Lessons from 2022 and what to expect from the sustainable fashion sector in 2023

With increasing rates of climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation and water scarcity, the fashion industry is trying to transform itself into a sustainable niche. This industry-wide awareness stems from the knowledge that the fashion industry is one of the most significant contributors to pollution worldwide. Therefore, it is essential for the health of the planet that the fashion sector as a whole moves towards sustainable fashion.

The pandemic has changed the game. Although it was destructive in every sense of the word, it made people aware of their lifestyle. After the pandemic, people began to reevaluate their health and wellness and even began to question their role in maintaining the environment. This and the shift to working from home and flexible work formats have led people to favor size-inclusive, eco-friendly clothing that is comfortable and multi-functional.

Changes in 2021-22

In 2021 and 2022, there was a time of relief with the introduction of vaccines against COVID-19 and subsequent mass vaccination campaigns. This led to the re-opening of many markets and businesses that slowly started to come back to life. The fashion industry also reinvented itself and created innovative clothing, adapted to new lifestyles and incorporated new strategies for overall marketing. Much progress has been made, from product development to adopting new marketing techniques and redesigning market distribution.

These actions were really a preparation to overcome the uncertainty of the future that could affect the world of fashion. The end of 2021 witnessed both short-term and long-term developments in the industry. This development led to global fashion sales surpassing 2019 by almost 8%. While this was a win and earnings build for 2022, there were also troubling factors such as material shortages, rising freight and shipping costs, and increased product prices.

The need for sustainable practices

The rise of the climate crisis has forced the average person to understand and acknowledge the fashion industry’s contribution to pollution. Additionally, as people now show interest in the manufacturing process of products, brands are trying to be more transparent. As a result, more domestic brands have started to prioritize sustainability and innovation. Sustainability has also enabled changes in the materials used by brands. Additionally, the products that consumers value and prefer have changed with the new reality of a slow return to office life. This paves the way for demand for stylish designs that blend with comfortable sports and the growth of the activewear segment.

It is evident that sustainability is the new hot topic in the fashion industry and will continue to flourish in the coming years. Deloitte’s 2021 data report shows that 55% of consumers worldwide buy sustainable products. These factors highlight that many stakeholders are passionate about investing in the fashion retail industry to adopt more sustainable strategies. According to Selfridges, 60% of customers choose sustainable products and 90% want to buy less but better. Matches Fashion also contributed to the data, showing that 60% of shoppers are trying to adapt to sustainable living. And these examples undoubtedly show the ever-growing era of sustainability.

Sustainable fashion in 2023

The fashion industry, including many retailers, is focusing on overall growth and new strategies to implement sustainability. And based on the results of this continuous progress towards the changing trend and the pressure to create sustainable technologies, the fashion industry will undergo various trends in 2023. Read on to discover these trends that will change the fashion game.

Innovative fabric

Fabrics are necessary to create any garment and it is an inevitable product for the fashion industry. The use and inclusion of innovative fabric blends with a smaller carbon footprint in product designs will be the best addition to future fashion trends. Some examples of these fabrics are certified recycled polyester, plastic waste, organic cotton and other biodegradable materials.

Ethical sourcing

The decision to emphasize ethical sourcing and supply chain management is another trend that could be seen in 2023. These will be implemented together with companies with best practices in sourcing and working conditions regarding partners, suppliers and providing fair wages.


Artificial intelligence is a trending and developing field that makes work more accessible in every industry. With the introduction of AI technology in the fashion industry, sustainable clothing will be produced faster. This can help brands and retailers understand their carbon footprint and make the necessary solutions to change it.

Strategies for improving sustainability

The implementation and awareness of sustainability will require more new strategies to develop proper manufacturing and production in the world of fashion. There will be a conscious shift to recognize the benefits of slow fashion and eliminate fast fashion and the throwaway culture. In addition, improving delivery and packaging processes can reduce carbon footprints and boost online marketplaces and retail purchases.

Cruelty free products

And finally, the trend of using more vegan and cruelty-free products will be normalized. Nowadays, there are a large number of conscious customers who prefer popular and recycled clothes in e-commerce and clothes without animal ingredients.

The progress and development of sustainable fashion from the end of 2021 to the whole of 2022 provides a short answer to this whole topic. This means that it is a niche that will be big in the future and will sustain itself in the fashion industry for years to come. Without the assurance of the rise of a global crisis, it is normal for people from different industries to try to implement a method that adapts to the demands of the future reality. Sustainability is undoubtedly key to the future of the fashion world.



The above opinions are the author’s own.


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