Debating fashion: Clash of trends and values

“The monetary currency notes that we all cherished to possess more in order to feel ourselves successful bear the picture of one of those famous personalities, who denounced stylish fashion and wore a loincloth below his waist to cover his body parts.”

Chitchat amongst friends sometimes turns into hilarious arguments over trivial issues and in the same environment, a third person evolves as a judge to deliver her/ his judgements.

This is very common among the youth groups. If the causerie is taking place in an open area like in front of a tea stall near the college campus, then each party feels the challenge of proving her/his point to be correct, by onboarding multiple facts and figures on to the discussion floor.

The pleasant chatter among group of friends on that particular afternoon turned into unanticipated disagreement when a biker passed by the tea stall where the club of friends were having their chin music.

The bike and the biker caught the attention of one from the pack of the subadults mind making his jaw dropped, eyes wide open, momentarily freezing his nerves leaving him stunned.

Few others from the same group, motorcycle enthusiasts, were also fascinated by the sound of the bike and turned their face towards that direction while others were casual about the passerby two-wheeler.

When the bike and the biker vanished from the vision, the first fellow, holding his excitement in his voice in a high pitch said, “You see! fashion is a way of life, it always precedes the person and makes an impression on the other person even before the individual really starts any conversation. It has become more important in the present context when the competition is becoming very intense”.

This statement somehow triggered the argumentative Indian living inside another friend, who holding counter remark on this topic, making his voice little sarcastic, said, “O hallo! These statements would have been true if it would have been pre-covid scenario my dear friend. Now external accessories like clothing and other jewelry have reduced their significance in comparison to the real content, the individual have within himself. At present people are more interested in the individual skill and capacities rather than on the fake display of so-called trendy fashion!”

The sarcastic undertone caused little irritation to the first fellow. He changed his mood from appreciative onlookers of the bike and fashion trendy biker to an eristic and matched his voice to reply in a befitting tone.

Holding a caustic tinge in his voice, matching the tonality as well he said, ““O! O! darling, just hold on, you might be saying the right thing but not absolutely right, you know! Data shows, India is the fourth largest consumer of apparel industry and fifth largest textile and apparel exporter globally.”

Instantaneously, the bunch of friend’s chitchat got converted into debate floor standing in front of the tea stall where one group became either pro-fashion or anti-fashion. One statement floated by one group followed supportive statements from the same group or counter argument from the other group, simultaneously not forgetting to match the tonality and pitch of the voice.

“These statistics doesn’t suffice to indicate that the people’s attention has shifted from trendy fashion to real content of the individuals! Rather it might happen that as India is becoming the populous country of the world, there might have been an increase in the demand for these products. Simultaneously, the e-market segment would have been leading to the rise in the volume of sales.”

“Yeah! Exactly, this is what I want to prove that more people are getting attracted to fashion and there is continuous increase in the fashion trend over the years. You need to admit that people are increasingly inclined to the beauty and fashion than sharpening the inherent quality of themselves.”

Playing defensive, another fellow added in a moderate voice, “But as far as I perceive, people are now turning towards comfy style unlike the pre-covid situation of body fit style statement. Multiple concepts coined in post-covid era like ‘work from home’, ‘be healthy first’ or ‘be the best friend of your body’ has changed the mindset of people towards style.”

“Yes, you are right! But this is altogether different connotation of fashion where the craze has shifted in post-covid situation, but not reduced. This change in trend doesn’t mean that there is lack of demand. Rather you can say that fashion industry people are smartly switching the sentiment of consumers by innovating new concepts like sustainable fashion, cool fabric and many more of that category where consumer’s imagination takes a new perspective.”

In a concerned manner another friend who was listening silently till that point said, “You may alter the names of style statements, but that doesn’t reduce the consumerism flavor inside all those taglines. Cloth is one of the basic necessities of life, but since when people have started associating status symbol with style of fabric and clothing, it is putting unnecessary pressure on the ecosystem. If I am not wrong, probably the fashion industry is having second highest carbon foot print on the world, next to fossil fuel industry.”

Holding emphatic tonality in his voice another fellow added, “Yeah! You are right. The fast fashion inclusive of textile, apparel and footwear are generating around eight to ten percent of global carbon emission due to its lengthy supply chain and energy intensive production process. It is also adding a significant amount of waste water in to the ecology. Higher chemical usage in the fashion industry is having detrimental impact on the laborer’s health, negatively affecting the environment as well.”

The arguments and counter arguments would have continued more had it not been the tea shop owner’s intervention in to the debate.

Assuming the approaching thunder storm from the changing wind pattern, he said, “O my dear young minds! All your points are valid, but I want to add one point. The monetary currency notes that we all cherished to possess more in order to feel ourself successful, bear the picture of one of those famous personality, who denounced the stylish fashion and wore a loin cloth below his waist to cover his body parts.

Probably he was not the stylish person if we judge him from present fashion criteria, but his values, his struggle for justice made him one of the legends. You all just go and invest your time in studies, add values to your life and it might so happen people would imitate you in terms of your life style not necessarily the fashion taste only! Just go to your campus other wise this untimely approaching rain shower would make you unwell”.

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