Over the past few days I've been thinking about what can I blog about. For those of you who have never blogged know that coming up with ideas for blogs is very difficult. For me. Especially when you want to focus it around sustainable clothes, sustainable fashion and so on. But with it being Christmas eve and our eyes and minds are starting to cast themselves into 2021 and what the year ahead might bring. I thought I would do the same, but with a twist. What will 2021 hold for sustainable clothing brands, based on my observations.
Growth in sustainable clothing brands
The first thing 2021 holds, I believe, is a growing number of sustainable clothing brands. Currently in the market is you’re looking for sustainably sourced and made clothing, then you will end up seeing two types of ‘shops’.
One similar to Dzihic, a clothing brand trying to make a name for itself and carve out some of the market that might be interested in it. There are a handful of these types and it isn’t difficult to see that each focus on their own style while being unified by this idea of ‘sustainability’ in the fashion industry. These types of shops, granted we are bias, are great because they are tied to an intangible brands that as long as things move in the right direction will always be there.
The second type of ‘shop’ which also falls under the ‘sustainable clothing brand’ umbrella but isn’t a standard brand is the clothing brands of individuals. What do I mean by this? These brands are those linked to an individual, the brand isn’t the clothes as such but instead the brand is the person and they happen to be selling sustainable clothes because that is where their passion is. What puts these at an advantage compared to a ‘standard’ brand like Dzihic is that people get to know the individual behind their brand. They can connect on a level standard brands struggle to do, or at least in a short amount of time.
Over 2021 I believe we will actually start seeing an increase in both of these types of sustainable brands. There will be people who will search for sustainable clothes and will find that no brand connects to what they are looking for. So they will start their own, some will take the route of Dzihic and set-up a brand that emphasise the clothes and the brand itself. While others will be comfortable being the brand themselves and will use themselves as the medium to get sustainable clothes into the market.
Segmentation of brands
Looking for ‘sexy’ clothes? Go to Ann-Summers. Looking for sporty clothes? Go to Gym Shark or Adidas. Clothing for hiking clothes? Go Patagonia. My point? Market segmentation happens.
It will also happen in the sustainable clothing market. It will happen slowly over 2021 but I believe it will happen. Why? Because I have already considered it. One segment I would love to tackle is the sporting environment. A lot of the clothes used are made with plastic based materials, polyester, which is what we term as ‘none-sustainable’. I.E it doesn’t biodegrade easily. It is a plastic after all. So being able to offer an alternative that has the same properties as sporting clothes, tight for circulation, doesn’t retain moisture and helps with general performance would be amazing. But we’re not there yet, but know that is the dream one day…
Nevertheless, the point being, we will see a segmentation within the sustainable clothing market. We might start to see sustainable clothing brands focusing on outdoor wear or maybe even just focusing on one material. Who knows.
One big segmentation I believe we will see is my next point, I.E sustainable clothing brands focusing on lower prices.
Sustainable clothing and ethical clothing has a reputation of being expensive. And in some cases it isn’t a surprise. Those that work on the fields to pick the cotton, or whatever sustainable material is used, need to be paid a good living. It is then sent to a factory that will need to have proper worker right and follow ethical certification. This again adds a premium. They will then supply this to a brand who will then add on their premium. So by the time it reaches the customer. It has three premiums added on top inflating the price.
But, logistics is becoming leaner and general standards in supplier nations are increasing. The net result being that those premiums are being less substantial. Meaning that sustainable clothing brands can offer their customer lower prices without comprising their moral and ethical standards. That is certainly the case with Dzihic. Due to our suppliers being local British suppliers, our overheads are a lot lower that others. Because of this we are able to offer sustainable clothes which, although expensive compared to fast fashion clothes, is relatively inexpensive compare to other similar brands.
What do I mean by ‘established brands’? Do I mean that existing companies will become established and cement their name in the market? Maybe, but that’s not quite what I mean by this point.
What I mean here is that already established companies like ASOS, Next and so on will enter the men's sustainable clothing market. We are already seeing this in fact. Establish fashion players are wising up to the fact that consumers, both new and old, are becoming more environmentally conscious. They will buy less of one thing if it means that it supports the wider environment and world. And this is true with clothing. Yes, shops like Primark are doing amazingly well despite producing clothes that are worn for a week and thrown out. But over the next 5-10 years we will see them change. They will have to.
Everyday doomsday like headlines are fed into people. Wildfires in Australia and California are destroying wildlife and droughts across the world mean local fishing communities are going without. This all feeds into our wider consciousness of the environment and will impact consumer trends. And it is because of this, I believe that big business in fashion will adapt.
So, these are the trends I believe we will see in the sustainable clothing industry and as a whole in the fashion world. Will I be right? Well only time will tell I guess.