6 Trends that will shape sustainable fashion in 2023

We have just welcomed the new year, and with it comes hopes for progress towards sustainable fashion. This year promises new advances and innovations in the industry, and although we will have to wait twelve months to see what the year really has in store for us, for now we can only make forecasts about what we think will happen. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the trends that we predict will set the tone for 2023:

1. Increased regulation

This year is expected to be marked by increased regulation of “greener” practices in the supply chain.

Last year, the European Commission (EC) launched its Strategy for Circular and Sustainable Textiles, where it mentioned that this year it would start working towards the implementation of a digital passport for all physical goods. This measure would bring more transparency to markets and would oblige suppliers of physical goods, and especially suppliers of textile goods, to introduce a type of electronic label (such as a QR code) to their products. The introduction of this electronic label would help buyers to have clear, reliable and easily accessible information about the products they consume, such as details of the composition and manufacturing process, how to maintain them, and the best way to recycle them.

In addition, increased regulation is expected to focus on the following issues:

  • Pollution. Although 2022 saw a delay in putting pressure on governments to reduce pollution caused by the fashion industry, stricter legal limits are expected this year, as well as more action from governments to curb global warming, and meet the targets agreed in the Paris Agreement.
  • Waste management. The European Commission has also proposed a ban on destroying unsold products or an obligation to publish the number of products destroyed to force major brands to be more aware of their textile surplus, in order to curb overproduction and boost circularity.
  • Greenwashing. The EC also wants to implement a new law banning claims such as “green”, “eco-friendly” or “good for the environment” if they are not backed by environmental evidence.

2. Improving delivery to reduce emissions

As online sales soar, so do carbon emissions from delivery vehicles. It is estimated that freight transport accounts for around three percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually. Furthermore, according to a McKinsey report, increased traffic could lead to a 25 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions in urban centers. Undoubtedly, the search for more environmentally friendly delivery methods will be a major sustainability trend in 2023.

3. Rise of the circular economy

Textile production produces an estimated 1.2 billion tons of CO2 and consumes 79 billion cubic meters of fresh water annually. However, retail generates a lot of waste, leading to 85% of textiles going into landfill each year. This is why we can expect more and more companies and regulations to back the circular economy, which encourages the reusing of existing materials.

4. Growing role of data and AI

Data and efficient use of technology are helping fuel a sustainable future. For instance, here are 3 areas that could be enhanced thanks to AI:

  1. A study shows that AI can dramatically reduce a brand’s carbon footprint by up to 30% by creating digital samples and replacing physical garments during thee design and development phases.
  2. It can use advanced data analytics and machine learning to better predict clothing trends, customer behavior and sales in order to reduce the number of unsold clothes each season.
  3. It can lead to virtual fitting rooms, better styling services and more precise sizing – reducing returns and enhancing customer experience.

5. Reliance on cloud technology

In addition to AI, cloud technology is also widely used to help companies meet their sustainability goals. It is calculated that cloud-based supply-chain management solutions will surpass $11 billion by the end of the year, as cloud technology can help brands manage their waste, battle carbon emissions, and lower energy consumption. Additionally, cloud computing can create new avenues for collaboration between factories, allowing distributors and companies in the supply chain to have 24/7, real-time access to data and faster, more effective communication between links in the supply chain.

6. Next-generation materials

Next-generation fabrics or “Next-Gen” materials are non-plastic, non-synthetic and vegan fabrics that serve as ethical and sustainable alternatives to conventional fabrics for use in fashion, household and other products. They serve primarily as replacements for animal-based materials such as leather, fur, wool, and down.

Examples of already existing Net-Gen materials include fabrics made out of microbes, fruits, or even by capturing carbon emissions. The current generation of alternatives – petroleum-derived synthetics – have serious environmental and social problems, so innovation in fabrics that are more environmentally conscious and of higher quality will continue to grow in 2023.


In Recovo, we are trying to adapt quickly to the growing fashion trends, as we incorporate Next-Gen materials into our catalog and work towards a technology-powered model for big and small brands to source circular materials and meet their sustainability goals, as well as comply with regulations and protect the environment. Go circular and join our community by selling deadstock fabrics or using them in your next collection. In 2023, let’s work for a greener fashion industry!


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