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‘Streetcare’ and Upcycled Vintage: 6 Trends Shaping Conscious Fashion

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Ethical streetwear and repurposed vintage are just two of the trends shaping conscious fashion today, according to Lyst.

Published Thursday, the global fashion shopping platform’s 2021 Conscious Fashion Report provides a “deep-dive into fashion lovers’ changing sustainable habits.” It utilizes Lyst’s sales and search metrics from more than 150 million annual shoppers, Google data, social media tracking and press coverage.

‘Streetcare’

It would appear the hype-driven streetwear market is refocusing on social responsibility. In past months, Lyst said, “many” brands have moved away from overconsumption and toward more sustainable practices like slower drops and eco-friendly materials.

Interest in sneaker collaborations, meanwhile, has slowed down—demand is up 30 percent year-over-year versus 60 percent in 2020—while interest in sustainably made footwear has climbed. Searches for recycled sneakers are up 55 percent year-over-year on Lyst, the company reported. Views for biodegradable sneakers have increased 348 percent.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that Nike would release two vegan Air Jordan sneakers with “Bad Guy” singer Billie Eilish. The news coincided with a 67 percent increase in searches for vegan sneakers, Lyst said. The shoes—both at least 20 percent recycled material by weight—hit Nike’s SNKRS app Thursday. Sneakers, Lyst noted, proved the most searched category for vegan pieces this year.

Remaking and repairing

According to Lyst, upcycled, recycled, repurposed and reworked items saw a 117 year-over-year percent increase in demand. Searches for upcycled jeans spiked 321 percent. In particular, it highlighted Bode, the New York City label that claims to use everything from antique fabrics to Victorian quilts, grain sacks and bed linens to create its one-of-a-kind apparel collections. The brand saw page views rise 278 percent, Lyst said.

The report also spotlights the rising popularity of repair services. In February, for example, Farfetch joined forces with The Restory to launch Farfetch Fix, a program that allows shoppers to send in shoes, bags and leather goods for repair and restoration. Other brands offering repair services include Patagonia, Nudie Jeans, Raeburn, Barbour and Levi’s.

Lyst observed a 146 percent spike in searches for brands actively offering repairs and a 103 percent jump in searches for “repaired” styles. Denim, it said, was the most popular category for repaired styles. Page views of handmade, artisanal and craft pieces increased 13 percent on Lyst.

Materials, made-to-order and mysticism

The steady stream of material innovations appears to be seeping through to the public consciousness as consumers increasingly seek out sustainable alternatives. Demand for plant-dyed pieces, for one, shot up 131 percent. Searches for garments made from mushroom-based materials—like Bolt Threads’ vegan-verified Mylo leather or MycoWorks’ Fine Mycelium—rose 38 percent. Page views for “vegan leather” leapt 178 percent.

Social media is providing brands another avenue by which they can cut down on waste. By creating an online community and using it to organize pre-orders, Lyst said, labels are able to limit overproduction and waste while also fostering a relationship with their customers. Over the past year, demand for pre-order items rose 64 percent, it found. Both Telfar and House of Sunny work on a pre-order basis. The first saw traffic on Lyst leap 363 percent. Demand for the second climbed 144 percent.

Lyst also noticed an increased interest in spirituality-centered items and brands. Page views for talisman jewelry brand Pamela Love increased 38 percent. Searches for jewelry items made with crystals rose 44 percent. Jewelry searches that included “lucky charm,” “talisman” and “amulet” are up 62 percent over last year.

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