When we talk about clothes, we might describe them as ‘trendy’ or ‘in trend.’ Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about why we have them. Trends have been around since clothes have existed, and they are constantly changing. I wrote my Dissertation about Fashion in Victorian Literature, and it became clear that trends have been around for a long time. In the 19th-Century, women’s magazines and novels told readers what clothes were being worn by middle and upper-class women. Today, we see trends everywhere. They are hard to escape, so we are all sucked into the desire or need to keep up with these trends. Like fashion, people also evolve. We are influenced by popular culture and advertisements and have a desire to fit into society. Fear of isolation or ‘not fitting in’ means we succumb to trends and evolve alongside them.
In simple terms, trends mean consumerism. The constant changing of styles means we consume more, believing that it will contribute to our social status. However, following trends means spending money and contributing to the fashion industry. Therefore, the industry has a profit to create more styles and new trends, leading us to spend more money. It is a cycle that is in constant motion. This cycle leads to a lot of waste and unused clothing because we are constantly consuming.
Advertisement has changed since the digital era began, and this means that trends are speeding up. The industry has strayed from the traditional bi-annual trends and we are seeing more frequent changes. It seems like there are new trends every week and it is a lot to keep up with.
So, should trends be a thing of the past?
It is true that trends promote fast-fashion, but I don’t think they should be stopped. Instead, I think we should use the power of trends to promote slow-fashion and ‘forever’ clothes. VEJA is famous for having no advertisement, and they create shoes that will be worn in decades to come. They don’t follow trends but use initiative to create products that will never ‘go out of fashion.’ In terms of popular culture, I can already see more of a shift. Yes, there are celebs that promote trends daily, but I can see more influencers promoting sustainable brands and straying from fast-fashion promotion.
In today’s climate, fighting against trends and promoting clothes that will be ‘fashionable’ for decades to come is more beneficial. As conversations about fast-fashion get bigger, slow-fashion and outfit-repeating may become a trend that sticks.