Fashion choices that are changing trends and the planet

Fashion choices that are changing trends and the planet

“every time you buy a piece of clothing, it’s a vote for the kind of world you want to live in”

By Ailish Armstrong

Fashion trends are changing much faster than ever before. This fast-paced system has caved the way for the fast fashion industry to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers worldwide. Behind the countless fast fashion outlets, lies an industry built on environmental degradation, child labour, ungodly working conditions as well rampant overconsumption. As awareness of these issues increases, so does the shift in mindset towards more sustainable shopping. From more conscious consumerism to decision-making regarding materials and working conditions many people including the Gen Z generation are making more efforts to reverse the damage caused by the fast fashion industry.

Vintage shop owner Sandra Keil spoke about her experience in second clothing industry as well as her concerns about the fast fashion industry.  Coming from a creative background, Sandra opened shop here in Berlin in 2009 but began to see the struggle of competing with the fast fashion industry over the following years.

“2017 to 2018 were difficult years for us. We found it quite difficult to buy and sell because the fast fashion industry sorted of pushed us in the corner. Things are so much cheaper now. You can pay two euro for a t-shirt. We are getting that t-shirt for two euro, but we are living on somebody else.”

Sandra began to realised people were consuming rather than purchasing as a sense of necessity.

“It’s almost like it didn’t matter anymore. People were buying to have something new; it wasn’t about the piece anymore, it was just about having it.”


However, Sandra said she has seen a massive change following the Coronavirus. She feels people are more inclined to go shopping in stores and are thankful for the advice they could get from the employees.

“Suddenly it was interesting for customers again to be guided and to have some support. I think people came to appreciate this again.”

Not only is most vintage shopping nowadays in store, Sandra explained to me the many other reasons why people became drawn to the idea.

“I think people began to realise that there are people are dying because of cheap clothing. And of course the environment is being majorly impacted by the fashion industry.”

Sandra also spoke about how she feels fashion is changing surrounding gender.

“A lot more young people are playing more now. Woman’s fashion isn’t woman’s fashion anymore and men’s fashion isn’t men’s fashion anymore. Things are mixing up a bit. Vintage shopping is shopping for unique pieces- to find that one of a kind piece.  It’s like digging for gold!”

While it is important to get the views of a person so involved in the vintage fashion industry, it is also worth understanding that opinions vary on this matter. Anano Bibiluri, a twenty-year-old Georgian spoke to me about her views regarding both sides of the fashion industry.

“Look I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a thing I did consciously, I just found fast fashion brands were becoming boring with their choices, so I decided to explore further. When you shop sustainably, however, you can find pieces that are unique and that you can’t find in every store. It gave me more inspiration to find my personal style.”

While Anano highlighted that she predominantly shops sustainably, she realises that is not possible for everybody.

“Well, I don’t look down on fast fashion as much as others do, because it’s never an individual’s fault. As much as we can hate on fast fashion brands for their poor working conditions or the way they treat their workers, I still think it’s not possible for everybody to shop sustainably. Not everybody has the money or the accessibility to shop sustainably.”

Student Anano had one very similar opinion to vintage shop owner Sandra, however.

“I think we should all try as hard as possible to shop sustainably but I realise that is not always possible. I don’t think we should judge other people that are not shopping as sustainably.”


While concerns grow increasingly for our planet, so does the demand for new pieces. A change is completely necessary but almost impossible to achieve in a short amount of time. Sandra left me with some food for thought. Hopefully, she will leave you with some too.

“There is a system, and to change a system it takes a very long time. Not everybody will be in agreement that a change is even necessary. I think we have almost lost ourselves. I don’t think people realise how much of an impact their small changes can have. Every time you buy a piece of clothing, it’s a vote for the kind of world you want to live in”

About The Author

Ailish Armstrong

Ailish is a 21 year old Journalism and Digital Communication student with a major in sociology. Her past times include reading, going to the gym and listening to music.