Fashion trends need to slow down

Bell-bottoms are back and skinny jeans are bad, seems like fashion trends are just a societal game

(Kristen Frier)

(Kristen Frier)

Fashion allows for the expression of one’s identity and the ability to feel confident. Fashion is a way to show history and connect with those around us, but it can also be extremely problematic, with the constant never ending shifts in new or recurring fashion trends. 

While fashion trends may seem like a fun societal game, they can have both environmental and mental impacts.  

It feels like fashion has taken the nostalgic turn we never thought would happen. From 2000s fits such as the low-rise jeans, or baggy boyfriend and mom jeans, all the way to cargo pants and loose baggy tees, to the 90s sweater vests and bucket hats, the past is coming back.

If you walk into any store that used to sell sweaters and skinny jeans, you might find that those are not in style anymore, which isn’t a good thing for the many pairs of skinnies I have laying around. 

It is not even just the stores, but social media as well, which often promotes the fact that it truly is “out with the old and in with the new.”

The constant change in fashion could cause some people to feel overwhelmed or anxious because of the need to wear trendy items. The need to keep up with what’s “in” allows for the continual discarding of fabrics that are “out” of fashion, and this adds to greater environmental issues.  

According to a Bloomberg article, “the U.S. throws away the equivalent of about 70 pairs of pants per person in waste from clothes and footwear each year.” That is a significant amount considering “studies have shown people throwing out clothing after wearing items an average of seven to ten times.” 

That’s horrifying when we look at how throwing away clothes accounts for one-fifth of the “300 million tons of plastic produced globally each year.”

A BBC article notes how “the fashion industry accounts for about 8-10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater,” and a “single pair of jeans requires a kilogram of cotton.” 

Since cotton is often grown in dry environments, the United Nations estimates that producing this amount trequires 7,500 to 10,000 litres of water, which in comparison would take a person 10 years to drink. 

Minimalist fashion is the idea of having a minimal amount of clothes in your wardrobe. Essentially this is exactly like Marie Kondo and her ideas of what feels right for you and what brings you joy. 

The key to minimalist fashion is this idea of slow fashion which is essential “buy less, choose well, make it last.”

This is the opposite of following every fashion trend available, but it might be the exact solution we need to become more sustainable and avoid overproduction. It’ll stop the dangerous increase in fossil fuel emissions, water waste, and plastic use, and hopefully protect our already suffering earth.

Fast-changing fashion trends cause fast fashion, which is rapidly polluting our environment. It is one thing to bring your mom’s stylish corduroy bell-bottoms back in style, but to throw out your skinny jeans to fill your closet with items that will be out of style next season? That is where the problem is arising.