Four days ago the Financial Times published an article that has been circulating on the net. The authors of the article are perplexed as to why clothing sales has dropped off in previously unseen numbers. Oh the horror!
I'm kidding, I'm actually rolling on the floor laughing.
Obviously, the authors are unfamiliar with the current fashion trend "athleisure." Actually, athleisure is more than a trend as evident by the number of people who dress exactly the same in their gym-to-the-office look without actually stepping into a gym. Seriously, if it has become culturally acceptable to a large segment of the population to wear leggings and yoga pants everywhere, why is a drop in clothing profits such a "mystery" to the the folks at the Financial Times? With one less change of clothes needed... do we really need to do the math?
The article tries to suggest that the under twenty-five demographic are becoming uninterested in fashion and shopping for clothing but I think there is more to the story that hasn't been explored. Millennials have a reputation for being socially-conscious, they are not the me-me-me generation that they are often labelled as. This is a generation that has grown up with fast-fashion like no other demographic and they are well-educated in social justice issues. Millennials are all about participating and doing for themselves and they are the reason that many young people are taking up sewing in numbers unseen for decades. It is why the bookstores are stocked with beginner level sewing books. Millennials are part of the generation engaged in the Fashion Revolution movement that emerged out of the tragedy at Rama Plaza and they ask questions. This is a generation of eco-tourists who grew up with books like Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. This is not a generation to be easily conned by a sale sign.
A decline is ready-to-wear clothing sales is only a mystery if we fail to recognize these cultural and social trends.