Predicting fashion trends for the 2020s

February 5, 2020

By Taylor Burnfield

During the 2010s, the fashion industry was introduced to concepts like body positivity and sustainability. More so, minimalism was popularized during the 2010s, and formerly iconic brands like Juicy Couture, Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria’s Secret all declined in popularity during this decade.

Looking back on the 2010s and at recent trends, these are my predictions for where fashion is headed in the 2020s.

Sustainability over “fast fashion”: fast fashion is the term for cheap, poorly made clothing produced by underpaid workers in sweat shops. Brands such as Forever 21 are examples of fast fashion. This clothing is quickly discarded into landfills and causes harm to the environment.

Apps like Good on You spread awareness about sustainable fashion brands. Online second-hand stores like provide an affordable and stylish way to recycle clothing. According to, 46 percent of Generation Z-ers bought their clothing second hand in 2019.

Advancements in technology: In terms of technological advances, the fashion industry has remained in the dark ages for some time now. Very little has changed in clothing production over the last several decades. However, that could change during the 2020s. New advancements such as 3D printing and 3D knitting could revolutionize the way clothing is produced and marketed.

The Japanese brand Shima Seiki is the first clothing company to offer customized clothing produced through 3D knitting. If more fashion brands follow their example, the traditional sweat shop model and the idea of purchasing ill-fitting, mass-produced clothing could be eliminated forever.

The decline of department stores: Although I do not think that brick and mortar clothing stores will ever be entirely a thing of the past, as more and more consumers prefer to shop online or buy from small local businesses, the traditional model of shopping malls and department stores like Nordstrom’s and Macy’s will become obsolete during the 2020s. My hope is that supporting local businesses will become the norm during the 2020s.

An end to animal cruelty: Clothing made of animal skins and fur has been going out of style for a while now. I hope to see the demand for clothing made from animal skin and fur completely obsolete in fashion during the 2020s. Threads 4 Thoughts and Lysee are a few examples of affordable animal-friendly brands currently on the market.

The era of body positivity: In recent years, consumers have increasingly chosen brands that promote body positivity over brands that have a narrow definition of “beauty.” Brands like Aerie, Savage x Fenty, ThirdLove, Ivy Park and Modcloth use models of all ages, colors and sizes. They feature very little retouching in photos or no retouching at all. I truly believe that inclusivity and body positivity will be the biggest trend in fashion during the 2020s.

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