2018 was a huge year for sustainability in fashion.

Consumers are becoming more aware of the effect that fashion has on the planet and its social environments and they are demanding change. According to a consumer survey report by Fashion Revolution, more than one in three people consider social and environmental impacts when buying clothes. Fashion brands are taking a hint from consumers demanding more transparency in their supply chains. Individuals are becoming more educated every day and want to know what they can do to lessen their impact. The stigma of second-hand clothing is vanishing, and people are opting to thrift before buying at fast fashion retailers. Lyst saw a 47% increase in searches including sustainable related keywords this year such as ‘vegan leather’ and ‘organic cotton’. Veja, the eco-friendly sneaker brand was ranked the number one most wanted brands of Instagram, with sustainable clothing brand, Reformation, falling behind its place at number two.

Veja V-10 Sneaker made from ecological and sustainable materials.

Reformation’s Thelma Dress was in the top ten most viewed dresses of the year according to Lyst.

Not only do we see a change in fashion, we see it in food and lifestyle. According to a study done by Dalhousie University in March of 2018, 7.1% of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians, and 2.3% vegans and that 32% of Canadians do follow some sort of committed diet, which is one of the highest numbers they have seen in years. Restaurants are adding vegan or vegetarian options to their menus to accommodate for these numbers and just this past year A&W introduced its “Beyond Meat Burger” that is 100% plant-based.

What to Eat on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Zero-waste lifestyles are amongst the sustainable trends we saw in 2018. There is a growing awareness of the problem behind plastic pollution and people are doing something about it. National Geographic says that a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled and billions of tons of plastic have been made over the past decades, and much of it is becoming trash and litter. Facts like this are shocking people around the world, causing them to stop buying things packaged in plastic altogether. In 2018, many have switched to bamboo toothbrushes from plastic toothbrushes, and trips to the bulk store versus the grocery store. It’s much easier now than it was 10 years ago to shift to a zero-waste lifestyle, as there are stores like Package Free Shop that help you easily live this way by creating reusable on-the-go items such as cutlery, straws and coffee mugs.

Tips for Using Less Plastic Infographic

Looking at the progress that has been made this past year gives hope that someday we will have a fully circular economy. It won’t happen overnight, but it’s beginning. Sustainability isn’t just a fad, it’s here to stay. Let’s see what 2019 will have in store for our planet.

Written by Cara Presta

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