I know I promised that post on vintage slips today, but I’ve come down with a terrible cold, so we’re taking a detour.
WordPress is pretty cool. I’ve installed this feature which tells me what posts are being looked at, what countries you are all from, and perhaps most interesting of all, what you type into the search box.
Today the search terms “why is fashion so important for shops” came up. I thought it was a curious thing to wonder about, plus I have a very easy answer, so sick chick here is taking the easy way out.
The answer, as always, is MONEY. Shops exist to make money. The more clothes you buy, the more money they make. The fashion industry is a multi-gazillion-dollar-generating cash machine which runs on your perpetual desire for new things. The phrases “on-trend” and “must-have” are specifically designed to send you running to the shops, wallet in hand.
Of course this all has a deeper historical basis. Hundreds of years ago fashion existed to separate the Haves from the Have Nots. If you were wealthy, educated, and socially connected, then you knew exactly what to wear to impress. More recently, fashion designers came into existence, setting the fashions and dressing the wealthy, and the middle classes were left to imitate. With global production, capitalism, free markets, mass production, and clothing cheaper than it has ever been in history, suddenly fashionable clothes are available and affordable to people at all socioeconomic levels. As a result, the industry is booming.
One of the unfortunate downsides of this is that trends come and go so quickly, all in the name of “fast fashion,” that it can seem bewildering and alienating to many people. Oh yeah, and there’s also that little matter of the exploitation and mistreatment of the people making all those cheap clothes. But we’ll leave that discussion for another day.