Micro Trends and Sustainability

By 6 June 2022 No Comments
Micro Trends and Sustainability

Micro Trends and Sustainability

Following the latest fashion trends is confusing and chaotic for some of us whereas it is essential and part of the lifestyle for others. Throughout the years, countless trends have picked up and held onto popularity for some time and even some styles made a come back altogether or with some minor tweaks. Some of these styles look absurd to us out of their context and we wonder; how did some people think it was cool? Then again, who is to say that absurd look won’t make another comeback in couple of years? However, there is an often-overlooked aspect with the micro-trends. Their impact on the nature. These trends emerge out of popular culture and what is relevant and popular in a particular context. However, they go out of style rather quickly. Therefore, brands have to capitalize these trends at their peak. Given that this peak takes place in a limited amount of time, companies have to come up with flexible supply chains and cheap material in order to not face losses when the trend changes and they have to manufacture a different style. According to data from The World Bank, 10% of all carbon emissions emerge out of the fashion industry. The fashion industry emits about the same quantity of green house gases per year as the entire economies of: France, Germany and The United Kingdom combined.

The textile that is necessary for the clothes, go through chemical dying process which end up in the oceans, when the trends are done and the manufactured short-lived clothes has to be discarded. So, on top of the carbon footprint, there is significant impact from the after use waste, as well as, the material (chemical) waste on ecosystems that we are a part of. It is always interesting the follow the latest trends but up until recently, clothes were designed to be sturdier and long lasting whereas now, being fashionable and different at a low price seems to be the overwhelmingly desired characteristic. Globalization and access to online platforms allowed everyone to follow the trends and now marketing teams push to create more and more trends which will in return create profits. Take the latest controversial Balenciaga product as an example:

These new shoes have the retail price of 1850 US Dollars. The idea is to create a unique look that only Balenciaga and brands of that caliber can dare to market. If it were not for the Balenciaga tag, people discard items that are in condition which are way better looking than this. So, what is the idea behind it? Are they trying to draw attention to the fact that even worn out things can be cool and trendy? Is this a genius way of promoting for more sustainable consumption? Or is this a satirical social experiment which proves as long as the image of the company is desirable, customers will buy any micro trend thrown their way? The interpretation is for yours to make.

It is quite clear that micro trends are one of the “sneaky” harmful practices that is part of our current economic system. Although the consumer awareness is rising and there is a growing demand for more responsible practices, often the product being economically cheap and fashionable is deemed “good enough”. How can we change that? The impact of global warming is undeniable and there is no room for error anymore. There are available solutions that can phase out the era of micro trends and over-consumption. First, choosing sturdier clothes with better quality when you need them is the easiest option. Also, practicing mindful consumption habits and not purchasing unless you really need something is the most straightforward and effective solution. However, it is also wrong to alienate people who are passionate about fashion and the trends that comes with it. In that case an idea is to only shop from responsible brands which provide transparency in their supply chains and report their impact to its fullest extent. Sustainable fashion is one of the fastest emerging sectors. If fast fashion brands do not change their current styles, they will gradually run out of business while leaving a tainted legacy and irreversible damage.

Ulaş Beşok

Team Greenable.

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