3 Major Trends in Sustainable Fashion to Expect in 2024

3 Major Trends in Sustainable Fashion to Expect in 2024

Increased Regulation, Mainstream Adoption of More Sustainable Materials, and the Rise of On-Demand Fashion 

It’s 2024 and the sustainable fashion industry still has a long way to grow to show real gains in the fight against environmental pollution from fast fashion. 

We have yet to see a significant reduction in the near 10% of annual global carbon emissions caused by the fashion industry, stemming from garment production sourced from dirty fossil fuels like coal and crude oil, supply chain transportation emissions, chemical dyes added to fabrics that harm our skin and contaminate our groundwater, and high volumes of water consumption within fashion operations.

But change is afoot. This year will see new sustainability trends that will shape the future of fashion while, finally, reducing environmental impact and encouraging more responsible consumption. 

Here are three biggest trends you can expect to continue in the fashion industry in 2024. 

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1. Increased Regulation & Legislation for Sustainable Fashion Practices   
For centuries, Europe has maintained its position as the global leader in the fashion and luxury industry. Cities like Paris, Milan, and London are renowned for their influence in the world of high-end fashion. Last month, the European Union banned the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear, setting a new precedent for the industry and standard for sustainable fashion to build off of and encourage other countries to follow around the world. In September, the EU also introduced legislation to crackdown on greenwashing, the practice of businesses making generic environmental claims and falsely presenting products as sustainable when they are not. 

The US currently lags behind when it comes to regulating sustainable fashion practices, but will likely feel the pressure to raise its standards amid growing concerns over climate change impacts being felt across the US. 

2. Mainstream Adoption of Sustainable Fashion Materials
Eco-conscious consumer shoppers are changing the game by supporting the cause of sustainable fashion with their wallets--and brands are paying attention. In 2024, expect to see many of your favorite fashion brands continue to adopt increasingly sustainable options.

You can expect to see brands roll out more circular practices like repair, resale and rental of products. Additionally, you’ll find increasing use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials in products, ranging across gold standards like organic cotton, hemp, Tencel, and recycled fibers to new, alternative materials like mushroom leather (mycelium), pineapple leather (Piñatex), and yes, even seaweed.

3. The Rise of On-Demand Fashion 
The most concerning problem in the fashion industry is that of overproduction, with as much as 10 to 45 percent of all clothing created remaining unsold (known as a term called ‘dead stock’). Retailers continue to operate on a legacy system of predicting what customers will purchase. However, on-demand manufacturing offers a more modern approach and solution to adopt. Brands are starting to experiment with made-to-order models and 3D technology to make clothes on demand, eliminating the need to overproduce garments (and the emissions attached to them).

Looking Ahead: The Future of Fashion
It’s clear that the world is ready for the fashion industry to move toward a more sustainable and responsible model that considers environmental and social impacts by integrating planet-friendlier practices. What can you do to help? Keep raising awareness of the need for sustainable fashion and demand that the brands you shop at embrace more viable practices to drive change within the industry.

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