Sustainable Fashion

Top 7 Sustainable Fashion Trends You Should Know About In 2020


There are certain sustainable fashion trends taking the world by storm right now, in 2020.

It’s no longer a secret that the fashion industry has a large carbon footprint.

Moreover, these are times of mass production and garments designed to be worn for a season only.

But, in response to these problems, fashion innovators are rising, once again, to the occasion.

Here are seven favourite sustainable fashion trends doing mother earth justice, now in 2020.

1. Upcycling Fashion

Emily Bode FW 2020 collection

The upcycling trend is transforming the entire fashion industry, from manufacturing to design.

Upcycling in fashion has also changed the way fashion consumers view the clothes they buy and wear.

In part, it is a design philosophy that has inspired fashion creators such as BODE and Tremblepierre to rethink the garments they create.

In simple terms, upcycling refers to taking used products to turn them into valuable materials for fashion.

The product made from such rescued materials has a second life, often as a new and better (or more valued) fashion product.

Upcycling is always possible, even after wearing a garment for a long time, to a point of destruction.

For example, an old, totally distressed pair of jeans can have a second life, in the shape of a denim tote.

Also, imagine a dress you don’t see yourself wearing again, and see if it can be transformed into a blouse and a skirt.

The possibilities with upcycling are endless.

2. Cruelty-free Materials

Vegan's guide for Peace silk

Most people see cruelty-free and veganism as the same. However, this is not the case.

Despite what most vegans believe, some animal products can be produced in cruelty-free ways.

For example, ‘peace silk’ and ‘cruelty-free wool’ are products of animal origin, yet, obtained without harming animals.

That is unlike animal leather, where the animals are killed for their skins.

More than that, cruelty-free materials and products are often far more sustainable than their vegan counterparts.

Stella McCartney, Mara Hoffman, and even Allbirds are some of the most loved sustainable fashion brands, using cruelty-free materials in their collections.

And, let’s not forget that cruelty-free materials are natural and thus, do not require frequent washing – less detergent, less water consumption = more eco-friendly than anything out there.

3. Renting and Secondhand Fashion

Secondhand online fashion

Collaborative consumption is, for sure, one of the most powerful trends in sustainable fashion, right now.

Over the past few years, second-hand shops and renting platforms have become the to-go destinations for young conscious fashion lovers.

New generations of fashion lovers are increasingly interested in finding pieces that no one else can have.

Uniqueness and originality are highly praised by them and this approach expands even to once in a lifetime events such as getting married.

Markets such as Kilts n Stuff, who emphasises on renting garments for occasions like weddings, is a great example of this fast-growing trend.

Moreover, second-hand shopping and renting are excellent alternative ways to help the planet while finding unique clothing.

4. Vegan Leather Revolution

vegan leather made from pinatexVegan leather innovation is one of the most popular sustainable fashion trends.

The material is loved not only by vegans as it does not require the killing of animals but also by those who care about the planet.

One of the most popular vegan leather materials is Pinatex.

This plant-based leather-like material is made from discarded pineapple leaves.

The material is extremely resistant, reliable, and has a fabulous look.

Innovative vegan leather alternatives are preferred by conscious fashion lovers as it makes them feel good, knowing that no animals were harmed for their boots, bags, and ‘leather’ jackets.

Also, vegan leather alternative presents a great benefit for the planet as it slows intensive animal agriculture – known to be a significant source of greenhouse gases.

5. Custom-made Fashion

Mara Hoffman sustainable designer fashion

Slow fashion movement is growing popular, as one of the most effective sustainable fashion trends.

As a result, custom-made clothing and artisanal fashion are making a return, as top alternatives to mass-produced fast fashion.

Research shows that customers are ten times more likely to hold onto a new jacket or dress if it was custom made for them.

Custom-made clothing, as opposed to mass production, saves raw materials and yields clothing of higher quality, designed to last.

Moreover, today’s consumers have seemingly endless choices.

Hence, customisation is increasingly appealing.

The trend is helped by the development of innovative technologies, such as 3d printing and virtual fashion, signals a promising future for custom clothing.

6. Recycled Textile from Plastics

Adidas Parley upcyled sneakers

The advent of recycled textile in fashion has been lead, most notably, by Adidas.

In one historic collaboration, the sportswear giant has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit organisation fighting to clean the planet’s oceans from plastic.

The duo has collected plastic waste from the oceans and turned it into textiles that were used to make new Adidas shoes.

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The recycled textiles from plastics is a trend that’s keeping our oceans clean, and our marine life thriving.

7. Organic Materials

Innovative Materials---plastic-replacements-in-fashion-industry

Although fashion is has been using natural materials such as organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo, for ages, recent material innovation has taken this trend to the next level.

One such innovative material is Celloluse, a coconut-based fabric that requires much lesser water and land to be produced.

Another interesting material is the leather-like structure made from kombucha tea.

The realm of innovative materials created at the intersection of biology with technology is very new but very promising at the same time.

Finally, with the help of biology, we can create the perfect ‘leather’, right in the lab.

Fully biodegradable (because it is already tanned to the colour desired by the buyer), these materials are reducing waste and are entirely eco-friendly.


There’s no future of fashion without having sustainability at the forefront of all endeavours.

Using technology to create a better future and a better world is the way forward.

Yet, without you, fashion lovers, not much can change so choose wisely, choose smart.

Wonder what’s coming next in the world of fashion?

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The past decade has been turbulent – and defining – for fashion: child labour, climate crisis, gender inequality, animal cruelty, and reckless plastic pollution, just to name a few.

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