Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

The Story of Fast Fashion and its next Chapter

by Jack LeeHoffman

Edited by Christian Thompson

Hello readers and welcome back to this week’s inflection point. We are covering fast fashion and how this industry has grown to become the giant, it is today. From Tik Tok to sustainability, we will deep dive into the growth behind this trend and where it may go in the future.

NWO.ai's signal for "Fast Fashion"

What is fast fashion? Fast fashion can be described as cheap, trendy clothing that samples styles from fashion shows or celebrity culture. The goal of fast fashion is to get the newest styles to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible. As a result, it has become a staple for many consumers’ closets. Brands such as H&M, Zara, Shein, and Uniqlo have occupied the space and are market leaders in the industry. Since January 1st, 2020, the impact score for “Fast Fashion” has increased by 686%, and the future estimate predicts sporadic growth during the following year. It is apparent that fast fashion is surrounded by consumer energy, but what is driving this growth?

NWO.ai's signal for "Tik Tok Fast Fashion"

The answer, of course? Tik Tok. Over the past three years, Tik Tok went from a dance video app to setting cultural trends, including in the fashion industry.  Nearly 50% of the app’s users are between the ages of 10 and 30, which has enabled the social media platform to have a substantial impact on consumer tastes, especially within that demographic. Some of the summer's biggest fashion trends, such as matching sets, cutouts, and new miniskirt styles, were popularized on Tik Tok and became mainstream. Since Tik Tok has a substantial influence on today’s fashion climate, it plays a role in the growth of fast fashion. When these trends are gaining popularity on the social media app, consumers look to capitalize on the trend. Fast fashion provides the solution by providing the style quickly and for a fraction of the designer retail cost. Since January 1st, 2020, the impact score for “Tik Tok Fast Fashion” has increased by 11,471%, and the future estimate predicts continued growth throughout the following year. We have established the popularity of fast fashion and some of the factors behind this growth, but where is the trend going in the future?

While fast fashion has grown exponentially over the past years, there are still some threats to the industry. Fast fashion is notoriously known for being bad for the environment and unsustainable. For example, textile dyeing is responsible for 20% of all water waste globally. Fast fashion has a large carbon footprint, and the environmental challenges the industry faces pose the biggest threat to the continued growth of the fast fashion industry. Consumers are shifting away from fast fashion to other cheaper alternatives that are not as bad for the environment. Thrifting has grown in popularity because it allows buyers to get the style they want without paying the retail price. It is also a sustainable shopping practice because there is little textile waste. Since January 1st, 2020, the impact score for “Thrifting” has increased by 597%, and the future estimate predicts sustained growth throughout the following year. During the same period, the impact score for “Textile Recycling” increased by 702%, and the future estimate predicts both growth and decline during the following year. These signals validate that consumers are looking to be more eco-conscious with their shopping, illustrating sustainability poses the biggest threat to the industry. If the industry can find a way to become more sustainable, it has the potential to drive fashion forward and into the future. Next week, we will be covering the textile industry and sustainable practices being implemented to help make fashion more environmentally friendly.

Thank you for tuning into this week’s inflection point. We hope you enjoyed and learned something new about the fast fashion industry and where it is heading. As always, have a great weekend, and tune in next week.


About NWO.ai
NWO.ai's predictive platform enables leading Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to anticipate and track global cultural shifts by aggregating, analyzing, and producing actionable reports on human-generated data. We are leveraging petabytes of external, noisy, and unstructured data from various sources including search, social media, blogs, news, patent databases, and SEC filings and we are continuously adding more sources. Our mission is to answer the what, when, and most importantly, 'why' behind a consumer trend and enable our customers to detect these shifts as early as possible.

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