Dion Appel, CEO Lifelounge, says the popularity of fast fashion is more than a seasonal effect.
“This is the future of fashion. Fast, disposable, on trend and cheap, a deadly combination for brands that believe heritage means anything to young people. Brands need to stick to what they know and do best. That’s surfwear for surf brands and replicating runway looks for our new entrants in fast fashion,” said Appel.Major brand chains are still the most preferred way to shop for 16 to 30 year olds, with 42 per cent claiming their last purchase was bought in a chain store.
A lengthy period of favorable currency exchange for Australians has resulted in 28 per cent of purchases being made over the internet as young people look for a good deal, ease and convenience.
It is the independent stores that have suffered sharp decline over the last four years. Independent retailers accounted for 34 per cent of last clothing purchases in 2009, but only 18 per cent in 2013.
Cost and availability are the main drivers for females when considering their fashion choices.
The youngest segment surveyed, 16 to 17 year olds, are more influenced by others such as celebrities or friends when it comes to choosing clothing.
The drivers change dramatically for 25 to 30 year olds, who are more likely to consider the designer (16 per cent) and the origin of where the items were manufactured 11 per cent as important, compared with their younger counterparts (14 per cent vs. nine per cent respectively).
With the tightening of belts and the need to be a little more cautious even for youth, cost has become increasingly more important when purchasing fashion. In 2011, 41 per cent saw this as important, jumping to 53 per cent in September 2013.
“Everyone wants a share of Australian youth’s wallet and there’s no exception for fashion. As image conscious as young people are, they’re even savvier about cash. The future is bright and brands that deliver more than fashion and more on lifestyle will win a greater share of the market,” Appel said.