To the vintage leopard print coat that I saw in Bristol the other month, I miss you. Part of me regrets not buying it but part of me also feels that it was the subconscious buying into trends that are gracing the high-street right now. The psychology of fashion is bizarre and I’d love to look more into it, because, and it might be a stretch, I do think that our desire for fast-fashion is somewhat rooted in our thoughts that are associated with the purchase of such items.
Now, I do think that trend led pieces can become a timeless staple because of the way in which we associate them with a certain time period or their ability to continue being worn with other clothes (in this case, the basic/staple pieces are the items we want to keep every season).
One ‘trend led’ style right now that I think, and have thought a lot about, is the coming back round of trends. The historic origins of clothing where there were a few trends per year, not a few trends per week. One of trends takes the form of the 70’s style flare trousers. I, myself, bought a pair a few months ago from Age UK for £2 and they’ve subsequently been one of my most worn items of clothing this year. They’ve surpassed the 30-wear test and are still going strong; I don’t think these jeans are leaving my wardrobe anytime soon. Charity shops are a great way to keep up with trends on a budget, but do you think that you should buy trend led pieces from ethical stores?
The answer is totally personal, but for me it is a yes. Going back to the psychology of fashion, although we may want to spread our wings and try to be a little different, all of us do conform to a slight stereotype or take inspiration from someone/somewhere else, the proliferation of fashion bloggers/Instagram accounts means that our own ‘individual’ style has some roots in the inspirations that we get from the world, online or on real life. A brand like Paloma Wool is pretty cool, paving their own way with shapes and an incredibly visual website.But, you may question – they are using corduroy which is a trend led style? To which my response would be that it is only natural, they are trying to grab the attention of the modern consumer. The modern consumer therefore can be ethical while also following the trends. If you know that you’re going to wear it a lot and despite it being more ‘trendy’ it is going to last in your wardrobe for a long time then why not buy it?
Hence, I go back to the 70s style flare jeans. An ethical marketplace under the name of eco- has recently grabbed my attention. With the first line of their website reading ‘sustainable consumption made easy’ it’s firstly made me really think about how cool ethical marketplaces are for discovering new brands but secondly about the idea that of course trend led pieces can have an ethical origin but yes, they are made to last longer than the trend itself. eco- sell a pair of flared trousers made from recycled plastic and the branding further highlights how such garments that conform to a trend can actually be used in a number of ways.They’re not just a modern take on a 70s-retro item but they can be used for yoga or lounging around (aka the two main criteria for any item of clothing). The brand that it’s made by, Teeki, sells some pretty funky leggings as well and it’s so cool to see these marketplaces opening my eyes to different ethical brands.
Speaking of ethical marketplaces, while also a clothing brand in its own right, Know the Origin has become a hub for new and upcoming ethical brands. I’ve discovered a few new lingerie brands in their delicates section and it’s a real hub for ethical clothing. They even sell Birdsong so yup, it’s definitely a website that even though it may cater to the trends, however subconsciously, it doesn’t make it unethical. In fact, these websites all sell trend led pieces with an ethical origin which is what is so great about them.
I wonder this with jewellery as well, although I feel like Jewellery may not follow such rigid changes as fashion does. Mi Apparel and The Acey have opened up my eyes to ethical jewellery brands like Wild Fawn and Tada & Toy. So, trends can totally be ethical if you’re looking in the right places and I think that there is still the argument that being from a charity shop or Depop, trend led pieces may not have an ethical origin but they can assume a more sustainable position in your wardrobe (depending on how you wear then and what you choose to do at the end of the garments life: I vaguely touched on this in my ethical fashion Q&A).
The thing to bear in mind when buying trend-led pieces is: will I still like this in years to come? Is it a trend piece that is versatile? Finally, do I love this item of clothing because it expresses me and not just because I’m being influenced by others? If yes, then I think that items of clothing that follow ‘trends’ do not just exist within the confines of the fast-fashion universe. Ethical fashion has become a trend in itself in 2018, but it shouldn’t be a trend; it should be timeless. It needs to be timeless in order to counteract the damage that fast-fashion has done and continues to do – but it is nice to the world of ethical and sustainable fashion getting the media coverage it both needs and deserves. What are your thoughts?
lots of love, eleanor xx