Trending Towards Sustainability: The Next Generation of Fashion

A woman bent over a sewing machine

Is sustainability really the new black? Fast fashion still saturates the design market and used textiles make up more than 34 billion pounds of waste, but a new wave of designers and consumers are embracing a greener approach to style. According to a 2020 McKinsey report, young consumers will “have completely new demands as to what it means to be an end-to-end sustainable brand.” Vogue also called sustainability a prospective “priority” for the industry, and technology and trendsetting innovation is advancing that direction at a rapid pace. Gen Z’s motivation to create and consume reflects this movement. 

“I envision the future of sustainable fashion being more accessible. From companies using more sustainable materials to thrifting, upcycling and reworked fashion; the knowledge of the true impacts of sustainable fashion need to be more accessible so it encourages others to make better choices when it comes to consumption,” remarks Tiana Day, a freshman at USC Iovine and Young Academy.

Day has seen the power of socially-responsible fashion first hand, sponsoring a young designer and activist’s journey to Paris Fashion Week this past October through her foundation, Youth Advocates For Change. The experience sparked a love of design. But making clothes isn’t just about being chic anymore, it’s about being conscious.

“​​I see the space of sustainable fashion in a current state of expansion and exploration due to the youth role in the media. There’s two sides I’ve seen – young people who are finding innovative approaches to fashion and fashion design because of their consciousness in sustainability and wanting to create an impact,” she adds. 

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