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Fashion Trends New Yorkers Can’t Seem to Stop Talking About

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New York City is the capital of fashion in America, and New Yorkers can’t seem to stop talking about the colorful plaids and innovations in sustainable fashion that have hit the runway, from small to large lines.

New sustainable fashion stores by major retailers have also sprung up this year, and designers got creative with recycling and up-cycling. Here are eight fashion trends New Yorkers are raving about.

1. Colorful Plaids 

Feeling mad for plaid? You’ve got the fever, and plaid remains in fashion for the fall of 2018. Colorful plaid in over sized coats and other clothing items is set to outpace stripes for more of a “That ’70s Show” look.

2. Arket

Innovation in materials comes from experimentation with sustainable fibers. Prototypes will become commercial soon, and it’s already moving fashion forward with Arket, H&M’s new sustainable brand that New Yorkers can’t stop talking about. In 2018, recycled polyester became a thing, and 2019 is certain to see the trend continue.

The first Arket store opened in London in 2017, and hopefully the next will hit NYC. The store bases its theme off the New Nordic Food Manifesto of “simple, high-quality and locally sourced.” Hello, clothing brands opening stores solely focused on sustainability!

3. Sustainable Hose 

Most tights and hose derive from nylon, a non-biodegradable, petroleum-based material that harms the planet. Two eco-conscious designers started Swedish Stockings, a hosiery collection made with recycled yarn and natural fibers. Vogue called it the “first ever sustainable hosiery brand.”

4. Sustainable and Versatile Fabrics

Homegrown cotton entered the lexicon after Sally Vreiseis Fox of Fox Fibers wore a brown cotton dress to The Truth Beyond Textiles run by the Sustainable Fashion Alliance. Fox engineers cotton to grow in different colors, eliminating the need for dying. Stella McCartney makes silk from yeast proteins and leather from fungi.

Traditional leather remains popular as a versatile fabric that fashion brands source from quality tanneries, which is used for a number of products, from jackets to wallets. The leather gets used for motorcyclists in clothing that protects them on the road and in small items such as jewelry and gloves.

5. Elegant and Essential 

Many designers now showcase timeless pieces that people want to wear, meeting physical and mental needs. Seasonal whims move out of style to timeless pieces that last longer in the closet, such as the sheath dress, trench coat or leather jacket, and honor the elegant and essential parts of yourself.

When you choose a classic piece, it becomes more versatile and valuable to your look because you can switch it out as a staple you won’t give up after a season.

6. Cat Prints 

Cat prints remain an emblem of street style in NYC, perhaps thanks to Carrie Bradshaw or older generations in the Upper East Side. Cat print lives on, and recent trends include animals on top of the usual stripes and spots. Vegan dye adds a more sustainable element to wearing animal prints, because some days you feel like a leopard or a cheetah and you have to represent.

7. Recycled Activewear 

Girlfriend Collective, based in Seattle, designs comfortable and practical activewear from postconsumer products, such as recycled water bottles. Plastic gym activewear sounds uncomfortable, but updated recycling processes allow for feedstocks like bottles to get broken down and woven into knitted fabrics that feel like soft yarn.

Trends like the one started by Girlfriend Collective are gaining steam among mainstream brands. For example, Timberland partnered with the social organization Thread International to generate shoes and clothes from plastic bottles picked up from the streets of Honduras and Haiti.

8. Ocean Plasticwear

Ocean pollution plagues the planet when companies use seas as their dumping ground. Toxic chemicals and microplastics seep into the land and harm the ecosystem.

SoulFace Apparel engineered a line of recycled and post consumer plastic fibers that don’t contain harsh chemicals. The brand has recycled over 320 plastic bottles within a week of its debut. Norton Point Sunglasses creates stylish eye wear derived from thrown-away ocean plastic. Luxury designer Stella McCartney is jumping on the ocean plastic wear trend while partnering with Parlay for the Oceans.

These eight trends signal a new era of sustainable fashion and designers listening to what consumers care about and want to wear. Timeless, functional, fashionable and eco-conscious wear guides New York City trendsetters into expressing their best selves.

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Kacey Bradley

Kacey Bradley

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective. Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.

Kacey has been able to further her knowledge and interest for nature, understand the power of exploring other locations, and embrace the styles and cultures that surround her through her passion for writing and expression.