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Is Digital Fashion Becoming Disposable Fashion?

‘Never forget that what becomes timeless was once truly new’ –  

Nicolas Ghesquiere, creative designer for Louis Vuitton.

Flipping through the glossy, thick pages of a fashion magazine is for many – including myself – a rare occasion these days. The printed press can no longer compete with the immediacy and accessibility of social media. Instagram, Snapchat and many other apps give us a whole world of fashion at our finger tips.

How is the way we access fashion changing the industry itself?

Are the days of timeless fashion over in a world where we see it in a series of snaps and fleeting moments? Maybe fashion these days is instantaneous. Miss it and it’s gone. Lining the catwalks of fashion weeks are mobile phones suspended in the air, anxious to capture an image and a fleeting moment. In this sense, it seems hard to believe that what’s ‘new’ has any chance of becoming ‘timeless’.

The fashion process itself is having to adapt to keep up with the fast-paced rate at which we want new trends available to us. High-street fashion churns out new products at an unprecedented rate to feed this hunger and our ‘throw-away’ culture does not appear to be slowing anytime soon.

So is digital fashion encouraging disposable fashion? The ecological and social impact of this ‘throw-away’ culture is vast and not sustainable. If we process fashion at an ever increasing rate and then demand new trends on our high-street to match, who’s paying the cost?

The junior editor of Grazia magazine, 26 year old Josh, was recently interviewed for a BBC article and had this to say about today’s ‘fast fashion’:

“It’s good for customers, but as a whole fashion changes are going at a relentless pace and at some point it needs to slow down.

I think social media has played a big role in how fashion is changing, as fashion editors we can no longer expect customers to be interested in something they saw on Instagram six months ago”.


(Photo Credits: the-people.com) 

As consumers of social media and commerce we have got used to having access to something ‘new’ so readily. Brands know this and are increasingly using social media as a means of advertisement, reaching audiences like never before. As these consumers of social media and fashion product we should ask ourselves, who or what – apart from Student Finance – is paying the price for the monthly wardrobe update? In a culture of mass production, it is often the environment and those who work for next to nothing making the items that pay the true price.

Social media has enabled access to fashion that has never been possible before. Yet the impact this has had on our spending habits and expectations of ‘new’ trends surely means that these ways can’t be sustained forever. If fashion is to remain ‘timeless’, do we need to rethink our desires for the ‘truly new’?

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