Recently I have been thinking about consumerism, why people buy so much stuff, why is the desire for new products in every months, why they buy totally unnecessary and useless stuff especially in fashion. After reading and doing some research I realized that people are influenced by new trends, among a lot of other things but more about them later. I was curious how trends work.
According to Merriam- Webster Dictionary a trend is:
“A general direction of change in a way of behaving, proceeding, etc. that is developing and becoming more common”
“Something that is currently popular or fashionable”
So to simply put in lifestyle terms:
OK maybe it is a little bit too simple so let me explain
Trends are influenced by the political, economic, technological and socio- cultural environment. A trend can be long lasting (supertrend) which primarily affects mostly the economical aspect of the lifestyle (e.g. the price change on the housing market). A gigatrend last 20-30 years and affect the everyday life (like the technology and communication revolution in the past decades). Megatrends are the ones affecting the zeitgeist of the period, lasting 3-7 years. I think healthy eating and fit lifestyle is a megatrend now, but I expect it to become a supertrend, as people become more conscious about their body and well-being. And finally we arrived to fashion trends, which affects mostly medium-term lifestyle and consumer goods where aesthetic play a key role. Fads are even shorter than fashion trends, emerging from nowhere lasting only few months and then disappear without any trace.
In case of costumer behavior all of them are important because they are interrelated, and affect the decision making process.
How fashion trends influences our buying behavior?
Season by season designers come up with styles that differs from the previous season trend. I did intentionally not say “new” trend, because most of them is inspired by the past trends. So every season you see the fashion shows, celebrities, stores, and bloggers promoting the new style. Of course you don’t want to look outdated or out of fashion, so you feel an urge to go to the nearest fast fashion store and buy what they offer.
Here we have to clarify a very important definition:
In the Story of Stuff dictionary says: “when object may continue to be functional, but it is no longer perceived to be stylish or appropriate, so it is rendered obsolete by perception, rather than by function. Fashion is all about perceived obsolescence, and it could be said that perceived obsolescence is the number one “product” of the advertising industry.”
Therefore we can say, that there are few people (designers, trend researchers etc.) who influences what is going to be trendy in the next years and people start consume more, to keep up with the new trends, and dispose more clothing, increasing the amount of waste and decreasing the natural resources.
But where do the trends come from?
And who are the people who exactely follow the trends?
Henrik Vejlgaard created a dieamond shape trend model which shows how trends evolve, and who are the people who create\ follow the trends.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am not fine with this trend thing. I mean I believe in style not in fashion. I believe in self-expression not in brainlessly following the mass. I believe that without changing the styles, colors hemlines and heel 4 times in a year, we could survive. Moreover, we could do better. I am not saying that buying clothes is a bad thing, but buying clothes because:
You are bored
You want to look like that insta celebrity
You want to keep up with the latest trend
You like the color
It fits in your wardrobe
IS NOT HEALTHY. Not healthy for the environment, for our culture, for the society. We could spend much better all the money and time that we spend on shopping now.
What do you think about this?