Companies work towards making sure they are always following the trend. The wide leg pants, the balloon sleeve top, the bucket hat (this one I’m not thrilled about) but why is this such a huge part of fashion. Why is the thing that everyone else is wearing what I should also be wearing. The answer comes in the form of consumerism. The companies creating these clothes want you to always be buying, and thats where trends come in handy. Fashion designers are always looking to create the new look, or to reinvent an old one. You therefor have to continue buying to “keep up”.
Let’s take puffy sleeves, they weren’t “in” last fall, or at least not that I was aware of and yet I am now seeing them everywhere, even literally on me. Yes, I bought into the trend, but bear with me. If trends weren’t a thing, you would simply buy clothes as needed, for an event, or to round out your wardrobe. With the idea of trends, you see others wearing the piece that is currently trendy, you must have it, you buy it, and you wear it until it’s out of style. The puff sleeve blouse in the photo for this blog post is case in point. I saw someone on IG wearing a shirt like this layered under a vest and I loved it. I simply had to recreate my own version of the outfit and I needed that shirt. I know, I didn’t actually need it but I really really wanted it.
Here’s where the sustainable switch comes in, I bought it second hand. I haven’t purchased from fast fashion in over a year ever since I made the switch to living more sustainably and I wasn’t about to break that over a silly trend crush, especially because I’m not typically one to follow trends. But, I wanted a top like the one that I had seen so I turned to Poshmark. I searched for “sheer puff sleeve top” on Poshmark and found this Zara one for less than $15. I purchased it and here it is in all it’s glory. Will it go out of style faster than it came in? Yes. Will I only wear it a couple of times? Yes. Does this purchase have a big impact on the environment? NO!
Just because it is from Zara does not mean that I supported Zara in any way purchasing it. I bought it second hand from someone else who was following trends, bought the shirt, wore it a couple times and ended up not wanting to keep in any longer. That is what is so great about thrifting and buying secondhand. You can purchase things that may not in fact get 30 wears and that. is. ok. !! I can keep this shirt as long as I’d like, wear it a couple times and I myself can then resell it to someone else.
You can follow trends while still being environmentally conscious simply by buying second hand. And you can save money while you’re at it.