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Hippie Clothes and Fast Fashion

by Annie Kapur 10 months ago in industry

Why this should die with 2020...

Hippie Clothes and Fast Fashion
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

I have seen many fashion trends come and go in my time. I was born on the cusp of the dungaree trend and remember wearing flashy and glittery scrunchies in my hair as a child. I grew up in the era of skinny jeans, emos and the post-punk phase that was the ‘scene’ culture. And yes, I had the hair to go with it. But I have never really looked at a trend with so much disdain as I have looked at the fast-fashion hippie trend because I feel that though it looks pretty good - it is a tad bit ironic, isn’t it? Let’s see why.

Even though the fashion trends I grew up with did not really have a political philosophy to go with them, I feel like the trend of the hippie does. The hippie phase is most associated with racial equality, sexual liberation and more than often, environmental friendliness. Saying this, I think that it is terribly ironic that people in the fashion industry want to profit off this by turning what the cause of the fashion states as its philosophy into the exact opposite of what it actually is. More importantly though, who is buying this?

The people who are buying into this, I believe are one of two different groups:

The first group are those who genuinely just want clothes and do not really care and cannot afford anything more expensive. This is not really fast fashion as you will not see these people spending masses and masses on many different dresses, skirts and tops in order to keep up with the latest trends from the mass-market fashion store. Instead, they will make these clothes last for as long as physically possible.

The second group of people are those who do it almost subconsciously in order to fit in with a particular type of person or trend. The demographic, being more than most, young teenage girls. Do they do this knowingly? Probably not. But what should we do in order to educate them about this blight on the fashion world that is fast-fashion? Teach them what it leads to. This subconscious buying habit of clothes we do not need for places, in 2020, we clearly are not going, do not need to be bought and thrown away on a mass scale in order to make ourselves happy.

If it is subconscious then how is it ironic?

Though the message of fast-fashion is adhered to within the spectrum of buying and throwing away clothes - however disgusting that may be, it seems that shops like these are profiting a different way which is even more disgusting.

Many of these clothes are made in places such as Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, Africa, China etc. where tribal and printed patterns of these kinds reign supreme as exotic designs of the culture. If you were to go over there and demand clothes to be made in a familiar design, chances are that your workforce is already going to know said design, be familiar with it and so, the efficiency may be sped up ever so slightly out of the fact that there are people who know what this design is supposed to look like. It comes at a great price, one that we should definitely leave behind now that much of what we have is gone:

The first price it comes to is child labour. Possibly, children are being forced into the workplace in order to make and/or package these clothes.

The second price it comes to is slave wages or less. These people do not get paid proper living wages and are often so far below the poverty line that even if they were paid normal wages now - it would not make up for all they have lost. Their life is compromised for the fact that they were familiar with a design that originated in their own culture to make low priced clothes for you to consume at an alarming rate.

The third price it comes to is the your mental health. The shops are preying on the teenage and young adult rise in depression in order to attract ‘happy impulse buying’ that may make you instantly happy for a moment or so but does nothing in the long run. How can I say it? You become addicted to buying things in order to maintain that level of serotonin.

The last price, and the most ironic one, is the environment. These clothes are getting thrown away like used tissues and we cannot stand for this any longer. Using the hippie clothing trend was probably the most ironic example I could think off but in truth, it is killing us all.

It is killing our people.

It is killing our planet.

It is making us suffer for it.

So I ask you, what is the real cost of fast-fashion?


Annie Kapur

Film and Writing (M.A)

116K+ Reads on Vocal

Focus in Film: Adaptation from Literature, Horror Filmmaking Styles and Auteur Cinema

IG: @AnnieApproximately

Pronouns: (she/her/hers)

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