Five ways to add a sense of hope to your wardrobe


Five ways to add a sense of hope to your wardrobe

From advocating niche brands to intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses, we take a look at fashion’s new mood

Sahil Harilal
Collaborations such as those between Rich Mnisi and Karabo Poppy demonstrate how the youth have taken back fashion control.
We've got this Collaborations such as those between Rich Mnisi and Karabo Poppy demonstrate how the youth have taken back fashion control.
Image: Instagram

2020 will come to be known as many things, chief among them “the year of the great fashion reckoning”. 

This was the year fashion finally addressed its long-standing issues of racial biases, unethical work conditions and size inclusivity, in favour of an industry (and world) that championed transparency, kindness and consciousness.  

From Gen Z design excellence to re-sale’s sustainable revolution, here are five ways to feel hopeful about the clothing we buy and wear. 

Set a style intention

Do your research — what do your favourite brands do to champion diversity in front of and behind the scenes? 

When it comes to purchasing power, asking the hard questions matters. Where are the clothes produced and under what conditions? What are the ethics of the brands’ big financial backers? Have they made any efforts to show transparency in their production line?

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt for certain this year, it’s that the choices we make about the brands we support do count. 

As the global economy battles to get back on its feet, who we choose to financially and morally support now will define the fashion system of the future. 

Start by setting one fashion goal a month and we will see collective change. 

Embrace the autonomy of resale

The latest re-sale revolution showed a steady rise in pre-loved luxury and label-free items re-entering the market place (or Instagram), allowing shoppers and sellers a level of self-preservation.

As more of the world’s biggest brands introduce genderless, seasonless collections, clothing is being created to live many lives, perhaps the beginning of the end of fast fashion’s grip on youth culture?

Share in the designer’s journey 

From British fashion photographer Nick Knight’s behind-the-scenes journey into luxury French fashion house Margiela’s artisanal couture show to Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize documenting the poeticism of Nigerian crafts, 2020 has allowed us glimpses behind the proverbial creative curtain like never before. 

In the spirit of transparency, the world’s greatest creative minds are inviting us into their workrooms, allowing us to experience first-hand how our clothing is made, sparking joy in the process. 

Sustain the hype 

From Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi’s latest appointment as design director at US fashion house Yeezy Gap to South African brand Thebe Magugu’s continuous climb to the sartorial top, throw in the eruption of blink-and-you-miss-it collaborations from this country’s Rich Mnisi x Karabo Poppy and the youth have certainly taken back control in a slew of brilliant collections, images and products. 

There’s so much to be excited about right now. Let the next generation of power-players begin.

Breathe out 

With our wardrobes refocused on practicality, take note of fashion’s new relaxed approach to dressing. These are pieces you can exercise, Zoom and meditate in. There has been a quiet revolution taking place in our wardrobes, championing freedom and ease like never before. 

Genderless sweat shorts, recyclable sneakers and the abolition of the bra all serve as the uniform for an industry that persevered when hope seemed so far out of reach.