Predicting the future, like spotting trends, is a tricky proposition, but that hasn’t stopped people—including us—from attempting to squint beyond the veil. The latest sartorial crystal-ball slingers, Levi Strauss & Co. and the U.K. nonprofit Forum for the Future, have jointly released a report painting four possible scenarios of what the trillion-dollar global apparel, accessories, and luxury goods market will look like in 2025. You don’t have to wade through reams of dull statistics to get the gist of Fashion Futures’ call to action for the industry, however. A quartet of digestible animated videos make envisioning these futures a cinch, from a world where slow fashion reigns supreme to one where production is localized to the point of xenophobia.
SLOW IS BEAUTIFUL
The first possible future presents a world of political collaboration and global trade, marred only by a “gray economy” that exists for people who refuse to conform to the new, slower ideal. People own fewer but higher-quality clothing, clothes are cared for sans chemicals, and vintage or secondhand pieces are well-circulated.
People own fewer but higher-quality clothing and vintage pieces are well-circulated.
Most workers are paid a living wage, used clothes are shipped and remanufactured in Japan, and digital tagging helps us keep track on where our clothes come from and the impact they’ve had. People also don “smart” clothes, which monitor health and wellness.
Although the world in the second scenario is struggling to cope with climate change and the ensuing resource shortages, community bonds remain strong and geared toward self-sufficiency. Because of the high costs of raw materials and disrupted supply chains, the production of new clothing has plummeted dramatically.
“Make do and mend” becomes our mantra once again and nothing is disposed of.
The clothes we wear are now either secondhand, handmade, on the black market, or from “clothing libraries” that rent sought-after looks. “Make do and mend” becomes our mantra once again and nothing is disposed of—when we’re done with our clothes, we sell them back for reuse.