Why you should care
OZY’s latest original series is cluing you in about the future of what we wear.
What are you wearing? Never mind, we don’t care. What we care about is what you will be wearing: Tomorrow, next year and 10 years from now. OZY’s Fashion Forward original series is investigating the trends and innovative designers shaking up the fashion world, to help your closet get ahead of the curve.
The fashion industry is notoriously environmentally unfriendly and has had its share of reputation-destroying reveals about the use of inhumane labor. But a whole lot of people are looking to create a better, more fabulous world, and to do that they’re changing the industry from the ground up.
As veganism has become a bona fide worldwide trend, so has its stylish cousin, vegan fashion, which eschews real leather and fur in favor of faux. But that very global reach is making the once yuppie-only duds affordable: New hubs for fashion in cheaper manufacturing hubs in Asia and Latin America, which cater to a local audience, are now catching the eyes (and wallets) of vegans around the world.
Fashionistas with a conscience can adopt this new mantra: Borrow, rent or trade your clothes before you buy, in order to reduce consumption. And if you must buy, as one day we all must, buy secondhand before you go all new, to reduce the stress on both your paycheck and the planet.
As the fashion industry’s huge environmental impact becomes more and more clear, some designers are looking to the past to preserve the future. None more than Mimi Prober, a Miami native whose signature design style involves incorporating antique fabric like old quilts or 19th-century lace into her modern garments. Prober’s signature style has caught the attention of not just the design world, but of celebrities like Misty Copeland and Erykah Badu.
Luxury brands and fast fashion alike have long been perfidious when it comes to waste, but a new crop of zero-waste designers is aiming to turn the fashion industry’s reputation around. Lines like Ambercycle and Modern Meadow are experimenting with scientific ways to reduce fabric waste, while other designers use recycled materials and create clothes from the scraps left over in fashion’s infamously wasteful factories.
Lisa Gachet isn’t your typical Parisienne: For her, fashion isn’t about black turtlenecks and artfully unkempt hair. Instead, her brand, Make My Lemonade, combines over-the-top glam and a DIY aesthetic, encouraging devotees to not just buy clothes at her boutique in the chic 10th arrondissement, but to make their own versions using patterns she provides and classes she hosts.