Fast Fashion

Sam Canizales, Writer

Studies are showing that across the United States young people are purchasing more and more clothing. This is due to the fact that in recent years fashion trends have shortened, being popular for fewer and fewer months. This is caused by the ability to produce clothing faster and at a lower price as well as social media spreading the trends at an increased speed. 

In an article for the Wall Street Journal (Dana Thomas, The High Price of Fast Fashion, Aug. 29, 2019) it is stated that the average American owns about 68 articles of clothing. This is approximately 5 times more than the average American did 20 years ago. This raises the question of what has changed? What is causing so many people to start consuming clothing at such high rates?

Fast fashion enables individuals to purchase large quantities of clothing. Fast fashion is when a company sells mass quantities of low-cost, low-quality clothing. This clothing is generally not made to be worn for long periods of time. Companies can produce it at such a low cost by using synthetic materials and manufacturing the clothing in sweatshops. Because of its low price tag and trendy nature, the clothing is purchased in large quantities by consumers and disposed of shortly after.

With fast fashion companies creating low cost trendy pieces of clothing that can be purchased in mass amounts, what is moving these trends along so quickly? Social media. Social media platforms expedited the rate at which trends would spread from fashion hubs, like New York, to the rest of the country. Social media allows for a trend to be shared instantly no matter the location of the sharer or the receiver. 

“It is difficult to build and maintain my own style when I see people wearing something super cute online that I have none of the pieces (articles of clothing) to build it” says Allie Mitchell, freshman in college.

For many it is a similar struggle as there are so many styles being poured onto teenagers and young adults when they use platforms like Instagram and TikTok. This experience is heightened by trends that specifically work to show off an individual’s style or clothing collection. These trends may manifest as an individual giving a tour of their closet or showing what they would wear for different occasions. 

Packing for a Trip (TikTok)

“I think I discover new things on TikTok. I like creating things that show off my own personal style. It’s just a fun thing to do.” says Ashlyn Adams, TikTok Creator (@Fairyg0thmother)

What can Young people do to participate in fun trends on social media and keep from contributing to the fast fashion industry? Most agree that it is by relying on a personal style rather than on the trends of social media.