Key Trends In Online Fashion Retail in 2022 – Including Sustainability and Personalization

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Everyone with even a trivial interest in fashion is looking to see what the industry has in store in 2022; with Covid-19 lockdowns giving way to more relaxed regulations, people are slowly starting to think about fashion trends beyond pajamas and sweatpants.

Rivalry among ecommerce retail platforms , trend predictions, Brands like Nordstrom, Sebastian Cruz Couture
Image Credit: Cesar Cruz – Valuewalk

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Buying fashion online has seen incredible growth in the past 5 years, and plays a big part in sustainability. Rivalry among ecommerce retail platforms and the addition of Facebook storefronts are all favorable developments for fashion brands seeking an omnichannel approach. While many luxury fashion brands sit on the fence on using ethically sourced and often substandard materials for their garments, brands that focus on personalization are at least meeting ethical fashion half way. Pinterest attempted to provide the latest trend predictions in terms of styles, but what can the industry expect overall?

Sustainable fashion has been the buzzword in industry circles for many years now and while some luxury fashion houses like Bally, Stella McCartney and Chloe have more than embraced the trend, others, like Hermes, are still farming crocodile skins in Australia. Ethical fashion involves clothing designed and manufactured with community, animal rights, and environment in mind. While phasing out the use of animal skins, reducing environmental impact and improving laborer’s working conditions are most certainly necessary, they don’t always translate well on the business side of fashion, as it sadly tends to be more expensive to make and buy.

Online Fashion Retail Set to Grow Even Bigger

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Clothing, accessories, and shoes were the number one e-commerce buys GLOBALLY, with a market value of $760 billion last year. Brands like Nordstrom confirmed just how important the pivot to online retail will be. In the next five years, the online fashion retail market will reach the $1 trillion mark, despite worries of supply-chain disruption. The two sectors of the industry that showed significant growth were discount and luxury goods, which outperformed the wider market. Even with travel restrictions, people still desired luxury goods, and e-commerce was the best way to attain them. Online fashion buying brings environmentally friendly relief for companies and buyers alike – apart from being convenient, it also emits half the Carbon footprint of traditional retail stores.

Luxury Goods Focusing on Personalization – A Win for Sustainability

Key trends for sustainable fashion include an exciting array of innovations with the aim of finding the right balance between a focus on ethical fashion whilst trying to make it affordable as well. In the luxury fashion sector, global brands like Gucci and Burberry are offering personalized services to customers – from putting your name on a bag and a custom design on sneakers, to choosing your fabric, color and style of garment.

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While the pretense here is more a celebration of unique, personal style, one American designer, Cesar Cruz, co-owner of exclusively online luxury fashion brand Sebastian Cruz Couture established in 2013, is currently building a more personalized couture menswear brand geared towards fashion sustainability, without compromising on luxury:

“We’ve always stayed at the forefront of fashion retail, which is why we chose to sell our clothing online, before e-commerce was even a thing! So now that ethical fashion is trending, and rightly so, we looked at ways to incorporate it into our brand mission. By making available online customized service for bespoke men’s suits is our way of ensuring that every custom piece complements the customer, so that they don’t have to go out and buy in the wider market, in search of that perfect fit,” Cruz said.

Resale is Booming

Thrifting, or reselling fashion has long been around but is no longer found in moth-balled shops filled to the brim with bric-a-brac. With the likes of Christy Tegen and fashion influencers endorsing the buying and selling of second hand clothing, the stigma attached to ‘old clothes’ has been almost wholly eradicated. Celebrity interest in reselling luxury brand items to alleviate the crazy statistic that 85% of all bought fashion items end up in the dumpster, can be seen all over social media platforms and is definitely on trend for 2022.

The Return of the Capsule Wardrobe

When Donna Karan brought out the iconic ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ way back in 1985, the aim of her ‘7 Easy Pieces’ collection was to create an interchangeable wardrobe with the working woman in mind. Fast forward to 2022, and you’ll find the average working woman sitting in front of her laptop in a Starbucks in sneakers and sweats. But the capsule wardrobe concept is still as brilliantly inspiring today as it was back in the 80s, particularly acting as a hero for sustainable fashion in the way that with just a few easy but well-fitting pieces, you can actually look good every day without having to keep buying more.

Fashion is Even More Recyclable

Previous problems with fashion recycling have been almost completely eradicated by the innovations of fashion technology experts. Because of the huge variety of fabrics and textiles fashion producers use, not all had sustainable abilities, but with smart tech and more retail houses using recyclable materials, the stats at the end of 2022 should show some alleviation on fashion dumping. Retail companies like H&M go a step further by not only using recyclable materials, but having drop-off sites for unwanted clothes which they then recycle and refashion for sale.

Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity

One of the biggest trends for 2022 across all industries was the glaringly obvious and ethical push to include racial diversity and multi-gender identities. Fashion magazines now bare heavier looking women on their covers, as well as celebrities with a more ‘ethnic’ look. Gender-neutral fashion has made its way to retail with celebrity endorsement; Harry Styles’ new nail polish range for men and the gender fluid look of Tilda Swinton for Pringle are proof that inclusivity and diversity are hot fashion trends for 2022.

The fashion industry has come a long way in trying to keep up with ethical and sustainable trends, and it looks like 2022 will see many more innovative ways to keep us looking good, buying clever, and more cognitive about sensible fashion.

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