By Corrinne Bollendorf
As the end of 2012 draws closer and the holiday season is in full swing, we reviewed what were the Top 10 Eco-friendly trends of 2012.
10. Recycled and Repurposed Material
Recycled and re-purposed material made a huge impact on the Eco-friendly and Sustainable Industry this year. Everything from earrings created from broken skateboards to recycled cotton purses and recycled rubber shoes has upped the Eco game; the amount of fashion designers now using recycled material as part of their design aesthetic has increased dramatically and is projected to grow even more in 2013.
9. Embracement of Natural and Green Materials
What could be more fashionable than wearing or using products that are unchanged and completely natural? For instance, purses and wallets made out of Cork have been taking the accessories market by storm. Since Cork is naturally water resistant and scratch proof, Cork not only looks cool, but lasts a long time. Another earthy material that made a big splash this year was Bamboo! Natural Bamboo is so versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used in clothing, jewelry, or even cell phone and computer accessories. Bamboo clothing is very soft and airy, people with sensitive skin can benefit from wearing Bamboo due to those properties.
8. Utilizing Natural Dyes and Coloring
Artificial dyes and coloring in clothing can irritate the skin and in some cases, contain hazardous chemicals. Additionally, traditional coloring practices use copious amounts of water meaning that the current practice is not sustainable. Using natural color from earthy clay or more recently, using planted based dyes such as soy to lessen the environmental impact, acts as an alternative product for people who suffer from skin allergies. Earthy coloring such as browns, reds, and greens, were very trendy this year for a soft and fresh look.
7. Reclaimed Leather Products
It takes many resources to make a new leather product. Green House Gases associated with large cattle facilities hurt the environment. That is precisely why designers are now taking advantage of the vintage leather material that already exists to soften the environmental impact.
Material waste in the clothing industry is becoming a greater concern. As clothes and shoes get older and worn out, there is nothing left to do but throw them away—and these materials can last decades before they breakdown into organic material. To combat this problem, clothing and shoes made from material that takes half the time to biodegrade helps decrease the amount of waste in landfills.
5. Fair Trade
The amount of apparel companies participating in fair trade practice is growing rapidly due to the worldwide increase in labor and ethical rights disputes. Now, many companies regard their fair trade agreements as a core aspect of their brand, realizing that good trading conditions help promote sustainability.
4. Nature inspiration
Naturally, Eco-friendly trends go hand in hand with design inspiration. This year it was easy to see that Eco-friendly material that was put into a product, also acted as a source of style inspiration.
Yes. Trash. Trash was huge this year. Using everything from old bubblegum wrappers recycled to make purses and bracelets or using old bike parts to fashion earrings; trash has now become a treasure among eco-designers.
2. Ethical Practices
Ethical is always in. However, the apparel industry took it to a new level this year as consumers demanded more products that are ethically produced. Meaning fair labor practices and wages are used as well as developing social programs that give back.
Last but not least is Sustainability. This one word lies at the foundation of the Eco-friendly Movement. Corporations and consumers have galvanized and realized that sustainability is the future if we are to lessen humanities impact on the environment.