Microtrends are so not in: a Timeless Article

By Diem Tran

Photo caption: An exemplification of being swept into a whirlwind of trending fashion
Photo credits: Dreamstime

SAN JOSE, CALIF.⸺ Every day, increasing- and glamorized- microtrends put all of their “trend-setting” followers at risk of harming both themselves and the manufacturers of their consumed products all around the globe. 

Microtrend: a short-lived, quickly popular-risen item or style in the fashion industry. These constantly-changing cycles go so much deeper than what may ever meet the eye. Not only are consumers affected with piling expenses and identity crises, but so are the well-being of these trends’ material producers.

Many events occur without the knowledge of their paying customers. One prime example is the popular shopping website SHEIN; the online store releases thousands (6,000 on average) new styles a day! Talk about insane! It is truly mind-blowing how one company can produce so much within 24 hours. Their clothes are also mainly made from environmentally-harmful fabrics derived from burning fossil fuels. “It’s the environmental equivalent of wearing oil or plastic”, stated by writer Emma Morgan in her “How Ethical and Sustainable is Ultra Fast Fashion Brand SHEIN” article. What’s even more mind-blowing is knowing how these limitless items are produced. The answer is “children”. For years, SHEIN has used child labor to manufacture their products, however, they are not the sole contributors of child labor in the fashion industry. Several brands- Nike, H&M, Zara, Aeropostale, etc.- overwork children and the youth, as a whole, to keep up with product demands and restocks. But why should our materialistic desires be satisfied at the cost of others’ lives?

I’ve taken part in microtrends before; I know what it’s like to be sucked into a universe of fun colors, patterns, and “hot, new” items that are unique… until they’re neither hot, new, nor unique anymore. Partaking in this cycle of styles will also hurt your bank account and at a quick pace if too heavily influenced by social media influencers and online advertisements. In reality, you will be able to find current and (recently) past trending items in a thrift shop. Doing so will cost you a fraction of retail prices and the priceless opportunity of reducing the commonality of fast fashion. 

I’ve found microtrend items almost every time I quickly browse around thrift stores that people wanted to give away in order to make space for a new, trending style to occupy the previous-taken space in their wardrobe. It was so hard to find what was truly me and made me feel like myself when wearing, until I stopped being so invested in being “trendy” and “up to date” with current fashion trends. But, don’t take this negatively; if these trends are what makes you, you, then go for it! Just consider more sustainable options. 

A fellow Silver Creek student shared that when they partook in microtrends, she never knew when each of them would go out of style- it could be days, weeks, months, or even just a post or two on social media about a cute item that had recently come out, attracting every single mass consumer into their peripheral. “I feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up with every new trend that comes out, but it gets so tiring,” she stated.

The next time you plan on caving into a new trend circulating the media, take into consideration the unjust labor that occurs in order to keep up with demands. Silver Creek students, be careful about what you buy and who you buy from. Don’t contribute to the arduous lives so many young children and adults endure with agony just to keep up with some trends. 

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