Sustainability and Inclusivity: Main Trends in 2019



Lyst analysed the data of 104 millon shoppers searching for fashion during 2019, crunching the queries, page views and sales metrics across six million fashion products from over 12,000 online stores, alongside the global media coverage and social media mentions generated by the year’s biggest brands and trends. Sustainability and Inclusivity were the main trends in 2019. But what exactly was the people searching?


Searches including sustainability related keywords increased 75% year on year, with an average of 27,000 searches for sustainable fashion every month. Searches for specific sustainable materials rose; 102% for Econyl, 52% for organic cotton, 130% for Repreve and 42% for Tencel. Sustainable denim and sneakers were the most wanted product categories. A number of brands launched meaningful sustainability initiatives this year, from paying closer attention to the materials used in their collections, to launching donation programmes and investing in re-commerce.

2019 also saw a number of vocal callouts against the industry’s lack of diversity and representation. Shoppers searched for fashion reflecting the needs and tastes of diverse communities; searches for adaptive and modest fashion rose 80% and 90% respectively. There was a 52% increase in searches for the terms ‘genderless’ and ‘gender neutral’ with fashion. “Woke” consumers looked for designers and retailers that aligned with their values and in response, some of the world’s most powerful brands launched diversity campaigns and programmes to promote inclusivity, some hiring new teams to help them improve at board level. Great news!!! 



Resale, Rental and Virtual: the way we shopped


RESALE. 2019 saw a 255% increase in traffic to luxury resale products on Lyst. According to a ThreadUp report, 26% of luxury shoppers now buy secondhand clothing. Another report by TheRealReal notes that 32% of shoppers see secondhand shopping as a replacement for fast fashion, with Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada and Hermes being the most wanted brands.

RENTAL. Now valued at $1 billion, the rental market is projected to account for a revenue of $1.9 billion by the end of 2023. According to Mintel’s Sustainability Report, over half of millennials have already either rented fashion or considered doing so. Renting clothes is getting easier, with more brands and retailers now allowing their customers to do so.

VIRTUAL. In May a technology executive spent $9,500 on a virtual dress to be worn in a “photo shoot” using augmented reality. Gucci and Nike started using AR technology to allow shoppers to virtually “try on” their clothes and shoes. Brands such as New Balance and Gucci continued to target the gaming market with branded products for personal avatars.



" Brands launched sustainability initiatives this year, paying closer attention to the materials used in their collections, launching donation programmes or investing in re-commerce."



Big Moments of 2019


JANUARY 24TH. MEME COUTURE. Viktor & Rolf’s couture show featured rainbow-coloured tulle gowns adorned with slogans. In just a couple of hours, social mentions for the brand and its “meme couture gowns” grew by over 249%.

FEBRUARY 19TH. FAREWELL TO KARL. Legendary couturier Karl Largerfeld died in Paris at the age of 85. He had been ill
for several weeks and absent from two of Chanel’s haute couture shows the month before. Virginie Viard was announced as his successor at Chanel.

APRIL 12TH. K-POP TAKES OVER. Girl-band Blackpink made K-Pop history when they performed on the main stage
at Coachella. The video for their single “Kill This Love” broke YouTube records, becoming the fastest video to hit 100 million views; the biggest YouTube premiere of all time.

MAY 1ST. FASHION DOES CAMP. This year’s Met Gala theme, “Camp,” saw Katy Perry dressed as a chandelier then a burger, and Billy Porter arrived carried by six men in a “Sun God” ensemble. Lady Gaga had four live outfit changes on the red carpet, one of which sparked a 112% rise in searches for designer Brandon Maxwell.

MAY 10TH. RIHANNA MAKES HISTORY. After months of speculation, Rihanna officially announced the launch of Fenty, becoming the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH. In its first month of operation, the new luxury house generated more than 5,000 media articles from around the world and over 7 million social

AUGUST 2ND. A ROYAL FORCE FOR CHANGE. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, guest-edited the British Vogue September issue, entitled “Forces for Change.” Photographed by Peter Lindbergh, the cover featured 15 women chosen by Meghan for their “inspiring impact on modern life,” including Greta Thunberg, Adwoa Aboah, Jacinda Ardern, and Sinéad Burke.

AUGUST 24TH. A NEW POWER PACT. French President Emmanuel Macron and Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault debuted the Fashion Pact. Signed by a reported 32 companies and 150 brands — including Gucci, Chanel, Hermes, Stella McCartney, H&M and Nike — the Pact presented a set of shared objectives the fashion industry will be working toward to reduce its impact on the climate, biodiversity, and the oceans.

SEPTEMBER 29TH. CARDI B. OWNS THE FROW. Cardi B stepped out at Paris Fashion Week dressed head-to-toe in florals by British designer Richard Quinn. Cardi’s ensemble contributed to a +17% rise in searches for the brand on Lyst in September. Later in the week she sat alongside Anna Wintour at Thom Browne, choosing a professional look by the designer. She attended Chanel in an ensemble from the fashion house that cost more than $30,000.

OCTOBER 1ST. GIGI TO THE RESCUE. Creative Director Virginie Viard presented her first solo ready-to-wear collection for Chanel during Paris Fashion Week, which was gatecrashed by French YouTuber “Marie S’Infiltre” when she jumped on the runway, before being stopped by model Gigi Hadid. The stunt contributed to a 2,618% rise in social mentions for Chanel.

OCTOBER 14TH-18TH. ROYAL FASHION DIPLOMACY. For the royal tour of Pakistan, William and Kate chose outfits by local designers and brands, referencing regional culture and history. After Kate wore a shalwar kameez on her arrival, searches for the item increased 170% the following week. Jenny Packham, Beulah London and Ghost, brands that were worn on the tour, collectively saw a 139% spike in searches week on week.



"With the upcoming US elections, we predict to see even more political fashion statements from politicians, brands and retailers in 2020."


Next Year in Fashion: Trends to have in mind


SPACE AGE STYLE. With four missions to Mars, testing of SpaceX’s reusable rocket and a new generation of human-crewed spacecraft all readying for lift-off in 2020, it’s about to get intergalactic, says Lyst. As seen on the S/S ’20 catwalks, the platform predicts holographic fabrics, space-suit outerwear and otherworldly styling.

JAPAN MANIA. 600,000 overseas spectators are expected to visit Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games next Summer. With all eyes on Japan 2020, prepare to be inspired by bold Harajuku street style and cult Japanese contemporary labels like Sacai, Undercover, Visvim and Neighborhood. Searches for Japanese brands increased 8% this year.

BIG BAG ENERGY. This year Lyst reported that the average surface area of a handbag had shrunk by 40%, driven by the trend for mini bags. For 2020 they predict a return to the XL shoppers of the ‘00s, in particular new soft leather styles by the likes of Little Liffner and The Row.

POLITICAL FASHION. 2019 was a turbulent year for the fashion industry, reflective of the global political and cultural tensions affecting consumer mindsets worldwide. Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer’s ties have already got Americans tweeting and searching, and with the upcoming US elections Lyst predicts to see even more political fashion statements from politicians, brands and retailers in 2020.


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