Fashion is one of the most popular creative industries in the world. It inspires generations and has always been a reflection of the times we live in. Fashion has always been seen as glitz and glam but it’s so much more than that. It’s a way to express yourself, to make statements, and even to use as a form of protest. Fashion has always been fueled by trends, and current ideas but with the start of the Digital era, fashion has become a drawback. What was once a creative outlet for all has become a climate crisis due to Social Media and Technology. Technology has changed the way we share information and how fast we do resulting in a drastic change in the fashion industry and Social Media opened a world of opportunities for many. But with new creations come the highs and lows aiding the problem of overconsumption we are facing in this era.
The Rise of “Haul” Culture and Influencers
Before social media the fashion industry usually had two runway collections on the annual fashion calendar now we are seeing around 52 collections, which is about a new collection a week. The rise of Social Media trends created Social Media influencers. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc made it easy to make money with haul videos buying clothing in bulk just to make a video on it. An influencer or “Social media” influencer is an individual who has extensive knowledge of a particular area and uses that to engage with large numbers of people. Social Media influencers can contract with companies and make money advertising their products. It’s estimated that Fashion influencers can make 30k-100k a year just by posting about a brand on their social media. Authenticity at times can be clouded with money.
So when brands saw how much money can be made with social media they began paying influencers to promote their fashion products and not just any fashion, cheap and convenient fashion, as we call it fast fashion. Fast Fashion applies to trendy, inexpensive clothing that imitates designs from catwalks or celebrity culture. Usually, it is mass-produced as fast as possible to keep up with hyper trends which are styles that become very popular and quickly go out of style. This practice is unethical, creates unsafe working conditions, and the clothing is usually made with synthetic materials that do not decompose.
The Impact of Technology in the Fashion World
Technology can be debated whether it has helped society or harmed it. While there are plenty of downsides to Technology, there are also some upsides to it. With the creation of social media, many brands have started expanding their clothing in new and innovative ways that allow everyone to enjoy it. Many movements have sparked in the fashion world for the inclusion of all. Here are some good things about Social media in the fashion world.
- Body Positivity Movement: This movement began trending in early 2010 pushing the boundaries on unrealistic beauty expectations and campaigning for the acceptance of all body types. The fashion industry has heard and slowly begun including different body sizes and shapes.
- Diversity: Brands have been very limited in how they would represent their clothing and who they would get to represent them. The fashion industry used to be cut and clean, with certain looks being pushed in the media. Since anyone can gain a following and become a social media influencer brands have started using people of all backgrounds to represent them.
Although social media allowed for lots of inclusion and improvement in the fashion industry, it has also caused a lot of negative impacts on fashion and our climate. Due to the fact you can make tons of money on social media, brands have calculated how to advertise and push their products even if they’re unethical.
- Fast Fashion: Since fast fashion moves at a quick pace brands like Shein, FashionNova, Princess Polly, etc encourage buying cheap clothing, knowing the material will only last a few weeks. With the help of Social media fast fashion brands are ranking in millions of money a year, Shein currently valued at $100 billion.
- Advertisement: Once fast fashion brands found out the success of a brand is with the use of social media. These brands would partner with social media companies to create and target ads to users. Social media platforms collect data and then sell them to other companies to help target advertisements to large masses of profitable and vulnerable people. These advertisements usually go unnoticed until it’s time to sell products. Then they’re placed on our screens offering huge sales, or one-time deals and in our fast-paced society, most social media users don’t have the time to research about the brand or clothing they are consuming. Encouraging impulsive and unnecessary products.
With all this new technology it can get overwhelming knowing what’s sustainable products or ethically made but here at Shop Repurpose, you can find beautiful luxury items that have been repurposed.