How to Stop the Fast Fashion Cycle

Staff Writer: Amanda Lloyd

Thanks to social media, society is constantly evolving. It shouldn’t be a surprise that fashion trends are changing rapidly as well.  

In early July, the “coconut girl” aesthetic was trending. This fashion trend lasted for around two weeks before people started calling it tacky and outdated.  

Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff 
Ashley Tisdale is often credited as one of the most influential fashion icons of the early 2000’s, it is clear why when looking at her red-carpet outfits.  

But why are trends going in and out so quickly now? Apps like TikTok and Shein.  

TikTok became popular among teens around 2019 and as of August 2021 it has over 65 million users. The app has an infinite number of videos with countless topics; however, fashion related videos have recently become one of the most popular topics for videos. The app is extremely fast paced, so users can get a cosmic amount of information in a short period of time.   

In summer of 2020, baggy jeans became popular as many teens began having their “Indie or kid-core” phase. Small, cropped shirts and baggy pants were essential for this aesthetic. The indie aesthetic stayed around for a few months, but even after it died down baggy jeans still stayed in style.  

In early spring of 2021, many millennials on TikTok saw that Gen-Z made baggy jeans and middle parts trendy, and took offense to that. They began making TikToks attacking Gen-Z for making high rise and baggy jeans trend because low rise skinny jeans were popular when they were teenagers. They blamed the current teenagers who, for the most part, were babies when they were in their teens.   

Along with TikTok, Shein is another major contributor to fast fashion trends. Clothes from Shein are made cheaply and sold at affordable prices, and new items are also constantly being released because of how affordable these items are for consumers. That makes it much easier for people, especially teens, to buy these trendy items. But as soon as these items are decidedly untrendy, they become unused, filling thrift stores and landfills. “Fast fashion encourages child labor, harms the economy, and can be very damaging to the environment,” says WHS senior Kaetlin Bunner. 

Photo Credit: Shein 
Patchwork jeans are a perfect example of a fashion trend that didn’t even last a full month.  

Instead of their closets being mostly basic items that can be paired with anything, many teens tend to own mostly statement, trendy pieces, most of which will go out of style shortly after they’re worn. These micro-trends that have been heavily pushed by social media gain popularity rapidly and fall just as quickly. “With how fast fashion trends are changing, it’s so hard to keep up. This mass production of micro-trend clothing can be bad for the environment,” says Maddie Marcinkowski, a WHS senior.  

Instead of only buying trendy items, it would be smarter to buy high quality basics that can be paired with anything. This way if you do buy trendy items, they will still go with the rest of your outfits. If basic items aren’t your style, make sure to only buy clothes you absolutely know you will wear. This way you can develop your own style, whether it is trendy or not.  

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