Why Linen Is The Key Fashion Trend of 2021

Ancient, natural fabric linen is having its comeback moment. Here's how to get on board with the biggest fashion trend of 2021 - and why.

Let’s hear it for linen.

The most sustainable fabric, is finally getting its modern moment in the sun with an embrace of its versatility and long-lasting nature by ethical fashion designers and the more traditional designer names on the catwalk.

Including being used at fashion houses like Fendi, Jacquemus, Maison Margiela, Dior, linen is seeing a 102% increse use in SS21 collections.

Linen has been the slow burn in a notoriously fickle fashion industry, but the latest figures show that more and more labels are loving it and using it more.

  • 64% of brands used linen to a great extent for the first time – Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton
  • 28% were large brands – Fendi, Stella McCartney, Maison Margiela, etc.
  • 49% of designers showcased at least one linen look in their collection (i.e. 18.6% of designers vs. 12.5% in 2020)*

*According to TAGWALK

Why is linen sustainable?

Linen is a much more sustainable fabric than cotton, even organic cotton. This is for a few reasons:

  • Linen is made from flax, which is a regenerative crop that enriches the soil.
  • It uses a lot less water than cotton. A linen shirt uses 6.4 litres of water – it’s 26 litres for a cotton shirt, according to the CELC (European Confederation of Flax and Hemp).
  • Most flax is grown in northern Europe – France, Belgium and The Netherlands account for 85% of world production – which cuts down the air miles for the European fashion industry.
  • Thanks to its temperature-regulating properties, it can be worn comfortably all year round.
  • Linen’s fibres are much longer lasting than cotton, which makes it more expensive to produce but it will last much longer in your wardrobe.
  • It is an anti-bacterial fabric which means you don’t need to wash it as often.
  • There’s no plastic in this natural material, so no microplastics will be washed into the sea when you wash i.

I Love Linen

It’s clear as well that this year’s linen trend is a bit different.

Yes the fabric works well for minimalism and Scandi-style capsule wardrobes of muted tones but there are more and more fashion brands that have embraced it for other reasons.

Say hello to bold colours, modern cut tailored suits and the adroygnous look that can take you from work to well, when we’re allowed out – to going out. Find it being used at ethical fashion brand Arkitaip, as well as mainstream brands like Dior and Boden.

And don’t take our word for it, Tagwalk has this to say about the new trend:

“Although linen has a strong presence of Bohemian/Nomadic and extremely feminine romantic looks (stitching, lace and linen, long dresses by Alberta Ferretti and Dior), Tailoring has its big day with coupled with the success story of the season: oversized pants often worn with a blazer for a complete look.”

For more on why fabrics and fibres matter to the environment, read: What’s Wrong With Fast Fashion?