Millennials are drivers of many things and dozens of industries, and fashion is one of the biggest global businesses that they have taken over as their own.
This is because of the decisions that they make, the access that they have to things thanks to technology and the fact that they’re such a big group that encompasses a range of ages means that they are the primary focus for many marketing campaigns.
One thing that makes them so targeted is that they are consistently trying to do things in the most unique way possible.
If a millennial is looking for a house, they’re going to look for one with unique features, or perhaps built one of their own to their specific preferences. Similarly, if they book a holiday, they’re not usually going to want to go to tenerife or Lanzarote, they’ll probably be most interested in going to Myanmar and enjoying an off-the-beaten track adventure.
For this reason, and when it comes to fashion, they’re going to look for things that make them stand out, not only because of the look of their clothes, but because of who made them and where they came from.
These are just some of the ways in which we see millennials cultivating their own brand of fashion sense every day.
Not on the high street
Obviously, Not On The High Street is an online retailer that mostly encompasses one of a kind gifts and creative objects.
However, there are fashion elements on this website, but it’s not really that that we’re talking about, we’re referring instead to the fact that this website’s unique selling point is that by shopping there, you shouldn’t be able to find any of these products anywhere on the high street.
It makes itself look exclusive by saying that this is the only place that you can buy certain products from certain sellers and many people make a lucrative living from this selling space.
Millennials are becoming less fond of doing all of their clothes shopping on the high street because they aren’t interested in looking the same as everyone else does.
Market Research has shown that shops like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch, are nowhere near as popular as they were in past years because they make their customers look too similar. Similarly, many aren’t keen on the massive labelling that alerts people to the fact that the clothes came from that particular store.
Both of this shops and especially Abercrombie & Fitch were once incredibly popular in the UK, because the markets here were unable to get clothes from these American shops. However, it is now very easy to find an Abercrombie & Fitch in just about any city in the UK, and though they are still popular they are being overlooked for less obvious looking clothes.
In response to this and in a bid to keep their customers and entice the millennial market, the designers at Abercrombie have been looking at shrinking the logos on their t-shirts and making clothes that are more unique and specifically aimed at millennials.
Vintage shops: The rise thereof
It’s for similar reasons that millennials are shopping more and more at vintage clothing stores – they’re more likely to find a unique piece of clothing or accessory at one of these shops than at their local Topshop or H&M.
Vintage has the added benefit of giving a retro quality to any outfit, meaning that millennials have a fondness for looking backwards and into fashion history.
This has driven a resurgence of things like vintage markets and vintage shops are now popping up down the alleys and on street corners of cities all over the country.
London, and in particular the millennials who live there, are well-known for the popularity of things like Brick Lane and Camden market for finding vintage clothes and accessories.
If denim jackets are in season, which they are most years when it’s summer, you’ll find that millennials are much more keen on buying said jacket at a vintage shop rather than one from the high street.
People are also becoming keen on projecting a specific look, for example the 1950s, and burlesque has been increasing in popularity for a few years now among women and there are now lots of 50s-style dresses and dancing sandals in the shops that people can buy.
There are also specialist websites that spend time sourcing original items from the 1950s, or creating custom dresses and such that will suit people’s preferred sense of style. This isn’t just limited to clothes however, as vintage barbers and hairdressers are doing pop-ups throughout London and other cities in the UK.
You can also find these hairdressers at little store-front shops in some vintage shops who do their best to help make people look the part.
Attitude towards sustainability
Thanks to technology making media and all information more accessible in recent times, people are now much more informed on how things are made and traded.
As a result, people have become more aware of how things like the materials for their clothes are sourced, which companies are ethical, who pays their workers fair wages and who is guilty of being wasteful.
Although people are still fond of a bargain, their attitude towards what the real cost of clothing is has completely changed and there is a social responsibility felt among millennials to do the best they can to help.
Recently, the world was all a-twitter (literally taking to Twitter) in response to the dress suit that film actress Emma Watson wore to this year’s Met Gala.
This is a celebrity event every year that encourages loud outfits and pushes the boundaries of fashion so, naturally, there is a huge amount of press and paparazzi at it.
For most, this is probably a good way to purely get exposure and be seen, but for the likes of Watson – who is a prominent figure now after having spoken at the United Nations and is doing a lot of work promoting the positives of feminism – this was an opportunity to make a type of, public appeal.
The trousers, top and train that she wore to the gala were made almost entirely out of recycled plastic bottles. The rest was made from responsibly sourced cotton, which she and a team of designers looked for together to ensure that the dress was completely politically correct.
Watson had said that she was often filled with guilt at these events, spending money on, or being given dresses that she would only wear once and it would be nice to recycle them.
As a result, she and the team from Calvin Klein created a dress made from ordinary water bottles that people had given in to recycle.
This is a comment on a fashion industry that is changing because the millennial age group is asking itself questions about the truth behind the fashion industry.
In reality, the fashion industry is one of the most wasteful in the world because it can take as much as 5,000 gallons of water just to produce a single t-shirt and pair of jeans.
For this reason, it’s things like this that are also driving people’s fashion choices and is why they are happy to spend more money on their clothing if they know it is fair trade and made from recycled materials.