Sustainable Fashion Trends to Look Out For in 2021

by Bhagya Rose

Sustainable fashion is no longer just a buzz word. Neither is it a passing fad. What was once a cool trend picked up by up and coming fashion influencers just to stay relevant and act responsible, is now a full blown fashion industry.

The numbers tell the same story. According to recent statistics the global ethical fashion market is expected to grow to USD $8.25 Billion by 2023, from USD $6.35 Billion in 2019. This projects a compound annual growth rate of 6.8%.

Clearly, sustainable fashion is no joke.
And let’s not forget the fiasco that was 2020. What with the BLM movement, the global warming induced extreme climate changes in many parts of the world, the bushfires in Australia, the #endSARS movements … and the multiple other unnoticed environmental issues in the world, people have realized that it is indeed time to take action.

Embracing the huge change that 2020 brought into our thought process, we are possibly looking into a refreshing new lease of life in fashion, where we can splurge on some guilt-free indulgence.

Here are the top 5 sustainable fashion trends to look out for in the year 2021.

Top 5 sustainable fashion trends of 2021


The capsule wardrobe

Sustainable fashion capsule wardrobe

Thanks to the global pandemic and the multiple lockdowns that were enforced across the world, the spending spree in fashion came to an all-time low. The work from home culture became a blessing for people when they realized they could literally live in sweatpants and joggers all day. And finally when the world effectively re-opened, people were left with little to no money to spend on fast fashion. As it is, nobody wanted to get out of their sweatpants and when they absolutely had to dress up, they always turned to their old gems. Moral of the story – you can still look dapper with the most basic of clothing pieces that you already have in your wardrobe. And there is no need to spend thousands of dollars to achieve a professional look.
Now it’s official, the capsule wardrobe has made its voice heard, and in good time.


sustainable fashion

If there was one thing that fashion bloggers went crazy with this year, it was the re-wearing or the re-purposing trend. One dress – 5 ways, one skirt – 10 ways, one shirt – 10 ways and many many more. It is a lot of fun, it doesn’t cost any extra money and it doesn’t involve too much wastage in terms of clothes or fabric. It’s a win-win-win situation. And it puts an end to the habit of wanting to wear a new outfit for every occasion.

Disruption in brands

sustainable brands

The fashion industry needless to say has grown by the billion over the years. Brands that once reigned supreme with some of their trademark prints and pieces are now no longer as “special”. When new, high quality brands with principles come by, it is no longer enough for brands to rely on their historical relevance.

Hence more and more mainstream popular fashion brands are turning to more sustainable ways of manufacture, with conscious collections, usage of eco-friendly fabrics and raw materials etc. Suffice it to say, brands, including high fashion brands are going through self-disruptive moves to stay in the game.

More colors

 ethical fashion colors

Ethical fashion has always been associated with neutral colors and boring plain silhouettes for some reason. Beiges, whites, greys and blacks have ruled the little space of conscious choices since forever. But now, designers are increasingly making bolder moves to bring some color into sustainable fashion and offer styles that are not only clean and safe, but also more fun and colorful.
In 2021, we will not just be seeing more colorful outfits in ethical fashion, but also more unique and interesting designs to suit the ever so dynamic generation of fashion lovers.

More inclusive and body positive principles

 body positivity inclusivity sustainable fashion

One of the best new trends spearheaded by the sustainable fashion movement, is the body positive movement. Slim is no longer the norm, fat is no longer shameful, too skinny is no longer a condition that needs treatment.
We don’t know how much of an impact the BLM movement had in fashion, but we’re definitely seeing more men and women of color modelling for beauty and fashion brands.
And these changes are more associated with sustainable clothing brands or sustainable collections launched by regular brands.

 sustainable fashion

Apart from the five trends mentioned here, people in general are moving towards more conscious choices in fashion. Pompous fashion shows have been stalled, extravagant spending is reduced, brands have become more transparent about their production methods. Here’s wishing for cleaner, greener and guilt free indulgence in fashion post 2020.

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