2016 will be the year of conscious consumption.
We’ll be asking more questions of companies’ ethical agendas, production processes and contribution to environmental issues, and corporates will need to have their answers ready. One company taking their ethical cred very seriously is H&M. The high-street Swedish brand, which arrived in South Africa late last year, is placing particular focus on extending the life of a garment. Most H&M stores around the world collect clothes in any condition and re-use them, offering customers clothes made with 20% recycled cotton – look out for the special tag. Also keep an eye out for its Conscious Collection made from sustainable materials due in stores later this year. Woolworths is also working towards a more sustainable industry, with its premium brands, including Australianbased Mimco, having partnered with the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative in support of reducing poverty, empowering women and investing in communities. Mimco has collaborated with craftswomen in Kenya to create bags using hand-embroidered and beaded cotton canvas.
But will this also be the year when high fashion burns itself out?
A constant whirlwind of collections and shows has caused a few high where it’s all headed. In October 2015,
Raf Simons announced his departure from Dior.
‘I’m questioning show for the fashion house. ‘Where is it going? It’s not only the clothes. It’s the clothes, it’s everything, the internet.’ He’s not alone. Alber Elbaz, who left Lanvin after 14 years, told WWD: ‘I see everybody looking for a change. There is not exhaustion but almost like a confusion of what we are and who we are in fashion.’
We’ll be turning our eyes to local designers.
Craig Jacobs of local fashion label Fundudzi says we’ll be own cultural perspective: ‘2016 will see the re-emergence of meaningful fashion and the rise of a more localised, anti-trend approach to dressing,’ he says.
Provenance will be important too.
According to Craig, ‘we want to know the thought processes that went into the design as well as the comfort of knowing that the people who made the garments were paid a fair wage.’