How TikTok is Quickening the Fashion Trend Cycle
Ever since TikTok blew up back in 2020, it has impacted our everyday lives greatly, especially in the way we dress. Even starting the hashtag “#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt” with thirty-one billion views. Most fashion trends start on TikTok and usually end there too. Taking a look at how fast Tiktok media is consumed,the trends from a year ago are completely different to the trends of today. Before the rise of Tiktok, an internet trend would have lasted around three to five years. However, with the rise of fast fashion companies such as Shein, most fashion trends last a few months or even a few weeks.
Microtrends are born on TikTok. Crochet tops, patchwork pants, and cow print everything are only a few examples of trends just in the last year on the platform. As Rebbeca Jennings said on Vox, “..TikTok couture? It is a (sort of rude) way to describe the coalescence of trends that materialize on TikTok.” Trends that are considered out of style are the same trends that were taking over the internet at their peak not that long ago. A big company that helps quicken this cycle is Shein. Manufacturing as much as 10,000 pieces of clothing per day, the company has the net worth of Zara and H&M combined. In 2018, Shein had a revenue of 2 billion, and three years later, the company’s at a revenue of 15.7 billion dollars. Only a selection of their clothing even stays on the website for extended periods of time, and according to Dilys William from The Guardian, only 6% of their inventory stays in stock for 90 days.
With more subcategories of fashion being created because of Tiktok (such as “indie sleaze ballerina” or “pilates princess”), over consumption is starting to become normalized, with everyone wanting the next big thing and retiring it a month later. Sooner or later there won’t be anything in fashion to take inspiration from, killing the cycle.
Williams, Dilys. “Shein: The Unacceptable Face of Throwaway Fast Fashion.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 10 Apr. 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2022/apr/10/shein-the-unacceptable-face-of-throwaway-fast-fashion
Jennings, Rebecca. “Fashion Is Just Tiktok Now.” Vox, Vox, 1 Feb. 2022, https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22911116/tiktok-couture-fashion-trends