It’s no surprise anymore that fast fashion is trending. A new wardrobe every week or month, but at what cost. There are, however, some new trends rising, especially on social media, that could help us with this. Can a positive image for thrifting and a trend like crochet help us towards a sustainable world with a slower fashion circle?
Thrifting is Hot
On social media, thrifting is hot. With fashion icons, such as Emma Chamberlain, who thrift a lot, vintage shopping has become more trendy over the years. Social media are full of pictures and vlogs from people who go to thrift shops, and wear vintage clothing. The image of ‘vintage’ has grown into something popular, seemingly helping us to shop more second-hand clothing. The popularity and proliferation of thrift haul videos on YouTube and TikTok have introduced thrift shopping to a generation of teenagers, even those who can afford to buy new items.
For the younger generations it has been quoted that thrifting is not only a way to shop, it’s a lifestyle. It’s good for the environment, often good for your wallet, and thrifting is a fun activity to do. You are someone who thrifts, or you are not. There is little in-between. In a digital world where style is constantly on display, vintage shopping can be a way out of the fast-fashion-circle.
The image of vintage has thus changed, and Gen Z has made thrifting boom. Second-hand became vintage. A lot of this popularity has to do with this branding. The use of other words, the YouTube videos, the TikTok-trends, vintage shopping has been branded into something cool. With this rebrand, Gen Z has made vintage popular again. And we really are thrifting more than before.
A Better Planet?
All of this thrifting is leading us to a better planet, even though there are challenges. The popularity of thrifting has made buying vintage clothing and re-selling it for a bigger price more prevalent. Therefore there has been a trend of gentrification in vintage clothing going on. And the people who rely on second-hand clothing have to deal with these higher prices because of the sudden popularity.
The economic availability, and the green image can also lead to overconsumption. Buying more than you need is something the world doesn’t benefit from. Buying things because they are cheap also won’t help us with our goal of a greener planet. Buying lots of clothing, even when it’s vintage, isn’t going to solve everything. But doing necessary shopping in second-hand stores can be a step in the right direction.
Crochet Your Own Closet
Apart from the new image of vintage shopping, there is more hope. Lately, a trend has lead it’s way to Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Crochet is hot and happening. The patterns and the colors, you see it a lot in clothing nowadays. Even in stores you can find many pieces that exist of crochet patterns. And more sustainable than buying crochet clothing, is doing it yourself.
For a while, my for-you-page on TikTok consisted partly of people making wonderful items using crochet. And also making it fun challenges. ‘How many pieces can I crochet in this 6-hour-drive?’ ‘Adding one row to my blanket each week’. Seeing all the wonderful items and challenges was really motivating to work on your own crochet skills.
Many people have been inspired and learned how to crochet their own clothing. A trend that could definitely benefit our challenges regarding fast fashion. Making your own clothing is always a good idea.
Will it Last?
The only downfall of crochet? It’s a social media trend, and social media trends tend to come and go quite quickly. With a world that’s opening up after Covid, will people still have time and motivation to crochet their own hats, scarfs and sweaters? Time will tell. To speak for myself, I made one top and then stopped. I think it is safe to say that my crochet-hype didn’t do much for the environment. I hope people are more determined than I was with this trend.
A More Sustainable World?
Overall, I think it is a very positive thing that some social media hypes have put some focus on forms of slower fashion. Some rebranding of clothing that does some good to this world is never a bad idea. But we should keep an eye out for the downfalls. Overconsumption is never benefitting. Not even when the overconsumption is vintage. And trends often come and go quickly.
This doesn’t mean there is no hope. The more trends we see that lead towards slow fashion, the more our mindsets can change. A shift from fast fashion trends to some more sustainable ones is definitely a beginning. It gives us a start. Some hope that one day our fashion cycle will look different. And we can still be happy about our clothing. Let’s all become someone who makes slower fashion a part of their lifestyle.
Edited by Hana Maurer