5 trends that will shape sustainability in 2022

Where are we headed in 2022? There’s no doubt that the pandemic boosted global awareness of environmental issues and the need to act now for climate change. 

With regulations setting in and consumer’s driving the way for brands to change, we are expecting 2022 to be the year where the general public’s voice is heard more than ever by governments and companies to take action.

We’ve rounded up five key points that we believe will shape the sustainability narrative in 2022, based on reports from industry experts, new governing regulations and key talking points from insiders and activists.

1. Data disclosure

With net-zero goals becoming the fashionable trend for businesses, and financial powers pushing companies to achieve this, there’s room for greenwashing to take place if businesses aren’t regulated. For the UK, the government announced in November 2021 that it will be introducing mandatory climate-related financial reporting for the very first time, becoming the first G20 nation to put it into law.

This means businesses have to disclose information in alignment with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). At first, this will only be for large public and private companies and comes into effect in April this year.

2.“Degrowth”

 

 

Prepare to see this buzzword all over your feeds this year. The word Degrowth continually cropped up during COP26; once a controversial ideology held by activists, this idea is becoming more and more widely discussed by business leaders. Degrowth is the notion that we can’t continue with exponential economic growth which causes human exploitation and environmental destruction.

Different from a recession, degrowth is a phase of planned economic deceleration in the richest nations, eventually reaching a steady state that operates within Earth’s limits. With humanity using nature 1.7 times faster than our planet’s biocapacity can regenerate, and Earth Overshoot Day getting earlier every year, Degrowth is something that we will continue to hear more about in 2022.

3. Circular Thinking Fashion

Circularity is a model of a “closed-loop” production and consumption, where eliminating waste and maximising the reuse of resources is at the core. There’s no doubt that consumers are already pushing fashion brands to head in a more low-impact way, and we’re sure to see this becoming even more widespread in 2022. 

With groundbreaking changes in textile recycling and new innovative materials, there’s a seismic shift afoot to make the products of today become the resources of tomorrow. 

4. Climate Positive > Climate Neutral 

 

We’re aware of companies going climate neutral, but this year is going to see the rise of businesses going a step further with the Climate Positive movement. Said brands are not only focusing on their emissions, but are also working on ways to improve the planet through positive changes.

Take Post Carbon Lab, who are working on clothes that have been made with algae, on the basis that they photosynthesise as you wear them. Regenerative farming practices, where a diverse range of crops are grown alongside the ones that are needed, helps put much-needed nutrients back into the soil.

5. Digital Passports For Your Clothes

 

What if your clothing had its own identity? We’re in the future - 2022 will see digital passports for our clothes entering the mainstream. But what exactly is it? It's a way of enabling true transparency of a garment, to try and tackle the murky world of greenwashing that has become rife in the fashion industry.

A digital passport is a way of storing and sharing a product’s information - showing both consumers and production partners where and when the garment was made, as well as what it’s made from.