Fashion trends come and go with time but they always seem to come back around again in some shape or form. May it be gogo boots from the 60's or 90's denim. Looking at what's all the rage I feel it's safe to say we're on a 90's-rewind. That wouldn't be so bad if we were digging through our parent's closets and reliving the past but it really isn't so. Faux vintage is what's in and with that comes a price not attached to the top. Looking at other aspects of our "trend landscape" concerns seem to arise. So instead of discussing how dreadful cheetah print is or flared denim, I want to bring your attention to fashion fails we face as a society and what we can do to change them.
When you search "Fashion" into Pinterest these are the images that come up. No real Variety. Just These.
I don't mean to state the obvious but they all look the same. In a society where clothing companies profit off of exclusive sizing and image, representation is more crucial than ever. We can't continue supporting brands that perpetuate our society's toxic beauty standards any further. Whilst we may be seeing a growing trend of inclusivity, fashion brands have continued to push the notion of skinny is supreme. By supporting these brands we're not only eroding any progress in inclusivity & diversity we've fought so hard to obtain but making it okay for other companies to adopt these same marketing strategies. These exclusive cliques allow them to thrive regardless of the controversy and backlash they receive. Skinny does not reign supreme and Racist beauty standards can no longer run rampant in our culture.
When it comes to fast fashion and unsustainable clothing retailers it feels all too unrealistic to say we should boycott them all as an entirety and instead purchase from greener-alternatives. That brings us into to 2 issues. One being not everyone has the financial capability to make such a change nor the local options. Secondly, this creates a much wider market for an already prevalent issue; greenwashing but we'll discuss this later on in the article. Nonetheless a small change in both our spending habits and world view is enough to reap the benefits.
The proof is in the pudding
- Simply wearing your clothing for 9 more months than you usually would decrease the item's total carbon footprint by 30%.
- A majority of fast fashion items are produced in sweatshops that use child labor alongside unsafe working conditions & unfair wages.
- The production of fast fashion negatively & irreversibly impacts both the lives of people neighboring sweatshops and the environment.
- If everyone this year bought one second-hand item in place of a new product we would be removing the equivalent carbon emissions for half a million cars off the road for an entire year.
In the wise words of Macklemore
"No for real ask your grandpa can I have his hand-me-downs?"
The biggest threat to living a sustainable lifestyle may just be the little green lies hidden in your eco-products. Anyone who's dipped their toes into sustainability has probably heard the terms "Eco-Friendly", "Green", "Conscious", "Pro-Planet", "Future-Friendly" and the list goes on for miles. The sad truth is a vast majority of brands talk the talk without actually walking the walk as a marketing ploy to hit their target audience. In the last 10 years with the growing importance of sustainability and zero waste living brands have adopted a more conscious image and moving message to win over the hearts of consumers. Many of these products and their manufacturing being the same if not worst than their typical counterparts. Yes, that's as depraved as it sounds. Whilst there is no real way to end greenwashing at this time, we should remember consumers shape the market producers build. By putting your money where the honesty is we can shift the direction we're moving in. The first step is to educate yourself on your goods & what's actually environmentally safe. There are 3 questions you should ask before buying a product with big claims.
1. What is it made of and where?
2. Are they certified and is it real?
3. Are they enthusiastically transparent?
(The last question may sound a little odd but if a company puts in all the time and effort to be actually eco-friendly you won't have to search to know. The fact will be there for your all-seeing eyes.)
My strategy remains to be ~ Remember what your momma taught you. If it's too good to be true dig a little deeper.
" SO Last Century"
Not to be sentimental but I grew up and still live in an entirely Vietnamese household that operates off of deep-seated colorism. Growing up this was rather apparent to me and I quickly realized they really couldn't help it. It was of no fault of their own but something colonization has caused. Colorism still deeply affects millions across the world and it's saddening to see my younger cousins crying into a pile of miracle products that sell the promise of privilege.
A few weeks ago I caught my 12-year-old cousin using a "Brightening lotion" and when asked she said her mother told her being dark was ugly. This had absolutely shattered my spirit. We as a culture had made this little girl think playing outside was no longer possible if she wanted to remain beautiful.
I'm no stranger to this as my auntie who happens to be a facialist slops on Aloe-Tumeric concoctions to my skin promising a fair complection because I've caught a "tan". I'm sorry to disappoint you but it doesn't wash off I told her but less about me more about the world. I write this not directed at the elders who think making their children white will bring them better opportunities but the culture that made them believe that embracing their natural complexion would hinder their success.
These problems may seem impossible to root out and that's because these roots have grown deep over time but that doesn't make them impossible to remove. With understanding and love, we can shift these tides. There is no one person to blame for these views either. We can still see large cosmetic companies that wouldn't dare market skin whitening treatments in the U.S do it in Asia with no backlash and Brands release 12 foundation shades for the 12 shades of human ( sarcasm ). I can speak about this issue all day but this article can only be so long so please I beg you to start in your own home and spread the love for diversity. Love your children for their hearts and not their skin. We all bleed red.
Last week I was scrolling through the internet and fell upon a youtube comment of a girl begging for someone to make low-rise jeans a trend again because she wanted to wear them. Not to make haste generalizations but I quickly noticed a lot of people are afraid to wear what they feel is personally cool or fashionable and instead fall into the culture's opinion on what is currently all the rage. I'm definitely not qualified to judge any trends or say what's cool or not as I wear the same pair of sweatpants year in and out that I stole from my S.O but if any trend should die. It's Trends.
Trends are not only boring but kinda weird. We let celebrities or public "Influencers" create trends and then dress in their image to appear cool, pretty, or appealing. I don't know about you but I would much rather be outdated than a twin. Considering vintage is always in. Also, the confidence to wear whatever the h*ll you want is so much more appealing than fitting to mass beauty standards. So I'll see you L.A. Catch me wearing my peplum top and Ao Dai.
Have the confidence to create your own trends and Own it
Anyways Thank you so much for reading it means a lot to me as I love what I do. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say Hi please don't hesitate to just email me. If you enjoy my work check out my other stories.