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Trend forecasting and consumer insights to inspire and future-proof brands | The Future Laboratory

The Future Laboratory’s strategic foresight helps clients such as Selfridges, Farfetch, LVMH, Reebok, H&M, Lululemon, Country Road Group, Chanel & P.E Nation to harness market trends and inspire innovation.

by The AFC

6 December 2021

The Future Laboratory is one of the world’s most renowned futures consultancies. With a unique blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight, foresight, brand strategy and innovation, they inspire and future-proof organisations.

AFC Members can receive a complimentary 2 months access to LS:N Global Premium, a subscription-based insights platform that documents new consumer behaviour and key industry trends to give business professionals the confidence to make informed decisions about the future - view here

How do you work with the fashion industry to deliver trends and market intelligence?

We deliver foresight through a number of products and services, including our trends intelligence platform, LS:N Global, and in person through our Strategic Services. Together, our strategic foresight helps clients such as Selfridges, Farfetch, LVMH, Reebok, H&M, Lululemon, Country Road Group, Chanel & P.E Nation to harness market trends, understand and adapt to emerging consumer needs, position their brands for success and keep them ahead of their competitors.

LS:N Global members can access our fashion sector to understand the key shifts and emerging talent driving change within the fashion industry globally.

Could you share some fashion industry insights & trends from 2021 and where you see it heading for 2022?

Trend 1: Eco-motional Fashion
As climate anxieties abound, a new wave of change-makers are paving the way for a more positive, human-centric approach to sustainable and ethical fashion.
The fashion industry is facing up to the need to operate beyond greenwashing tactics. But while most brands are aware of the need to make drastic changes to operate more sustainably, action needs to be taken to ensure the next generation of designers take an eco-conscious approach from the outset. Global consumers are demanding more from brands too, with a majority (80%) believing that brands must be transparent about their environmental impacts in the production of their goods and services (source: EY Future Consumer Index).
To encourage change in the industry, the Fashion Values platform comprises a three-year educational programme including events, insights and a challenge to stimulate sustainable innovation. In a launch film about the project, the programme creators explain: ‘The future of fashion depends on what we value. The future of fashion depends on how we imagine ourselves to be.’
Beyond education, such initiatives are also set to pave the way for future job roles centred on sustainable innovation. These positions will focus on legacy as a key tenet of decision-making, considering the ways that today’s products and services will affect future citizens.

Read the article here

Trends 2: Food’s Fashion Strategy
Fashion is becoming a lucrative strategy for food, drink and dining brands, leading to new revenue streams, collaborations and highlighting brand values.
Following a year of instability and restaurant closures, food and beverage brands have had to innovate to survive.
While local deliveries, meal kits and gift vouchers have helped to boost income, one additional way companies are expanding their product offering is through fashion and apparel.
By releasing garments that celebrate the pleasure of eating, as well as focusing on their impact as taste-makers, food brands and restaurants are using fashion to secure long-term alternative revenue streams, showcase their brand’s ethics and embark on unexpected collaborations. 'If it seems strange that people want to advertise where they get their pizza from, remember we are living in an age of merch… [and] a time when brands are expected to present a three-dimensional face to the world,’ writes Ellie Violet Bramley for The Guardian.

Read the article here

Trend 3: Fashion Rental Market
Fashion rental services are evolving to provide new revenue streams, peer-led style inspiration and convenience that benefits brands and consumers.
Over the past decade, fashion rental services have emerged in the luxury sector as a way to diversify access to products with high price points – spearheaded by platforms such as Rent the Runway and Front Row.
Since then, garment rental has filtered down to high street brands, and more recently into peer-to-peer swaps.
Now, however, cross-sector opportunities are emerging for fashion rental to meet the needs of consumers in a range of lifestyle situations, largely driven by greater acceptance of rental services among Millennials and Generation Z. ‘For the younger generation, the idea of access over ownership is something they fully embrace,' explains Sacha Newall, CEO and co-founder of rental marketplace My Wardrobe HQ.

Read the article here
For more fashion trends for 2022, keep an eye out for our Future Forecast 2022 report launching on December 10th.

What’s next for The Future Laboratory?

We are launching our annual Future Forecast 2022 report in December, featuring 50 essential trends across 10 key sectors. The report will be available on The Future Laboratory shop or free for members of LS:N Global.

We have also just announced the latest expansion of our global network and associated partnerships with LATAM’s prestigious Box 1824, and Germany and Benelux’s The Cronos Group and &Koo that furthers our collective ambitions to become one of the most connected independent foresight networks globally.

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