Sustainable Fashion during the Pandemic

15 Feb 2022

2020. The year where a virus broke out and a global pandemic arrived. The unfortunate circumstances certainly took a toll on many industries worldwide. One of them is the fashion industry. Whether it affected them positively or negatively, you must read on to find out!

Though many businesses had to close and had a hard time coping with the impact, there are some ways the fashion industry was affected positively by the pandemic. During the pandemic, there was a rise in awareness of environmental issues. More people were aware that many fashion brands were fast fashioned and emit a lot of carbon emissions. In 2020, many people still needed to clear out their wardrobes. 

Consequently, an increased sum of secondhand clothes and preloved items became sold and bought online. Furthermore, unsold garments were put to good use by brands who recycled the abandoned fabric to make new pieces. A sequin dress made from recycled material designed by Phillip Lim and Charlotte McCurdy is the epitome of the previous statement. Since sequins are not cost-effective to the environment, ocean macroalgae substitute as the raw material instead; this allows for the dress to be compostable and reduces carbon emissions.

Covid's heavy protocols forced fashion brands to postpone or digitalize their usual face-to-face showcases. Surprisingly, good came out of it – small brands received more acknowledgment for their digital showcases. Notable designers who created a spectacular digital showcase include Anyango Mpinga, Yifan Pu, and Anifa Mvuemba.

Not only was awareness towards sustainable fashion increased but also awareness towards ethical fashion. Campaigns with the hashtag #PayUp forced some brands to "pay up" after canceling orders and cutting down the salaries of workers in Bangladesh. In addition to that, more women of color gained access to training and were able to be one step closer to their fashion career dream.

While the pandemic has proved to be a tough time for the world, it has also raised awareness of the ethical, social, and environmental issues surrounding the fashion industry – in fact, even beyond that!

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