Social media has been slowly taking over our lives since it slithered into our consciousness all those years ago.
It’s even impacting on our wardrobes.
According to new research by environmental charity Hubbub, 41% of all 18-25-year-olds feel the pressure to wear a different outfit every time they go out – rising to 47% for young women.
One in six young people even say that they don’t feel they can wear an outfit again once it’s been seen on social media.
I’ve got to say, I can relate to this. When Facebook first came out all those years ago, we used to take pictures of every single night out.
We made whole albums dedicated to said night out, full of blurry photos and various states of sobriety.
And I got busted wearing the same outfit two nights in a row (what? It was a great outfit, and I still wear the shirt to this day) because photos appeared on Facebook.
I remember feeling a bit embarrassed. I thought I’d get away with it because they were two totally separate groups of friends.
So, I see where these young shopaholics are coming from.
Hubbub surveyed 1,000 18-25-year-olds, of which 79% admitted to being influenced by at least one social media platform, when it comes to style.
Unsurprisingly, Instagram was top of the list (55%), followed by Facebook (40%), YouTube (37%), Snapchat (35%) and Twitter (14%).
30% of those surveyed say they regularly watch YouTube hauls – where YouTubers basically unpack their shopping bags and show their loot to the camera.
Which obviously makes you want to buy things, but the thing is – chances are, these YouTubers didn’t pay for all the stuff they ‘bought’, it was a PR freebie made to fool people like us into wanting to buy all those pretty things.
Worryingly, the urge to buy new clothing is pushing youngsters into debt, with one in 10 borrowing money they can’t afford to repay, to keep up with fast fashion.
Young people have been well and truly swept up in the Black Friday craze that’s hit our shores in recent years.
48% of youngsters surveyed admit to buying things they don’t need on Black Friday, and 43% say they feel pressured to buy things they can’t afford.
Additionally, 48% admit to never using the items they purchase from Black Friday deals.
In light of this research, Hubbhasave launched a #BrightFriday campaign as an alternative to Black Friday, to encourage people to use what they’ve already got in their wardrobes, and not waste money on new garms.
According to the survey, young people’s fashion choices are more likely to be influenced by friends (55%) than by celebrities (39%) or fashion brands (36%). Which means it makes lots of sense to trade clothes with your pals. Because they have the goods that you want.
I actually did this with my friends at the end of four months living in Bali – we’d all been living out of rucksacks, wearing the same clothes over and over, and I ended up going home with my friend’s dress that I’d been coveting all season, while she took my bikini. I felt like I’d won the lottery.
If your friends aren’t keen, there are clothes swap events being posted on Hubbub.
I’ve genuinely learned to do this. Hubbub have some great tips like spending a night in with your old clothes to experiment with new looks (tip – hang your fave new looks on a hanger so they’re ready to go), making alterations to old items and only buying new items that can be worn with your current clothes.
You can get some great bargains on apps like Depop and Vinted, and if you prefer a good old IRL rummage, charity shops and car boot sales are home to some gems.
Reassuringly, 61% of youngsters surveyed said they’ve bought second hand clothes. Which is great because you’re getting all the excitement of new clothes while saving something from the trash!
Look, kicking the shopping habit is hard – I’ve been there.
But I also managed to do it – top tip, look at why you keep buying clothes. Think they make you happy? Spoiler alert – they don’t. Not for longer than their first wear anyway.
If you’re serious about it, here’s a genuinely useful guide to spending less money on clothes – expect handy tips like unsubscribing from ASOS newsletters, not buying clothes for your future figure, and deleting all your saved card info from online retailers.
Good luck, we’re all rooting for you!