Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Designer looks captured the catwalks at Fashion Weeks around the world. But beyond the runways, recycled clothing, thrifting and renting apparel are growing in popularity and reshaping the market.

Why it matters: Fashion is a massive polluter. According to the United Nations, fashion produces 20% of the world's wastewater and 10% of the world's carbon emissions — calling the habit of quick closet-turnover into question.

Where it stands: Market niches that favor the trend are emerging in the clothing industry.

Recycled materials

Some companies are producing apparel made from recycled materials ranging from water bottles to previously worn garments.

  • Rothy's, a popular shoe brand, makes flats, sneakers and loafers 100% from post-consumer water bottles.
  • Hanes, an undergarment staple, has increased the use of recycled cotton and polyester.
  • H&M, a prominent fast-fashion retailer, has committed to using 100% sustainable cotton this year and offers discounts to customers who recycle their old clothing with the company.
Apparel renting

A number of companies offer subscriptions that allow shoppers to rent pieces, often of high quality, and return them for new stock.

  • Consumers cycle through a wear-and-return closet, rather than buy individual items. The industry produces less and, in turn, pollutes less.
  • Some individual retailers — Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, Express — are creating their own rental services, while others offer an array of brands.
  • Rent the Runway, one of the leaders in rentable apparel, was valued at $1 billion last March, according to Business Insider.
The revival of thrift

Thrifting has made a comeback, with digital outlets offering re-sellers a new avenue for profit.

  • Social media has allowed thrift stores to market their content online and offer shipping services, vastly expanding access to customers.
  • Self-selling apps like Poshmark and Mercari have also allowed individuals to start listing pieces in their own closets for secondhand sale.
  • Thrifting reduces the production of new clothing and the amount of used apparel stuffed into the back of closets and trash bags.

The bottom line: There's innately something less sexy about renting or reusing clothes. However, there's also something particularly unattractive about a polluted, warming planet for the sake of a stylish fit, making the former worthy of consideration.

Go deeper: More people are into fashion, but fewer inspired by legacy outlets

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Updated 48 mins ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.