TikTok is full of influencers who unpack huge boxes of cheap polyester clothing and post “fashion tips.”
Branded clothing such as Shein may be super fast, but lower quality.
Can consumers recognize beautifully made garments anymore?
today, On-point: I got dressed badly. Social media and ever-changing trends won’t help either.
Daniel Vermeer Product manager. A veteran shopper at a thrift store. Second-hand fashion He runs the newsletter Goodwill Hunting, and the start-up he is co-founder of Teleport. (@DLVermeer)
mandy lee, freelance fashion writer and trend analyst. She runs her TikTok and her Instagram account ‘Old Loser in Brooklyn’. (@oldloserinbrooklyn)
sydney greenGen Z shoppers who feel conflicted about buying new clothes.
About the definition of fine fashion
Daniel Vermeer: “Quality fashion has elements of both objective and subjective measures. They last longer or perform better, they have higher quality in craftsmanship, the construction of the garment, the functionality of the material, the composition of the material, and they also have subjective characteristics: look and feel, wear over time, Aesthetics, creativity, all of these combine to create garments of higher quality or vice versa, lower quality.”
About Shein’s business model
Daniel Vermeer: “While the traditional fashion industry has been very top-down, there is definitely more of a social listening aspect. Dripping into mass fashion, Shein has turned this model upside down to see what consumers are interested in. Start small batches of these and increase them if demand grows. In theory, it’s great because it reduces waste.
“Shein reports less than 1% unsold inventory, while across the fashion industry the average is between 25% and 40%. , with all these end-of-season sales, markdowns and clearance racks, I think you’re seeing people stuffed with things they didn’t buy. The scale and scale we are creating as a brand like Shein is pretty low quality and not built to last.”
Accessibility to fine fashion
Daniel Vermeer: ”Accessibility incorporates both price and affordability, but also includes size, inclusivity, trend response, convenience, and more. And they also brought up a kind of nihilism, especially after reading thousands of comments from her Shein shoppers on social media, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. This is very interesting from a consumer insight point of view.
“Well, well, the world is already on fire, so why can’t I look cute and buy this $3 top from Shane or somewhere else? But the biggest thing in terms of accessibility is quality.” Where can I find high fashion and can I afford it?Does it suit me?Is it something I really like and cute?And many young consumers, especially Z. For generations, they have not been exposed to, and still do not have enough access to, quality fashion.”
On Gen Z fashion nihilism
Daniel Vermeer: “Gen Z feels the weight of the world falls on their shoulders, and they feel tremendous pressure to be the ones to solve some of these world problems. As digital natives, they’ve also grown up under the attack and immersion of social media, which is why 1 in 3 Gen Zers feel obsessed with fast fashion, according to Thredup. , 1 in 5 feel pressured to buy, buy, buy to keep up with the latest trends.
“Because they see it. They deal with it every day on social media. It’s not fashion to think about.I think fashion should be a means of self-expression and creativity.It should be fun, it should feel good.And feeling guilty or addicted is not something we should support. increase.”
On the cycle of fashion abundance
Mandy Lee: “Accessibility is very attractive and gives rise to this idea of affluence. You can buy a lot of things at once for the same amount of money as buying higher quality clothes, perhaps one. And this kind of rich thinking creates this almost revolving door mentality when it comes to wardrobes.
“That means I can swap out just about anything in my wardrobe for a very low price. Depending on what’s trending or how my tastes are evolving over time, I just spin. And I think that’s part of the root cause of this sort of ever-revolving buy-buy-buy-dispose cycle. They may just fall apart, they may literally fall apart over time.”
On how social media is shaping our shopping
Mandy Lee: “[Social media] It plays a very big role and is a major driving force behind the rich thinking we are talking about. And kind of like what Daniel was talking about about transportation culture a while back, these videos work really well and offer polarizing content. You may very much disagree. And, you know, add engagement. Kind of like the end of it. And other people will fight over it. That’s why this truly polarizing content is created.
“And users who have just purchased 20 or 30 pieces of clothing from Shein are getting a dopamine hit as their videos go viral and are inundated with mentions and notifications. Buying something online and waiting for it to arrive in the mail is like floating on this dopamine hit of getting something new. It really reminds me of the same feeling I get when I see a video or an Instagram post or a Twitter thread posted by . increase.
Do these practices foresee any change or setback in the fashion industry itself?
Mandy Lee: “From what I have observed and experienced in the luxury and fast fashion industry, this is a difficult question to answer. But I think a lot of people are blaming individuals for this problem, and if you’re buying from Shein, you’re contributing, but it’s not who’s running this machine .
“It’s much bigger than an individual, it’s industry-wide. It’s not just Shane. It’s everybody’s problem at this point. What you are doing is practice, they have put in the effort and time to identify what is good quality and what is not, and you need to have that experience yourself. It’s not something you can see online and touch or feel or know exactly what to look for in real life.
“And I think a lot of people don’t want to do that because even this instant gratification that comes with buying fast fashion knows what an influencer push is like. .monkey see monkey do, by onspot.trust me..you know, it really takes time and effort to incorporate these skills into your clothing identification method.and this decade. , I think that practice has really been lost in 20 years, and I think it’s very human to want to do that, so if it’s even possible, how can we bring it back honestly I don’t know, I’d like to think I’m optimistic, but at this point I don’t know how this issue will end.”
About building a new culture around fashion
Daniel Vermeer: “I think consumers, especially younger generations who have not yet been exposed to quality fashion, are excited about the ‘ahaha’ moment when they can touch it, feel it, try it on and even smell it. . It is a maid product. That’s probably done through thrift and vintage because thrift and vintage clothes are made to last. ”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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