What are micro trends and why should we avoid them?
If we look back at fashion there were historically 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. However, as globalization spread (for reasons we will not get into here) cheap labor in less developed countries allowed for a drop in prices in clothing.
This was what most agree was the origins of what we call “fast fashion”.
Fast fashion is when quantity not quality is the focus.
Instead of four seasons, companies started to develop ‘micro seasons’ that were placed in between each season thus abolishing how fashion had been done. I am all for creativity and trying new things, but the implication of this was the consumer no longer looked ahead to their needs in the future but was told through advertising and marketing if they did not keep up with these micro seasons they were not longer ‘on trend’. Soon each season had multiple micro seasons and with it came micro trends for each.
Shops like Target, Walmart, Zara, H&M, and other large box stores capitalized on this by providing cheaply made, and unethically produced ‘micro trends’ that neither they nor their consumer had any expectancy of quality because this trend would go “out” as quickly as it came “in”.
These micro seasons were a greed induced market strategy with no thought to the human cost of those making the clothes. As clothes became cheaper and more available the cost had to be absorbed somewhere and it has often been the case that those making our clothes get paid less or not at all in order for our clothes to be produced.
Business is a profit driven sphere of society, and I do not think it is a bad thing, but global economic markets do not have a conscious. I also do not expect companies to have a conscious for me. As the consumer I have the right, the privilege, and the responsibility to carry my own conscious and decide for myself what the price of human life and human dignity is worth to me.
As we look at micro trends, we can clearly see what is being communicated to us: we must always have the newest “in” thing to be fashionable or worthwhile. I object to that being the bases of fashion. Fashion should be beautiful, tell a story, and it is capable of valuing human life and human dignity rather than stripping it.
So let us enjoy fashion! Let us enjoy the story we can tell through our clothing, and let us do it in a way that brings joy and cares for others!