Silk, Sleepwear, and Sustainability, Oh My!
How can we take advantage of the boom in sleepwear while keeping it sustainable?
Believe it or not, we spend about one third of our lives in bed. Whether sleeping, reading, or just chilling – a lot of our time is spent under our cozy covers. Sleep is known to stimulate better mental health and promote happiness, making it a key factor in self-care. That being said, we still frequently take for granted how important it is to create the perfect conditions for sleep. Not only is it important to keep in mind the fabric of the materials we are sleeping on, we should also be paying attention to what materials we are sleeping in. Breathable and hypoallergenic fabrics are ideal for us to go to sleep in. With more and more companies making the switch to hybrid or fully remote work, it comes as no surprise that people are spending increased time at home and, by extension, their beds. Market data shows that fast fashion brands are beginning to take an interest in sleepwear as well as loungewear and the market is projected to have some serious growth over the next two years. However, with fast fashion often comes unsustainable practices. Is it possible to take advantage of this boom while remaining as sustainable as possible?
It goes without saying that the past two years have shifted the way the average person works. More people have worked from home in the last couple of years than ever before due to the onset of Covid-19. Now, two years later, many employers are leaning into the fully remote workplace and giving employees the opportunity to work from home. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an uptick in demand for sleepwear and loungewear. As things continue in this vein, the trend in demand for at-home wear is expected to continue. Recent projections show that the sleepwear and loungewear markets are expected to grow by nearly $20B USD by 2024. Major fast fashion retailers are taking note and starting to invest a greater amount of sleepwear, increasing their inventory to include more variety as well. In the Style, a retailer from the UK, had a noticeable spike in their assortment of sleepwear which accounted for only 0.2% of their inventory in 2019 and jumped to 5.4% in 2021.
Now that we know the importance of what we wear when we go to sleep – what exactly should we be wearing when we go to bed? First we’ll take a look at what qualities we should be mindful of when trying to achieve optimal sleep. One key factor in your choice of fabric should be breathability – no one wants to wake up with their pajamas clinging to them, drenched in sweat. Another thing to pay attention to is the texture of your chosen material. You’ll want to go for something that is smooth, soft, and delicate on your skin. For special cases like those with sensitive skin, or who have asthma or allergies, you might have one more thing to consider when choosing your loungewear – is it hypoallergenic? These are just a few factors to think about when picking your perfect sleepwear. The 6 to 6 Collection, a collaboration between Tencel and Studio Eva x Carola, is a collection that takes into account these important considerations. Each piece in the collection is carefully crafted to meet the needs of the wearer from 6pm-6am. Designed in three phases, it includes sleepwear, bedding, activewear, and footwear that deliver important benefits to the wearer before, during, and after sleep. Phase One (Before Sleep) primarily focuses on themes of restoration, wholeness, and mindfulness. It has a sophisticated look and feel and features loose layering for comfort and multi-functionality. Phase Two (During Sleep) revolves around intention, awareness, beauty, and the feeling of being at home. It has a soft use of colour and muted tones to generate a calming effect. Phase Three (After Sleep) is made up of activewear, featuring ventilation designed into the fabric of the garments.
We’ve written previously about how fast fashion often leads to unsustainable practices. So does this mean that the interest of these large retailers in loungewear and sleepwear will spell out doom for our planet? Not necessarily. As it turns out, companies are taking a larger interest in sustainable manufacturing as well as investing in materials that have minimal environmental impact. For example, Victoria Secret’s Modal Sleepwear line is crafted with fibers extracted from naturally occurring beechwood in an environmentally responsible process. We know you must be thinking wood? Now that can’t be comfortable. But on the contrary, the resulting fabric is delicate and soft, just as sleepwear should be. Other common loungewear fabrics like wool and silk are 100% biodegradable as they are organic materials, so we can rest assured they won’t have a lasting impact on mother nature. As companies follow the sleepwear trend, it seems like they will take the sustainable route to manufacturing, which is good news for our planet. MEC aims to produce materials as sustainably as possible. And in addition to sustainability, we also focus on durability. Our seamless technology specializes in crafting long-lasting materials that are also lightweight. When you consider how sleep and loungewear are typically used daily and preferred to be lightweight and breathable, this makes seamless technology the obvious choice to use.
Following what has been a crazy couple of years, the future of fashion seems to be trending towards relaxation and comfort. The rise of importance of self-care has also led to us learning more about what kinds of materials we should be putting on our body to ensure prime sleep. Fortunately for the Earth, many of the best fabrics for us to lounge in are also eco-friendly, meaning added sustainability in our everyday wear. With the investment in sustainable manufacturing for loungewear, it stands to reason those other types of apparel will similarly see an increase in sustainability as well which is a boon for the environment.
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