Marie Claire (South Africa) - - TREND REPORT - By Kelly Fung, Marie Claire fash­ion and beauty ed­i­tor

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.’

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