Someone asked me recently how to avoid trends when it comes to fashion. Being constantly bombarded by promotional material online, via email, window shopping, magazines, it's hard to avoid it. Sometimes I wonder whether I want something because that idea was in my head or because everything around me is a perfect marketing campaign, making me want something I don't REALLY need.
The easiest way to stop is to stop. People unsubscribe from promotional materials. I have done it for some brands, but not others, because I want to know when luxury sales are on in hopes of a good deal of a high-quality item (both ethical and not). Another way to not be tempted is to make a pact. For me, it is avoiding high street at all costs. I make allowances for COS and & Other Stories because both offer some high-quality items that I see myself wearing for a long time regardless of trends. It is a slippery slope sometimes, so I don't get too excited. These are used when I've exhausted other resources. I also stopped shopping at Topshop/ H&M/ Zara etc. to avoid getting that shopping rush, because they cover trends and are cheap, so the temptation is high. I have found that during 'spring clean', I get rid of high street clothing fastest and easiest; therefore, it makes no sense to buy any. I also find that high street promotes the trends the most because they're that desperate since they launch a new collection every two weeks. Of course, high street is not alone. Selfridge's emails me 'Thanks it's new' (really pisses me off by the way)almost every day and it is quite tempting, but the price range is so high, I browse at a max.
So my recent 'crush' have been large sleeves and puffy dresses, in which I look like a child or a candy. It hasn't stopped. I have been relentless. I've tried them at & Other Stories, at vintage and second hand stores, at Ganni, at Simone Rocha, at Molly Goddard. I asked my mother - the queen of ruffles for anything vaguely similar. I tried it all on, returned it all because I felt I was ridiculous for wanting them all. Surely, I have something in my wardrobe, and I do. I decided to take a break from trying and wear the shirts I have and a puffy black dress my mother gave me. Realised I adore them all and wore the #^%& out of them. I still really want a dress by Sleeper, and I recently got a corset top with large sleeves from Shrimps that I do not intend to return, I am also eyeing a piece by Olivia Rose. Too much? Probably. I won't judge you for judging me.
It is harder to ignore trends, as I try to keep up with them for work. So when there is a new trend around the corner, I consider whether it is worth it. For example, I love bomber jackets. I really wanted one before they were in trend. I found myself some and then suddenly, they were everywhere. I have too many by now and could definitely get rid of some, but I wear most of them and have not stopped wearing them, even though the trend has passed. The lesson learnt should be that it would be great for me to invest in one item from that trend, once I have decided I want it and it will be loved and worn. But the fluffy dress and sleeve trend are showing otherwise. I am trying, aren't we all? Hard enough? Probably not...
So what are the most sustainable options? Just don't follow these bloody trends (easier said than done). Go for items that are more timeless and wearable with what you already have. If you can and are ok with it, rent it out from Hurr Collective or any other rental you have available or borrow from a friend. That should potentially make you realise whether the trend is actually for you. Ask your friends whether they have any similar pieces that they don't want, rummage vintage and charity stores, look whether any of sustainable designers have it. You would be surprised how fast people get rid of stuff. I managed to (accidentally) find a second hand dress I wanted from & Other Stories half price in Retro Woman near Notting Hill Gate. The dress was still sold in & Other Stories stores. If you really cannot afford either option, there are no charity shops, and you must go Primark, I get it. Just at least make sure that that IS THE item you love will wear for as long as it lasts (hopefully long).