Trends are inherently a negative thing. Not in terms of your ever-growing wardrobe, but when you consider their environmental impact. Because when you invest in fast fashion's latest fad, you're guaranteeing a short lifespan followed by an incredibly long death on a landfill site. But a new trend is putting a positive spin on things and its name is sustainable fashion.
According to fashion search engine Lyst, searches for sustainable fashion increased by 66 percent in 2018. Fashion lovers spent the year searching for things like "ethical brands", "organic cotton", and "sustainable denim" as well as more niche designs such as "Econyl". (For those not in the know, Econyl is a fabric made from recycled fishing nets and other waste taken from the ocean and landfills.)
One way of shopping ethically is to buy vintage. Giving a second home to a once-loved garment won't harm the environment and may not even do serious damage to your bank balance if you purchase smartly. However, if you're not a fan of scouring through resale sites, a few brands are offering modern sustainability on tap.
Whether you're looking for eco-friendly swimwear to show off on Instagram or 100 percent vegan trainers, these new releases have got it all and more.
If you really want to boast about your eco-fashion credentials, look to Mercer Amsterdam. The Dutch footwear brand has just unveiled a trainer made from pineapples. Yes, you did read that right. Entitled the W3RD Vegan Pineapple, the shoe uses a leather alternative, Pinatex, that is made from sustainably-sourced pineapple leaves.
The company is billing the trainer as the first luxury sneaker to use the innovative material. Pinatex's manufacturing process is also ethically-minded. When tanned, no damaging chemicals or animal byproducts are used. The method also requires little water and results in little waste, claims the brand.
Even the lining of the shoes is vegan, having been crafted from a 100 percent breathable microfibre fabric. According to Mercer Amsterdam, this will ensure comfort and reduce any sweating sensations.
Understandably, the trainers don't come cheap. You can preorder a pair for €250 (approximately £214) and expect a delivery at the end of April.
Weekday x Recover
Swedish high street brand Weekday is the place to go for affordable minimalistic pieces. And those who have been trying to add a sense of ethics into their wardrobe will be fully into the label's latest collaboration. Teaming up with Spanish upcycling company Recover, Weekday has released a 100 percent recycled collection.
Each piece has a distinct utility feel with neutral-hued co-ords, kimono-style jackets, and a retro backless denim dress perfect for spring-to-summer days. The collection is essentially magic. The denim isn't normal denim. Instead, it's a heavyweight woven cotton. A lighter knitted version was used to craft the other designs.
Both materials are the result of an environmentally-friendly process. As Refinery29 explains, cotton waste was separated by colour (to avoid unnecessary dyeing), shredded, and mixed with recycled polyester which was made from recycled PET plastic bottles. Buying into the collection means you will have taken a small step to save the ocean, reduce landfill waste, and cut back on energy, chemical, and water usage.
You can shop the styles online and in select Weekday stores. Prices range from £45 to £140. Sizes available in XS to L (equivalent to a UK 6 to 18).
Solid & Striped
The weather may be interchangeable right now, but no doubt you're thinking about your next holiday. And that jet-setting trip is likely to involve sun, sea, and sand. What I'm trying to say is you're going to be in the market for some new swimwear.
Solid & Striped is the brand to turn to for sustainable bikinis and swimsuits. Founded in 2012, it has been making designs from a form of recycled plastic, Econyl, for years. In fact, 78 percent of each swimwear piece features the fabric, reducing the brand's carbon footprint by up to 80 percent, reports Vogue.
Its under-the-radar aesthetic is only just coming to light thanks to a spate of celebrities donning its looks. (Think Alexa Chung, Gigi Hadid, and a bunch of Victoria's Secret models.) If you get on board right now, you'll be one of the first to try out the brand's new styles. There's racing flag checks, vintage leopard print looks, and lace-up denim-like pieces. Plus so many classic hues for the minimalists out there.
Pick up a set for just over €180 (around £154). Available in UK size 4 to 16.