Growing up without the privilege of buying anything I wanted has taught me something more valuable than any price tag. Like any naïve pre-teen who was obsessed with fashion, I used to live vicariously through fashion gurus on YouTube. Whether I watched clothing hauls, shoe collections, or “outfits of the week,” I was fascinated by the luxurious and materialistic lifestyles they lived. What I didn’t realize at the time was how detrimental that concept of materialism would be to fashion.
Now that my views have evolved, the privilege I lacked has pushed me to view fashion through a creative and innovative lens. I’ve realized how clothes should be seen for what they are and how they are styled, as opposed to their cost. The real issue lies behind the fact that people want the status that is woven into designer brands. When trapped in the cult-like hypnosis luxury labels create, it’s easy for one to think about how price correlates with value. Though everyone is entitled to wear what they please, certain people spend excessive amounts of money on clothes that could’ve been thrifted or are just straight-up tacky. The materialism that is enforced by luxury brands prevents people from realizing how overhyped clothes can be just because of a logo.
For example, Gucci’s most expensive belt on their website is priced at $1,200. Being their most expensive belt, one would imagine the brand would go above and beyond to create something unique. But as I suspected, the belt is pretty much just a black belt with gold-toned hardware.
Moving forward to my hypothesis, some of the hardest fits can be curated with thrifted items. With every second-hand store, online and in-person, selling a unique collection of clothes, thrifting has allowed me to collect really dope and special pieces that hold values that surpass any price tag. Not only am I able to curate a unique closet that holds higher value to me, but I am also able to do so in a sustainable manner. Thus, if everyone stopped hyping up designer brands, society would take a huge leap towards a fully sustainable fashion market.
Since trends are constantly recycled through time, what if the entire fashion industry revolved around this practice of sustainable shopping? With the help of fashion trend forecasting, I believe society can easily attain a system that recycles, reworks, and reconstructs the fabric and clothing already on our planet. Along with standing up to the throwaway culture within society, we simultaneously prevent the detrimental effects fast fashion puts on its workers and our planet.