When social media became a key communication platform for people to network, brands immediately began to realize their value to showcase their products and reach out to their audience. Few have done it more effectively than fashion brands, which realize their primary marketing impact is through the visual medium. For decades, print and television have been the mainstay of fashion marketing, evolving into various forms of expression, from the fashion trends published by popular fashion magazines to live broadcasts of the prominent fashion weeks in London, Milan, Paris and New York. With the advent of the Internet and social media, the ability to share and convey brand imagery exploded, leading to even niche brands and upcoming designers getting much greater exposure and visibility. This was seen as a boon for the fashion industry. With the increasing use of web and social analytics, designers are also able to predict style trends better, leading to a faster cycle of creation, and giving birth to the concept of fast fashion.
Social media platforms have also provided an opportunity for all to showcase their own sense of style, clothing and fashion outlook. However, the flip side of this has been the reduction in the number of times a garment is worn. Once it is clicked and posted on social media, people do not want to be seen in the same outfit, therefore reducing the likelihood that it will be worn again. This in turn has led to the explosive growth of fast fashion as customers scan clothes more frequently. While this may lead people to think the fashion industry is doing well, the picture is not so rosy.
People are now opting for cheaper clothes that look stylish and look well in photographs, but are not necessarily durable and can be discarded after a couple of uses. This in turn creates pressure to manufacture at lower costs, using materials that are cheaper and not necessarily environment-friendly, dramatically increasing the carbon footprint of the industry. The industry is witnessing the impact of this tremendous growth of fast fashion in form of increasing pollution caused by the manufacturers and frequently discarded clothes. The current ecosystem cannot sustain the recycling of clothing at these volumes and steps need to be taken to improve peoples’ attitude towards the use and recycling of clothing

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