Let's Talk Sustainability: Trends, Materials & Conscious Design


Sustainability is an increasingly relevant topic in our society – after all, our planet is already suffering from the devastating consequences caused by the various existing industries. The fashion industry is no exception: currently the fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, second only to the oil sector. Many materials have an impact not only on their disposal, but also on their production - the apparel industry accounts for around 32 million tons of the 57 million tons of polyester used each year.


Alternatives to traditional materials such as leather are increasingly being created, however, they are not always sustainable: for example, the infamous vegan leather is made from petroleum and, despite not being of animal origin, has plastic in its composition – which means that its decomposition can take centuries to happen.


Currently, the wave of sustainability has been focusing on the “greenwashing” practiced by companies – which means that something is sustainable without the product actually being sustainable. Therefore, looking for alternatives that bring less damage to the environment, many brands and designers have been using materials that are of natural origin. More and more, fabric bags are being created. More sustainable materials such as hemp, raffia and linen are increasingly being used. Totes made from canvas and organic fabrics of cotton or other plant origins are becoming popular, and alternatives to vegan materials made from plastic are being considered more often then not.


In fashion, there is also a wave of popularity hitting vintage items – thrifting and up cycling clothes and accessories is becoming increasingly popular, as these are alternatives to the usual pattern of consumption. This way of life is also reflected in people's style: accessories with retro looks or vintage materials are becoming increasingly popular. It is common to find floral prints that resemble upholstery, or that have a design that appears to be vintage.


Understanding how sustainability operates and influences the sector is essential. It is necessary that your products follow the development of technologies and designs that are being developed. In fashion, many materials and products can become obsolete after a while – so it is necessary to be responsible when creating a design. To learn more about how to develop products that respect the environment, contact us and schedule your consultation today.