The media usually portrays the millennial and Gen Z generations as the harbingers of eco-friendly change, but the truth is that almost as many baby boomers are keen on leading a greener lifestyle. Recent research has shown, for instance, that 46% of millennials and 44% of baby boomers are keen to buy fashions made with recycled, sustainable, naturally-harvested fibers and materials. In other words, baby boomers are hopping on the latest fashion trends, looking carefully at brands’ transparency, environmental friendliness, and social sustainability policies. The following are just a few sustainable fashion trends being embraced by boomers.
Being Part of the Circular Design Trend
Talented fashionista Eileen Fisher, who belongs to the baby boomer generation, is spearheading one of the most exciting trends in sustainable fashion: circular design. Her hugely successful brand takes back items of clothing from clients, remaking them into new designs or recycling them for future use. The key to the circular trend is reaching the point in which clothing items never make it to the landfill at all.
Making Something Beautiful for Nothing
UK knitwear designer Katie Jones and her mom, Annie, are addressing the issues of landfills and over-consumerism through their “Waste Not” concept. The brand takes unwanted materials from clothing manufacturers and turns them into bright, bold, unique designs that are all about fun and the avant-garde. They also host a wide range of workshops and events to share their skills and information on sustainable fashion with their customers.
Boomers are keen on buying items that are sturdy yet harvested from natural materials, as a way to reduce the carbon footprint of the fashion industry. Pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, recycled plastic, organic cotton, mushrooms, jute, hemp, and even bamboo are all being used to make fashionable clothing and footwear. The sneaker industry in particular is spearheading the sustainable shoe trend. Brands like Thesus, Tom’s, Allbirds, Cariuma, and many others are showing how fashionable ethical sneakers can be. Not only do these natural materials feel light on the foot but they are also easy to keep clean. Most sneakers can be machine washed; simply place them in a mesh bag and wash them alone on a gentle green cycle and they will be as good as new.
We know that boomers are into recycling but one trend that is catching their eye (as it lowers CO2 footprints even further) is that of compostable fashion. Brands to check out include The Very good Bra (a zero-waste brazier that can be entirely composted (even its hooks and elastics are made of natural rubber). Also visit the websites of Sustain (which uses traditional natural dyeing methods and materials and Ayurvedic dyeing techniques), Harvest & Mill (which makes undyed, unbleached cotton apparel), and Kent (which specializes in underwear made with fully compostable organic pima cotton).
Boomers are as interested in sustainable fashion as younger generations are, with many being keen to apply principles such as recycling and upcycling to their wardrobes. Just a few trends they are loving include the circular design concept, which involves taking clothes back to brands so they can be remanufactured into new items. Fashion is also going high-tech with clothes that can be fully composted and can totally bypass landfills.