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  • Trisha Bhujle

Fashioning a “Trendy” Mindset

Updated: 4 days ago

Sure, the fashion industry has its problems. But do consumers make them worse?


Abstract

Over the years, the fashion industry’s exploitation of unsustainable practices has become increasingly clear. Along with churning out clothes that are steeped in dangerous chemicals and produced using materials that are quick to wither, name brand companies also harness the power of advertising and social media to falsely portray their products as “sustainable.” In the process, they mobilize scores of often-uninformed consumers who continue to encourage environmentally-unfriendly clothing production through their repeated purchase of these clothes. This essay specifically discusses the role of the consumer in sustaining the environmental wrongdoings of the fashion industry, as well as the ways in which consumers can finally take a stand. While up-cycling and dying clothes with natural substances are explored as viable options, less time-consuming alternatives such as checking the labels on clothing and being wary of deceiving social media campaigns are also discussed. In addition, this essay uncovers the reasons why consumers respond the way they do: why they succumb to faulty advertisements, why they hesitate to purchase sustainable items, and why they so frequently flee to stores even when their closets are overflowing. In doing so, this essay aims to lay bare not only the powerful role that the consumer plays in the fashion industry’s practices, but also the impact that a rising consumer voice can have on making permanent change in a burgeoning industry that is only starting to pick up speed.


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