The fashion industry has two dominating seasons in a year: Spring/Summer (SS) and Fall/Winter (FW). For high-end luxury brands, SS runways take place during September the year prior, while FW fashion weeks happen in the following February, so that brands have enough time to gauge buyer interest and know which styles to produce. However, the fast-fashion industry operates a little differently, as it has the ability to turn around a look from runway to retail in two weeks and sell the same garments at unbelievably low prices. This allows brands to churn out 52 ‘micro’ collections a year, where there used to be just two – proving how trend-oriented and product-driven the industry is.
But when it comes to sustainable fashion, it’s all about creating long-lasting, timeless pieces that can be worn throughout the year. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be stylish at the same time, but it’s simply ‘slower’ and more ‘conscious’ in it’s production processes compared to traditional brands. In this article, we rounded-up the top trends for Spring / Summer 2020 and look at the main differences between mass-market and sustainable fashion brands.
From wearing lingerie beyond the bedroom to suiting up in tailored jackets, these are the top four trends that we’re likely to see in stores very soon…
1. Super Collars
With a nod to the ’70s, brands displayed blazers and jackets with an emphasis on the collars. Referred to as the ‘disco collars’, these are unusually wide with sharp angles that were pulled out from beneath the layered garments that are of a contrasting color. The bigger the collar, the better the look!
Talk about hand-crafted! As a reference to the slow, treasured skill, a few brands incorporated the crocheting technique in their garments with a fresh update. When done in a bright color and a playful form, it can be quite fun to wear on island-bound vacations. Let’s not forget it’s nostalgic appeal, reminding us of a time when the world wasn’t operated by advanced technology.
3. Polka Dots
Forget about stripes and plaids this season, the polka dots are back! Although it’s considered a staple print, it hasn’t had much relevance in fashion the last few seasons, until designers started making their own iterations to it – whether it be on blouses, dresses or skirts. It’s quite versatile too, as the dot can be played around with in so many different ways and colors.
4. Minty Fresh
This pistachio color trend was seen during FW19, but it’s back with a spring update. The color can be paired with other pastel colors or the saturated form of it’s own (like a forest green), as designers like Valentino and Gucci did. Whether you incorporate it in garments or accessories – it’s sure to give your wardrobe a fresh feel for the season.
Trends in sustainable fashion are more long-lasting and serve as guidelines for the entire year rather than specific seasons. Here’s what niche, ethical labels are looking at in 2020…
1. Androgynous Neutrals
It’s all about uni-sex clothes. Basic separates like loose trousers, oversized sweaters and baggy tees have always been popular, but they carry a more gender-neutral appeal when worn in simple tones like black, white & blue – especially since Pantone’s color of the year is ‘Classic Blue’, “instilling calm, confidence and connection”.
2. Upcycled Plastic
Since our planet is flooded with exorbitant amounts of single-use plastic, it’s no surprise brands have been taking the initiative of upcycling it into clothes. Technological advancements have made the process more accessible by high-street brands like Patagonia, Everlane, EcoAlf, Reformation and many more. The industry is also finding newer ways to incorporate textile waste in their collections while keeping a low carbon footprint.
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3. Cruelty-Free Bags
While an oversized bag is an essential, sustainable fashion brands continue to find new ways to create them using plant-based alternatives to leather – which is highly harmful and unethical to use. A few examples of natural leather sources are: pineapple leaves (Piñatex), mycelium fungus and grapes (as a by-product of wine production). Apart from leather, brands also choose to work with other biodegradable materials for their tote bags such as organic cotton, hemp and burlap.
4. Sense of Craft
In many communities around the world, traditional crafts are slowly becoming extinct, as newer generations are not interested in carrying it forward from their forefathers and newer machineries are making it easier to achieve the same result in shorter time-spans. This is why some brands, even mainstream, have begun taking references from cultural techniques and handicrafts.
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To conclude, mainstream fashion brands are more trend-oriented as they base their collections around silhouettes, features and prints that are more appropriate for the season – like neon colors, floral patterns, figure-hugging forms. On the other hand, sustainable fashion brands remain more effortless and minimalistic in their choice of colors and prints. The clothes are usually more timeless, functional and comfortable – not to mention, made of natural materials that have a better social & environmental impact.