In 2013, I predict a shift to more local and collaborative actions that stem from the larger conversations that have happened over the years. We will see that in smaller groups we can actually start to do things, rather than waiting for a larger, untouchable industry to change.
Our society's general consciousness will continue to shift. People have been waking up to notice their own habits, realizing the difference between what we need and what we desire, and who we want to be as consumers. A slow and painful process. However, after major news events in 2012 bringing to light the realities of the fashion industry I predict larger conversations will happen about social justice and the social impact of fashion/the fashion industry, rather than just about "what is sustainable fashion?"
Instead of panel discussions, there will be round-table talks and collective meetings about what to do next. And this can and will be through many things: more collaborative efforts between artists and designers, as well as between small and large companies; more online/digital outlets for designers to sell, as well as an increase of local fairs, pop-ups, and brick-and-mortar shops supporting their local makers; and, most importantly, changes in manufacturing. I predict that we will see major advances in manufacturing models on a local scale, in both garment and textile production, that provide simpler ways for designers to produce and offer transparency to the public. The "made in the U.S.A." trend will start to become a reality for this country again.
In order for this to happen effectively for the long run, research and education will become a bigger focus. I hope to see more research and development in three-dimensional printing
, which the average consumer will start to have better access and exposure to.
Research in recycling natural fibers will continue, so these processes can be used on a larger scale. Education will always be key in bringing change. I predict that with all the various outlets for non-traditional education opening across the country, people will see the value in self-educating through local classes, books, and online resources, and carefully questioning how they spend money on education. I hope this leads to more support for trade-oriented and vocational programs, which will be needed if we want a shift to manufacturing locally.