2020 has well and truly shaken up the (often steadfast) fashion world. Between virtual Fashion Weeks, digital influencers, water-saving organic fabrics, sustainable initiatives, upcycling, recycling and fashion-on-demand... what was already being disrupted by growing environmental awareness has been intensified by the health crisis. Now, the “before and after” of the fashion industry is coming into view.
While masks may have been slipping on the fashion industry as a whole, they have become ever-present on (digital) catwalks and in people's wardrobes. By penetrating the gates to the fashion world, masks have become the symbol of the reality of the world we’re living in and go hand in hand with the movement towards a new way of thinking. Towards a new type of fashion that is moral, environmentally friendly and that aligns itself with the lifestyle and behaviour of a new generation of responsible consumers, and Smallable is joining the fight!
Zero + Maria Cornejo SS21
In a time of social distancing, masks have become the must-have accessory, so it wasn’t long before they became available in a myriad of shapes and styles.
The rise of the mask was anticipated by visionary designer Marine Serre when she launched her apocalyptic collection at the start of the year. Now, designers and brands from all over the world are following suite to create their own versions of the newest face accessory.
Smallable has created a collection of 100% cotton masks that are washable and reusable. They have been developed in partnership with a French textile manufacturer and are jointly aimed at helping the community by donating 3€ of each sale to an association that supports healthcare workers, funds research projects and helps the most vulnerable.
© Eckhaus Latta SS21
Bora Aksu SS21 © Getty Images
Versace Resort 2021
Fabio Quaranta SS21
Collina Strada SS21
Marine Serre SS20
In light of the pandemic, a surge of solidarity has swept across the fashion sphere. More than ever before, brands are committing to the causes that are close to their hearts, following in the example of the young activists and volunteers that are flying the flag for generations Y and Z.
The latest examples to date: Lacoste have donated 100% of their revenue from the exclusive “L.12.12 Polo Merci” collection to the American Red Cross while Suprême and the designer Takashi Murakami have raised more than $1 million for Americans with nowhere to live during the pandemic.
L.12.12 Polo Merci par Lacoste
The digitalization of fashion, which began as an effort to raise environmental awareness, has reached its peak with COVID-19.
On Instagram, clothes are being worn by digital influencers like Imma and Lil Miquela while “real” models are wearing virtual clothes from brands such as The Fabricant or Nike.
Creativity is moving from the physical to the digital and offering brands new opportunities and ways to effectively connect with emerging generations.
Virtual Dress - The Fabricant
CattyT X Vetements x Nike
Imma, virtual influencer
Fashion Weeks have also had to get creative in light of the COVID-19 crisis. In a move that is turning the virtual into a new normal, French Fashion Houses have been presenting their collections for the 2021 spring-summer season in the form of films and catwalks have been taking place under closed doors
Marine Serre created a dystopian short film to honor her new collection, Balenciaga staged a walk in a deserted Paris, Moschino used a collection of puppets as models, and Balmain replaced its audience with screens. Animal Crossing, a video game that became increasingly popular during the first lockdown, was taken over by designers who organised their own fashion shows on the virtual island.
Moschino Puppet Runway Show, Paris Fashion Week SS21
Animal Crossing x NET-A-PORTER x Isabel Marant
Balenciaga Fashion Show, Paris Fashion Week SS21
Balmain Fashion Show, Paris Fashion Week SS21
Marine Serre Video, Paris Fashion Week SS21
“Sustainable” has been the word on everyone’s lips for the last few seasons. Recycled, upcycled, organic and biodegradable materials have undergone a revival in order to disassociate themselves from their typically natural shades to make room for brighter colours that are shedding some optimism on an otherwise bleak situation.
Unisex clothing is also becoming more prevalent among designer’s collections, in an attempt to simplify wardrobes, reduce the number of purchases and minimise the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
Sustainable Collection Balenciaga SS21
Sustainable denim and recycled crystals Balmain SS21
Upcycled outfit Marine Serre SS21
Upcycled Outfit Maison Margiela AW20
Upcycled Collection Bethany Williams SS21
Sustainable Collection Vivienne Westwood SS21
As for premium labels, the DNVM – internet born brands – and young designers are amplifying their environmental initiatives in order to meet the growing demand of millennials who are choosing to buy responsibly.
From recycled materials, to organic cotton, wood from eco-managed forests and vegetable tanning and dyeing... these are just some of the approaches being adopted by the brands that are listed under Smallable’s “Greenable” label which aims to put the spotlight on sustainable fashion and design.
Mara Hoffman Available on Smallable
Organic Cotton Ocean Jacket Bleu Kowtow - Available on Smallable
Veja trainers made from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles - Available on Smallable
In the spirit of sustainability, brands are also challenging the notion of ownership. Rent the Runway, ThredUp, The Real Real and Depop are offering consumers the opportunity to rent items in a movement that counteracts the temporality of fast fashion. They also aim to transform the somewhat pejorative notions of “pre-used” and “second-hand” into a positive force.
Meanwhile, the number of people choosing to buy second-hand clothing is continuing to increase and redefine consumer behaviour.
Depop store, Los Angeles
Rent the Runway
The same dynamism is being seen in children’s fashion too, guided by a new wave of brands that want to ensure a healthy future for generations to come. Stella McCartney Kids is leading the way as the forerunner with eco-responsible garments in fun prints, followed by other labels such as The Animal Observatory or Mini Rodini - available on Smallable – that are dressing children with a clear conscience.
Stella McCartney Kids Available on Smallable
Change is also in motion for activewear, prompted by the awareness that ecosystems are threatened by the plastic microfibres often contained in these garments. The sports field is being revitalised thanks to environmentally conscious brands that are replacing nylon, acrylic and polyester with less pollutive materials.
Innovative materials and new 3D printing methods are becoming the Holy Grail of activewear. Brands such as Nike and the Girlfriend Collective have already begun using factory waste and recyled plastic bottles to create their collections.
Girlfriend Collective Available on Smallable
Beige Wrap Top Live the Process Available on Smallable
Stella McCartney x Adidas
Space Hippie Nike
The Animal Observatory Available on Smallable
Sticky Lemon - Available on Smallable
The Animal Observatory - Available on Smallable
Violas Organic Cotton Velvet Poppy Jogger Mini Rodini - Available on Smallable
Stella McCartney Kids - Available on Smallable