From sundresses for women to graphic hoodies for men, fashion trends aren’t just a fun way to make a stylish statement. Fashion trends have a lasting ripple effect on the industry, the environment, and society. Read on to learn a little bit more about fashion trends.
Fashion Trends Defined
When a particular fashion look increases in popularity, it’s considered a fashion trend. Some of the most common factors of the increase in popularity derive from celebrity outfits, fashion brands, designer fashion shows, and textile manufacturers. Trends go through a lifecycle, the timing of which varies between styles. When a trend dies down, however, that’s rarely the last time the trend will be seen as it is typically for fashion trends to resurge.
The Fashion Lifecycle
There are five stages of a fashion trend lifecycle: introduction, increase, peak, decline, and obsolescence. The introduction of a trend tends to start with a popular fashion icon, on the runway, or from fashion brands. Typically, the pieces that are part of the trend are available to purchase in limited quantities and at high price points, which adds to the allure.
A trend effectively becomes a trend during the increase stage. More brands will begin carrying items in the trend, more people begin wearing and styling the clothing, and more people are spotted en vogue. At its peak, a fashion trend has reached full market saturation. Items that fall within the trend are easy to find in stores and can be found at a low price.
Eventually, the trend enters the decline stage, and the styles become oversaturated and lose their appeal. The style is mainstream and no longer considered fashion-forward which deters those looking to stay on top of trends. As fewer and fewer people reach for items associated with the trend, it becomes obsolete. The outdated styles are no longer part of mainstream fashion. However, the trend is not gone forever. Fashion trends are in a state of repetition and the style will subsequently see its way back to the mainstream.
How Trends Affect the Environment
Fashion is notoriously one of the most wasteful industries. Textile and apparel industries account for large amounts of damage to the environment, including the production of CO2, global wastewater, greenhouse gases, and water waste. In addition, over 50% of the clothes produced in one year, wind up in landfills.
Fashion trends play a huge role in the fashion industry’s effect on the environment. To keep up with demand, brands have to put in extra effort to push out products to gain market share. When a trend dies, this could leave thousands and thousands of items unused that the market is no longer interested in purchasing, which is, of course, wasteful. This typically occurs with fast fashion brands, companies that work to push out as much product as possible while charging a lower price point compared to more luxury brands.
The Effect of Fashion Trends on Society
When a trend comes into fashion, there is high demand for production. This puts pressure on factory workers to produce items. The fashion industry, particularly fast fashion brands, is known for having less-than-desirable factories. Some of these factories employ children, earn wages below the minimum, and work in hazardous conditions. Supporting fast fashion brands with these practices further enforces their use of them.
Keeping up with trends can put pressure on consumers to purchase. Society places this undue pressure and consumers give in, which helps fuel the economy but can impact consumers as a whole. Consumers can find themselves in debt, participating in wasteful practices, and buying clothes they won’t wear for the long term.
How to Make a Positive Impact
Fashion trends can be a lot of fun to maintain and enjoy. Participating in a trend doesn’t have to feel shameful when you shop with reputable brands with a focus on improving the environment and society and buying clothes within trends that can be versatile, so you increase longevity. For example, graphic hoodies for men and women, a little black dress, or a black suit are pieces that always look fashionable.
Since fashion trends always come back around, it’s worth it to save quality pieces. You’ll be able to wear them again one day, can pass them on to children or grandchildren, or donate them. Small changes can have a lasting effect on the impact of fashion trends. Be smart with your purchasing decisions and you can feel confident being fashionable and earth-conscious.