Fashion Month is a significant time for those who admire new and creative pieces, but another conversation is stirred up during this time: consumerism. In the digital era of try-on hauls and massive purchase culture, it’s only fair to look at how society is impacted by this month.
Consumerism is the act where individuals need to acquire various goods and services beyond their means to showcase a certain status. How does Fashion Month contribute to that? With so many new pieces hitting the market, fast fashion companies can create dupes in weeks, giving customers access.
Another important factor to examine is the actual events of Fashion Month. It doesn’t just stop at New York. There’s also Paris, London and Milan. We see people participating in overconsumption annually due to the pressure to dress the part for each occasion.
For Zillennials with access to social media and seeing the newest trends, consumerism affects their relationship with fashion. According to a survey conducted by Fashion Revolution, eight percent of people aged 16-24 say they only wear clothes that are ‘in fashion’ compared to four percent of respondents across all countries.
Over the years, there’s been a massive conversation surrounding the tactic of overconsumption and consumerism in the fashion industry, thanks to the next generation calling out the harmful ways it’s impacting people and the environment. According to the World Resource Institute, around 20 percent of industrial wastewater pollution worldwide originates from the fashion industry.
For this year’s Fashion Week, attendees saw an intentional effort to promote sustainability in fashion. According to data, The fashion industry is responsible for eight to 10 percent of humanity’s carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. If the fashion sector continues on its current trajectory, that share of the carbon budget could jump to 26 percent by 2050.
Though all major fashion brands can’t end consumerism in the fashion market, there’s a shift in conversation about how designers can push their audience in an eco-friendly direction. With the next generation of designers showcasing in fashion week, they are creating conversations around how people shop.
It’s up to daily style consumers to be conscious of how sustainable fashion can be. Whether it’s fast fashion or hand-crafted pieces, consumerism can begin to take a backseat in the shopping experience.
About Kenyatta: Clark Atlanta University and Medill School alumna Kenyatta Victoria is the Girls United writer covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle, and investigative stories. When not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or binging her favorite comfort shows.