So Why Do We Follow Fashion Trends and What's the Alternative?
There is an almost irresistible urge to shop for the latest look. Most people give in and follow the crowd. But the crowd is constantly changing how it looks thanks to fashion trends.
We even have things called micro trends thanks to the likes of what is going viral on TikTok and other social media platforms. These trends are even more fleeting and last for just a couple of months before the next video gains a bit of traction.
But why do we as humans follow these trends? Whatever happened to uniqueness and celebrating what WE choose to wear?
Let's dig a little deeper.
Desire and Anxiety
Dr Rebecca Arnold is a fashion historian and she suggests there are two main drivers for why we can't resist joining the crowd when it comes to fashion or other products we might buy.
Dr Arnold said: "We’re drawn to the new and novel, to things that provide a feeling of change, and, perhaps, progress. We also want to belong – to be part of something recognizable – and there is no more obvious way to demonstrate this than through your clothes."
But as Dr Arnold explains, there is a terrifying reverse, anxiety, where if we don't keep up with what's trendy, we'll not fit in, be up to date. We'll be excluded, outsiders.
You might have heard this feeling of being left out as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It's the reason why we have to watch the latest TV show that everyone's talking about. Or maybe it's the fear of missing out on the latest iPhone, or PlayStation.
Even though we already have a working phone that we can make calls and texts on and take pretty photos we're led by our desire for shiny new things to buy the brand new model.
It starts as early as on the playground, with children's toys, card games and collectables. Take Pokemon or Yu-gi-oh cards for example. Or Beyblades, fidget spinners, Tamagotchi's. These innocent enough toys and cards become the talk of the playground. Kids have to get their own, so they can play with the others!
Social Media Drives Fashion
As we mentioned before, microtrends are now common because of what people see day to day on social media.
Many fast fashion brands will now use their social media accounts as if they were sharing memes or funny jokes with friends.
Who's having a BBQ for dinner? 🌭— ASOS (@ASOS) September 7, 2021
Tag your BFF 🍦— SHEIN (@SHEIN_official) October 15, 2021
IG: ournextflight pic.twitter.com/gI6NA5SgLw
Brands are constantly reminding us that they are ready to receive your order at the click of a button. They gain followers, likes, popularity and so they can influence trends and generate 'hype' with their supporters. It gets people waiting in line for their latest trainer drop at stupid o'clock. Across the UK, there were queues of people waiting from midnight for Adidas Original's Yeezys, designed by rapper Kanye West.
Are Fashion Trends Bad?
Fashion trends are usually bad news for the planet. This is because of just how fleeting some of the trends are, which creates lots of demand for a new style before dropping it for another. People end up buying enough clothes to fill two wardrobes and they no longer wear half of it!
But what if we started a sustainable fashion trend? To an extent this already happening with all kinds of brands proudly displaying how much recycled material is in their garments, for example. But this isn't enough. The key message with fashion is to scale down and to reduce. The only fashion trend that will really help to reduce fashion's impact on the planet is to become trendless.
Even without trends and with brands selling more timeless pieces, we still have more than enough clothes in our wardrobes and second hand shops! It is time to start celebrating what we already own. And, if we fall out of love with something, then we can swap, share or donate it.
At Green Heart Collective we have curated a range of preloved fashion at our shop on Team Valley. You can also shop online, click here to find all the details!
It's time to #BuyNothingNew and fall in love with something preloved.