COVID-19 has paralyzed the whole world in just a few months. People are dying. Economies are collapsing, unemployment is growing, our hedonistic lives are on hold. Experts are predicting the biggest economic crisis since The Great Depression of the 1930s.
On the other hand, the Earth is finally breathing. We gave it a break and it’s recovering quite quickly without humans interfering. And it’s rather tempting to think what that might mean for the future of sustainability. For the future of sustainable fashion in particular.
You see, there was never a lot of money involved in the sustainable fashion movement. The majority of people with money are not interested in it, and sustainable designers learned how to work with less. However, people who consumed fast fashion a lot are learning to slow down now. They make their own sourdough bread at home now, they don’t drive every day, they’re lucky if they get to walk in nature alone with no one around.
Could this situation also make them consider sustainable fashion as something that might enter their everyday lives? I asked three designers to share their points of view.
Matea Benedetti, @benedetti.life
Coronavirus is a big challenge for all of us. Firstly, because we see how vulnerable our society and economy are, secondly, it made us reflect on our lives and see the power of nature, how little it needs to restore. We just have to stop for a few weeks and the sky becomes clear, the rivers and sea get their animals back and become less polluted. In China, Italy… the pollution levels dramatically fell partly related to coronavirus. Our social connection became more active and much more compassionate.
It is a big challenge for humanity, in this difficult time, to think about how we want to move forward when the pandemic is solved. And please stay at home.
Adrienn Újházi, @adrienn_ujhazi
The industry of bio-materials is only starting to develop. In some European countries, its been around for a while in different forms, and in some no one is even talking about it or has perhaps never heard of it. I’m convinced that, once the pandemic is over, more people will know about it and start to use it more widely. The current situation has led humanity to stay quiet for a moment, to slow down and see what we’ve done so far, asking questions about ourselves, about the circumstances, the advantages and disadvantages of it all.
I think a part of the population understands the weight of today and has the will to change it. The cause of this state is old routines and ignorance. I want your readers to know that it’s time to talk about new topics, those that are about taking care of and guarding our homes, social contacts, and animal rights. We can achieve that with love, consciousness, and support.
Maja Halilović, @majahdizajn
Coronavirus will push the biomaterials industry and sustainability in general to the fore. The pandemic has lifted the veil and shown us the inadequacy of political systems, the instability of the economy, and the fragility of our society and body. We will hear a lot more about biomaterials over the next few years. And I suppose they could flood the market in the next few decades. And then stay one of the primary materials, side by side with the improved synthetic materials that will find the right use.
Not only because of the pandemic but also because of the disappearance of resources we have relied on for the past two hundred years. These resources are drying up and we will need replacement. It is not a question of changing but how and when.
Illustration courtesy of Pixabay.