New Trends Done Ethically
Trends are always changing, but the one thing that’s remains in fashion is sustainability. There are many ways to shop sustainably, but the best move is to buy local. That way, you know exactly where it’s coming from and the materials are usually from the area where it’s purchased. That means there’s no need to ship material half-way across the world and you know it’s more than likely being produced ethically—no under-funded warehouses needed. Plus, it’s hand-made and therefore will last a long time.
Why should you buy indigenous craftsmanship?
What would make that even better is to purchase from local Indigenous artists and the reason why is multifold. First, by buying Indigenous art, you’re helping to create a market for it—it’s simple supply and demand. More artists will be able to make a living from their craft and that allows Indigenous practices to thrive. It’s essentially an act of reconciliation to support Indigenous art and to encourage it to keep going.
Plus, many Indigenous designers these days incorporate traditional materials into their work—that often means sourcing animal hides, fish scales, porcupine quills and other materials from the landscape around them. They know exactly where it comes from and that it was harvested humanely. Local artists create each piece individually, painstakingly tanning hides or beading exquisite patterns onto materials. And you know each piece is unique—it’s not the same graphic tee everyone is buying from the big box store down the road.
Okay, so now that we’ve convinced you Indigenous fashion is the way to go, what will you be looking for? Well, here are some of trends you’ll see in the spotlight over the next year.
The return of the sleeveless vest
Back in the 1990s and early 2000, vests were all the rage. Well, now they’re back. This year, you may have seen models donning the runway in knitted or down-filled vests over top blouses and sweaters. Fur vests are not usually shown in the mainstream anymore, but with the right product, you’re bound to turn a few heads.
Several northern designers have incorporated their own twist when creating vests. That can be seen through this red seal skin vest by Snowfly designer Cheryl Fennell. This vest features sealskin dyed red and trimmed with red leather. Fennell guarantees the work is 100% ethically sourced.
So, how do you pair vests these days? Well, pandemic fashion seems to be a real thing, so the look most go for these days is stylish, but effortless. Outfits that look comfortable are actually in for once. So in other words, keep it simple. A plain sweater underneath always works—using neutral colours if you decide to go with Fennell’s red vest. Simple blouses are pretty popular too. If you’re going with an open vest and want to spice it up a bit, a crop top is never a bad idea.
According to Instyle Magazine, leather pants are the ideal combination—giving the vest that extra pop. If you want a fully retro look, high-waisted slacks work well with it too, but so do jeans and black pants. Some have chosen loose-fitting knee length dresses, while others pair it with a high-waisted pleated skirt. The sky is the limit.
Speaking of vests in red, you’re probably seeing the shade all over runways this year. Alexander McQueen showcased crimson overcoats, while Prada created padded blazers and Gucci used scarlet accents throughout its grunge-inspired collection. And because everything from coral to burgundy is the trend right now, you have so many options to choose from. Like, for example, Fennell’s red vest. But we also understand red is quite a bold colour and not everyone is comfortable rocking a vibrant vest or a red dress. Luckily, one can never go wrong with a good accent piece. The beauty of accents added to an outfit is that these pieces are often timeless and can be worn for years to come.
So here are a few red accessories to add some pop to your everyday look:
These earrings by Taalrumiq mix several materials to create one unique piece. This accessory features sealskin, silver fox fur, Swarovski bicone crystals, beads and smoked tanned moose hide.
The designer Christina King behind Taalrumiq refers to these earrings as “a throwback to traditional Inuvialuit geometric designs with tri-colour beaded edging and moose hide dangles. These striking red sealskin earrings are perfect for a night out when you need that something extra or a bold look for everyday use!”
For something even more bold, check out Fennell’s red seal skin purse. Complete with a red leather handle and gold rods at the side, this slouchy bag reminds us of a fun piece one might have seen Amber in Clueless don.
“Wear this purse for a chic or casual event, it goes with all styles and brings them elegance,” Fennell says.
Functional bags with optimum storage that doesn’t skimp on style.
For purse trends that are more on the functional side, Fennel offers a casual overnight bag in neutral colours. Fennel has several seal skin and bison bags that are large enough to bring your gear to the gym or to go on a weekend getaway.
So whether you’re looking for a show-stopping piece like Fennell’s vest, an accent to highlight your outfit, like King’s earrings, or something simple and functional such as the overnight bag, local artists provide everything to be sustainably stylish.