In today's day and age - acquiring followers and following trends are deeply entrenched concepts of our times. The fashion industry is no stranger to this concept. Yet I can't help but question whether such movements are doing more harm than good. Fashion labels have been a rock-solid operational format to conceptualise, produce, and market their products at least four times a year. Summer, winter, spring and autumn present four new opportunities to bring new products to market. In with the new, out with the old.
The industry as a whole is a catalyst to creating waste. The styles that don't make it in a seasonal trend are typically channelled out of stores and delisted online. Outdated products are often discarded, moved to outlet stores and even burned to maintain high demand for the brand. So much focus on new trends that fast fashion has become heavily ingrained in the industry. Is the philosophical view to following seasonal trends the very reason why our planet is suffering?
In 2020, the 'COVID era' came when the fashion industry received a wake-up call. Travel halted and the demand for formal fashion diminished. People in lockdown had no choice but to clear out their closets and take stock of their existing possessions. Economies shut down, and more sustainable approaches to fashion became more popular. Ethical brands gained momentum, a focus on recycling accelerated, and the move to sustainable fashion gained popularity. The second-hand market for clothing and accessories has continued to gain strength, and the emphasis on elongating the life cycle of a garment has increased. The good that has come out of COVID is that the industry is slowly changing, and the demand for second-hand fashion has made a huge comeback.
To become conscious shoppers, we need to reinvent our mindset. Don't follow the latest trend. Follow your inner voice. That inner voice will tell you that individuality stands out in a crowd. A garment from a season ago or ten seasons ago should not be seen as old and forgotten. Supposed 'outdated' styles hold the possibility of reinventing themselves in new and exciting ways. Old is the new, New. In a world of trends and followers, choose conscious consumption. Your inner peace and the planet will thank you