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Trends Need to End.

by Hannah O'Keeffe 4 months ago in trends
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After influencing our overconsumption and the fast fashion cycle, we need to find a responsible end to our destruction.

Trends Need to End.
Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Trends are trending. Social media and influencers impact the way we think, act, and most importantly buy.

We, as humans always have a desire for more. It's in our veins. Whether it be the newest iPhone, that drink we've been seeing in our favourite influencer's clasp, or those leather pants that have been shared all over our For You Page, we want it. Our desire is not the problem, it's that we fulfill those desires constantly.

A microtrend is a trend that cycles through impossibly quick. That colourful jumper you thought was cute last week? Yeah, it's already on it's way out. Those sneakers you've seen on countless of your favourite movie stars? They're "cheugy" now. People are constantly buying new clothing, often from fast fashion houses, to keep up with this cycle.

Fast fashion companies have changed releases from the typical 4 seasons, to over 52 seasons a year to satisfy the public's craze for cheap and trendy clothing. The sacrifice that comes along with the purchases made at such "amazing" prices is one that we cannot afford to take. To make cheap clothes, they need cheap labour. Often delegating that overseas, to developing countries in need of jobs and money. Garment workers have been assaulted, killed through unsafe work conditions, and murdered by their own supervisors. Their own towns and water resources are being horribly polluted by fumes and dyes, with families getting sick and vulnerable citizens passing away. The fashion industry releases incredible amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming. Everyone knows this, but no one seems to care. We continue to buy clothes that get worn once then thrown away, destined to a landfill in another country.

One way to know how just how much our spending is costing our planet is by doing your research. Online resources like "GoodOnYou" rank clothing brands from 1-5, ranging from "We Avoid" to "Great". You can also refer to online communities filled with people all about ethical consumption. Places like reddit and discord have amazing people and are filled with different perspectives. One book I suggest, all about the fast fashion industry, is "Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes" by Dana Thomas. Honourable mention to "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion" by Elizabeth L. Cline.

The environmental aspects of it aren't the only problems of trends. We're lacking individuality. Clothes should be a way to express our personalities and opinions without having to speak. We should wear things that make us happy, are good quality, and will be worn endlessly. Yet, when I walk on the street I tend to see the same default outfits on everyone, next month, different default outfit, same people. We want to fit in and be perceived as cool and current. We can use trends as inspiration, but a strong rule of thumb is only to purchase if you can see yourself wearing it after it leaves the spotlight. If I were to go into my closet and remove all of the pieces I have seen even just one person negatively comment on somewhere on the internet, I would have nothing. We should be uplifting unique personal styles, and encouraging fashion growth and exploration beyond trend cycles.

It can be hard to avoid the black hole of trends, attempting to suck us in every week, but if we shop for timeless, well-fit, and good quality clothes, we can wear them for years. Some people like to shop second-hand, using thrift stores, or online used clothing stores to find clothing without first-hand contributing to the pockets of fast-fashion brands. Others like to buy from small businesses, or brands that use ethical manufacturing and fair-trade. It's up to everyone's preference, but I want to start seeing more people in my everyday life dressing in clothing I will see them in more than once.

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Hannah O'Keeffe

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