In an age of easy and fast consumption, the majority are quick to overlook eco-friendly garments in favour of more accessible fast fashion pieces. Nevertheless, for some, quality garments are worth the investment, and in recent years sustainable fashion has enjoyed a newfound popularity amongst a growing market of conscious consumers. Sustainability is a rising trend, breaking its way into the highly competitive fashion market, but to what do we owe this pleasure?
The Power of Celebrity Endorsement
It’s no secret that trends in the world of fashion are heavily impacted by celebrities, with social media only fuelling our fascination with the lavish lifestyles of the well-off. Considering their influence over consumer behaviour, it becomes hugely beneficial for the sustainable fashion movement to garner the support of those in the spotlight.
Branded as an “ethical fashion icon”, there are few better than Emma Watson to advocate eco-fashion. From partnering with the fair trade fashion brand People Tree to dedicating an Instagram account towards the endorsement of sustainable brands, Watson is very much vocal in her support of living a greener lifestyle. The actress is not alone in her endorsement of sustainable fashion with the likes of Olivia Wilde and Gwyneth Paltrow, among other familiar faces, also taking a proactive approach towards the promotion of environmentally concious fashion.
Actress and Model Olivia Wilde partnered with H&M for the release of their “conscious collection” featuring a range of stylish yet sustainable clothing pieces. Similarly Gwyneth Paltrow has collaborated with the likes of Stella McCartney and Ecoalf in the production of eco-friendly fashion lines. It is this dedication to the promotion of conscious consumption which largely contributes towards the popularisation of a once very much niche fashion movement.
The Rise of Green Living
Filled with ditsy florals and playful polka dots, the Instagram feed of sustainable boutique Reformation is very much comparable to that of any other trending fast fashion favourite. However, don’t let appearances fool you as Reformation prides itself on being “the most sustainable option”- after being naked that is – providing customers with fashion forward garments made from all sustainable materials. By adapting to seasonal style trends the conscious fashion label has amassed 1 million Instagram followers and captured the attention of fashion front runner Vogue.
Through their social media marketing strategy, brands like Reformation contribute towards changing the bland image many still hold of sustainable fashion, proving eco-friendly fashion is far from shapeless garments in neutral tones. Consumption patterns are largely determined by seasonal trends and for a movement such as slow fashion to compete within the fast paced fashion industry it is essential to consider the mainstream.
However it’s not just the demand for sustainable fashion which is on the rise, but a budding desire by many to lead increasingly ‘green’ lives . The “vegan” hashtag on Instagram has amassed over 64 million posts, with eco-friendly practices such as capsule wardrobes and minimalism enjoying a similar rise in popularity in recent years. This shift towards an appreciation for less has greatly contributed towards the rising interest in sustainable textiles and ethically produced fashion.
Is Fast Fashion Slowing Down?
In 2011 fast fashion retailer H&M proved their commitment to sustainability with the release of a “conscious collection”; a clothing line promoting garments produced from sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester. Featuring a number of elegant pieces, amongst wardrobe basics, the H&M conscious line succeeded in combining style and sustainability all while maintaining an affordable price range.
While H&M has arguably made the boldest moves in advocating sustainability in fashion, high street giants such as Zara and Marks & Spencer also make efforts to incorporate organic materials into clothing, with M&S being crowned as “the UK’s most ethical high street clothing retailer” by Ethical Consumer Magazine.
What is the reason for this shift?
The implementation of eco-friendly fashion practices on the high street can be linked to increased consumer demand for environmentally conscious clothing. With social media consistently generating top trendsetters, the modern day fashion industry also relies on its consumers, it therefore becomes a necessity for brands to keep up to date with the latest clothing craze. Sustainable fashion is blooming from niche to norm and clothing retailers face pressure to enforce environmentally friendly practices while adopting a greater degree of transparency in manufacturing processes.
Whether our high street is capable of embracing green principles in their entirety is uncertain, however for us consumers the change can happen today:
Shop a wide range of eco-friendly boutiques here on Modafirma. Take a look at our top sustainable fashion and accessory picks below.