There is strong evidence that the fashion industry is turning a corner. The newest State of Fashion 2018 Report co-authored by BOF and McKinsey foresees a new sense of optimism in an industry plagued by uncertainty.
The McKinsey Global Fashion Index – one of the studies behind the report - forecasts industry sales growth to nearly triple between 2016 and 2018, from 1.5 percent to between 3.5 to 4.5 percent. And while there will be notable disruptions in this ever-growing industry (for the first time in 2018 sales of apparel and footwear in emerging markets will exceed those in the West) and massive shifts in consumer behaviour (such as the increasing adoption of digital), the two organisations have acknowledged sustainability as a key trend in this report – and we at Redress are feeling optimistic too.
The report identifies that sustainability will evolve from its existing menu of marketing-focused CSR initiatives to an integral part of the planning system where circular economy principles are embedded throughout the value chain. More fashion brands will plan for recyclability from the fibre stage of the supply chain and many will harness sustainability through tech innovation in order to unlock efficiency, transparency, mission orientation and genuine ethical upgrades.
Redress Founder & Board Chair, Christina Dean recently commented in a recent interview with Hong Kong Tatler’s Generation-T on the future of the fashion and retail industry, “The fashion world's ethical barometers are now switched on and that's why we're seeing an overarching yearning for positive change. There are activists all over the fashion industry - from those trying to reduce fashion's negative environmental impact, those championing better working conditions for fashion models - as well as for garment workers - to those using fashion to champion feminist action.” She added, “Hope is now sewn into the core of fashion.”
She continued, “This groundswell of hope is also coming into retail; buyers are responding and I think we'll see more ethically, considered and consciously design-driven collections reach consumers. To achieve this on the retail floor, retailers will be looking to offer more curated, exclusive and considered and sustainable collections, which respond to the huge increase in ethical consumerism and reflect a 'back to basic' love of fashion. We'll be seeing much more heart and soul, as an antidote to the blatantly unsustainable consumption of poorly made clothing that we've witnessed, and become exhausted by, over recent years.
The future of fashion is full of hope, collaboration and care and I can't wait to see it all come to life,” Christina summarised.
We also recommend checking out the recent Business of Fashion Voices conference, which punctuates the report through the voices of leaders across the world.