brands are looking to change. Conventionally, a business would locate the most affordable manufacturer and prioritise price over ethics, to gain the most profit. However, recent years are beginning to show that more and more customers are looking for brands that pay all levels of the supply chain fairly and make sure the brand is using a sustainable process during the manufacturing process. As more people look closer at how a brand operates.
This can fall back slightly onto customer wanting to shop brands that pay fair wages to all levels. However, sourcing materials can vary between brands, and it can make massive changes to the environment. Organic cotton is a prime example of something everyone needs to start shopping for; it’s naturally grown rather than chemically enhanced to speed up growth, which is hazardous to the land and locals working on the cotton farms.
Another way to help with sourcing is to choose high-quality materials from local countries. Luxury belts, for example, are sourced from Italy and Spain, then manufactured in the UK. The logistics of sourcing natural materials can help when it comes to transportation and the environmental factors of unnecessary pollution.
The final and most crucial sourcing area is sports brands that are starting to use recycled plastic in their fabrics rather than sourcing new. This helps to reduce the pollution in the oceans and the way we currently view ‘one use’ plastics. Brands like Adidas offer a range that is created with recycled fabrics which in turn, means less impact on the other material options such as cotton, if the demand is reduced, the need to chemically speed up the growth isn’t required.
With a large number of big brands reporting massive profits annually, you can’t help but wonder where the money goes. More and more brands are beginning to find passion projects and offering donations to different charities to help add balance. Not only is it good for the charities being funded, but it will also encourage consumers to shop with that brand knowing it isn’t just hoarding profits. It might be 10% of profits or 25% of overall revenue; in any case, it’s a brand giving back to the environment.
Patagonia is an example of an outdoor brand that continually donates to the preservation of wildlife and rural areas. It’s a philosophy Patagonia has always had which makes the brand even better to shop for it’s this type of business that has created the ethical practice for others to follow.
Recently in the streetwear industry, brands with more profound thoughts have been highlighted for their impacts on fashion. CHNGE is an example of a casual clothing brand that offers designs that are trying to battle racism, empower feminism and create a more harmonious world to live in. With all the hatred of appearance and differences, more brands want to make everyone feel comfortable and safe. Other brands target a more political agenda which is also a streetwear trend.
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