There’s been a growing trend towards the inexpensive clothes in recent years, highlighted by some of the nation’s largest retailers. Known as “fast fashion,” it allows consumers to purchase more clothes without breaking the bank. But what’s causing this trend? And how long will it last?
According to a recent report published by American Apparel, the average U.S. adult will purchase roughly 70 new garments this year, up from just 40 in 1991 and 62 in 2012. Men and women alike are paying more attention to what they wear, diversifying their wardrobes while staying on top of the latest fashion trends. Of course, in order to remain stylish, Americans must invest heavily in new clothes, which is something that we’re seen more of. Here’s the kicker, though: many people are choosing inexpensive, readily available garments over premium garments.
One possible reason for this trend may lie in the overseas retailer Primark, which as annual sales increase by 17% in 2014 from the year prior. Primark is constantly adding cheap, new garments to its lineup, offering a wide selection to its target demographic of 20-30 year olds. As noted by Jamie Merriman of Bernstein, consumers often choose Primark because it’s like the “Costco” of retail shopping, meaning they can purchase everything from clothes and shoes to groceries and household cleaning supplies.
“Consumers shop at Primark differently than they shop at a lot of retailers,” says Bernstein’s Jamie Merriman. “It’s almost like shopping at a Costco,”—which sells buckets of peanuts and vats of detergent—“where you’re thinking about it in terms of volume.”
Another reason why many consumers are choosing fast fashion is because it’s easier on their bank accounts. The average American Family spends around $680 on clothes per person each year! That means if you have a four-person family, you can can expect to pay around $2,720! With such steep costs, many people are looking towards budget-friendly alternatives, which is where fast fashion comes into play. It allows consumers to purchase stylish, fashion-forward clothes without breaking into their savings account.
So, will the growing trend of fast fashion last, or will it fade into the abyss where it’s never seen or heard of again? It’s nearly impossible to predict the future of fashion, but all indications suggest that fast fashion will continue, at least for now.