The True Cost of Trends
Who didn’t want the ‘Rachel’ haircut? How badly did you want to steal every Disney channel star’s red carpet look? How many Juicy Couture tracksuits did you own?
We’ve always looked to celebrities for indicators of what’s in style this season. Whether it be iconic red carpet looks or cult classic movies that defined fashion that year, trends have largely emanated from those idolized in Hollywood. Now, those celebrities and influencers are giving us the direct link to buy them. Finding trendy pieces used to take hours, now it takes mere seconds. The question, however, is what is the true cost of keeping up with the trends?
Trends can change as quickly as TikToks can be posted. Viral videos on TikTok have generated 200% increases in sales in a single day for some companies. People are buying these items at a speed many retailers have never seen before. In the palm of your hands lies millions of online stores (small and large) all encouraging you to “buy now”. Purchasing trendy clothing items is the easiest and quickest it has ever been. On one hand, it’s amazing that fashion isn’t being gatekept anymore - it’s accessible to anyone. The downside is how much fast fashion has benefited from the rise of micro-trends.
Micro-trends typically last 3-5 years, rather than the usual 5-10 years. Additionally, companies now produce on average 52 micro-collections per year, rather than two seasonal collections. Therefore, the quicker the trends change the more often people are purchasing new clothes. Higher demand for new clothing items leads to a greater amount of clothing waste (both from producers and consumers). In fact, Americans have doubled their clothing waste in under 20 years, keeping each piece half as long.
And who can blame the millions of consumers who need the convenience of two-day shipping or can only afford the products sold on fast fashion websites? Fashion is a form of expression - you shouldn’t have to worry about harming the planet in an effort to feel confident.
Unfortunately, the current fashion industry isn’t built on sustainable principles. Issues of water consumption, ethical working conditions, and toxic chemicals are all too common in the industry. Not all brands are putting the consumer and environment first. manakii is one of the companies striving to disrupt these “normalized” practices. Our products prioritize the environment and the customer. As such, manakii wants to encourage our customers to both feel confident and make educated purchases. Here are a couple of ways you can do so:
- Research the companies you’re buying from - buy as ethically as you’re able to.
- Demand changes from the companies you purchase from.
- Wear the clothes you already have, buy second-hand when you can.
- Donate anything you no longer need.
- Curate a wardrobe based on what you feel confident wearing.
Author || McKenna Robertson