By Grace Skehan
With the Rana plaza building collapse in Bangladesh still in the minds of consumers, sustainable fashion and corporate brand image are influencing the fashion trends of 2015. Whilst leather will be a part of both the summer and winter apparel collection this year, high end brands and designers such as Stella McCartney, Gucci, Puma and Vivienne Westwood are looking at sourcing from sustainably managed forests, using biodegradable and recycled plastics, fur free products and vegetable faux fur substitutes. While these brands are still only stocking a specific ethical product line, the rest of their products are leaving much to be desired.
Sustainable fashion is slowly appearing in mainstream line with H&M being the first company to launch a global garment collective. They have also introduced a “conscious collection” and last year were the largest users of organic certified cotton in the world. This year they aim to use 100% renewable energy in all their stores, offices and warehouses, however as commendable as this is, it can be questioned what H&M is doing to “slow fashion down”. Other brands such as Levi Strauss & Co are making better attempts to slow fashion down by producing quality long lasting garments, while also reducing the amount of water used in the production stage.
This year’s major ethical fashion events include; Eco-Fashion week in Vancouver, Fashion Revolution day events in 68 different countries and the Redress Eco-fashion and Textiles Conference in Raleigh NC. With a range of events, the 2015 catwalk will include simple designs and pure colours for “slow fashion” garments and upcycled garments with quirkier designs and brighter colours. This year’s range has something for the guilty corporate individual and the conscious consumer as the movement continues to grow around the world.