Since the turn of the 20th century, the fashion industry has been well and truly globalised; production methods have transformed, consumption has soared and utilisation of garments has drastically depleted.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Fast Fashion reached its zenith. Big brands with their outsourced, low cost production bases began to speed up reactivity to catwalk trends and technology has propelled our love for thread even further.
Under the spell of marketing wizardry, we’re continually trying to fulfil this insatiable appetite and we’ve created a wave of mindless consumerism.
Accessibility through low costs and an abundance of styles has boosted our need for newness and we’re topping up our wardrobes at an expedient rate. The built-in obsolescence of Fast Fashion and the speed at which trends are produced has created a careless “throw-away” culture. We’re buying 60% more than we did just 15 years ago and it’s making us greedier than ever.
It taps into our love for newness, our need for conformity and our desire for self-expression. We choose to focus on the egoistic pleasure of looking good and tend to dismiss the harsh reality of what this self-indulgence is doing to the world around us.
This commercial carnival has been polluting our planet for hundreds of years and finally now it has come under the spotlight. But perhaps just as disturbing is the damage we can’t see with our eyes…do we ever stop to think how fast fashion is polluting our minds?
We’re using it to turn ourselves into self-made celebrities in our own little digital world. #boyfriendsofinstagram have been coerced into taking up professional photography and everybody’s morphed into a model, a stylist, a trend spy or a public figure over night.
Youtube hauls are actually a thing.
We’re taking somewhere near 93 million selfies every day and we’ve all become masters of snapping from the perfect angle to distort our reality into an unsustainable online perfectionism that does not reflect what we see in the mirror.
It’s an alarming level of narcissism that on the one hand gives us a falsified confidence boost and on the other hand plays into our most extreme insecurities, revving up our inner faultfinder into a psychotic frenzy.
We post pictures of ourselves looking effortlessly chic in our latest neon micropleat and oversized bow combo, but fail to mention that it secretly took ninety-seven attempts to perfect.
And by posting that picture onto our social media pages, we are openly and expressively craving attention and approval from our peers; because let’s face it, every aspect of our existence is about dopamine highs.
Whether it’s a confidence-boosting like on Facebook, to an ego-tickling DM on Insta, a kudos cuddle in the form of a retweet or handing over our plastic cards in return for a polyester princess – it’s all in the name of getting our next hit.
Fast fashion is emotionally destabilising us and our dependency on these must-have pick-me-ups is scary. It’s a never-ending chase for the unattainable us and we’re losing our sense of self in this race to keep up with the trends.
This new age twisted arrogance is creating some sort of online identity crisis which is totally warping our sense of self and we’re chasing happiness in all the wrong places.
We’re Dopamine Junkies and the struggle against The Zara Addiction is real.