Three important trends can be seen for the global fashion industry over the coming years. Firstly, fashion consumers are likely to grow increasingly tired of the mass-produced, fast-to-market and similar-looking fashion styles that dominate the market today. Instead, we are likely to see a rise in the demand for more personalized items of higher quality that are produced ‘on-demand’ (such as tailor-made, custom-made and bespoke items). ’Fashion on-demand’ has been identified as “the missing piece in the puzzle” already in 2013 but is now finally emerging on a broader scale. ‘Fashion on-demand’ implies that the customer can choose his/her preferred style, fabric, size and possible details from a range of pre-designed options, thus “co-creating” an item of choice before production. The store is essentially a showroom and the order would normally not take more than three weeks. With ‘fashion on-demand’, consumers are likely to develop greater emotional attachment to their garments and hold on to them for longer. On-demand production will also reduce the need for storage and the risk of over-production, thus minimizing textile waste, landfilling and incineration, as well as the use of virgin natural resources and the risk for adverse environmental impacts across the supply chain.
Another concept that will continue to grow in popularity over the coming years is ‘circular fashion’. Essentially, the concept ‘circular fashion’ combines the key theories of “sustainable fashion” with the notion of a “circular economy”, the latter which has accelerated in popularity over the last five years. (See for example the latest report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.) To learn more about circular fashion, its definition and origin, please see the online platform Circularfashion.com.
Finally, a third concept is now entering the fashion scene, i.e. the concept of ‘compassionate fashion’. While respect for workers, animals and the natural environment has always been at the core of the ethical fashion movement, the broader fashion industry is now opening up to a fundamental shift from simply being mindful to also feeling true compassion towards how people, animals and ecosystems are affected across the supply chain. This transition from mere consciousness to genuine compassion means that companies will begin to lead ‘from their hearts’ as opposed to simply ‘from their minds.’