Why We Love and Hate Micro-Trends

The rise of Tik Tok has introduced an influx of micro-trends in fashion, technology, entertainment, and more. Micro-trends are specific trends that hit fast and furious with an explosion onto the scene – and an equally quick expiration date. In fashion, some of these Tik Tok micro-trends have included the infamous “Tik Tok leggings” for booty accentuation, the popular strawberry dress, and so much more. “Tik Tok made me buy it” has become one of the most popular phrases of 2021 thus far.

There are a lot of positives of Tik Tok’s micro-trend culture—along with some sustainability concerns as well. We’re going to take a deep dive into how Tik Tok micro-trends are changing the world of fashion: the good, the bad, and the trendy.

How Tik Tok is moving fashion forward

Tik Tok is becoming the new runway for fashion icons. It’s where established and aspiring designers alike are going to showcase their talent. It’s where models and influencers are sharing their trending styles. Tik Tok has made fashion more accessible than ever before. You don’t even need to watch Fashion Week or pick up a fashion magazine to get an idea of what’s “hot” on the scene right now because it’s just a tap away on your Tik Tok app. Beyond that, Tik Tok offers “behind the scenes” looks at major Fashion Week events, sneak peeks into designers’ fashion, and so much more to open the doors and demystify the world of high fashion.

Tik Tok isn’t just allowing well-known designers to show a more authentic side of their brands through quick 60-second videos. It has become an incredible platform for new and emerging designers to get discovered and noticed. We’re seeing that designers who have been marginalized in the traditional fashion world are finally able to get their styles seen by hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people across the world.

This is creating a new dynamic and speed within the fashion world. For centuries, “fashion” trickled down from a few key influencers and designers, and this trickle-down effect took months, if not years, to take hold. Even in the 1700s and 1800s, what was fashionable was whatever the Queen was wearing and what her designers were making. In the 1900s and early 2000s, key designers (that we still know and love) like Chanel, Gucci, and other already-established designers controlled the sphere.

In the 2020s, though, centralized control of fashion is almost entirely revolutionized. Now, large brands are called to have a more genuine small-town feel; lesser-known brands are gaining more traction; and style icons can become famous simply for their fashion sense alone.

Essentially, the power of fashion is being given back to the people who wear it. 

Tik Tokers are now the ones setting global fashion trends. For example, early 2000s fashion is currently popular with the ultra-trending Tik Tok hashtag #Y2KFashion. More and more creators are making styling videos and adding their own spin on classic fashion trends, from 1950s vintage pieces to Elizabethan corsets to 1980s looks and beyond.

For example, Karina Vigier with 190,000 followers shows how fashion has no age limit by creating more “mature” styles of modern trends. Jasmine Chiswell is bringing back the trends of Hollywood-style classic looks. Tia Wood offers Indigenous responses to popular trends. Endless creators are adding their own spins on major trends, which is pushing forward this micro-trend culture that we’re now seeing through Tik Tok. Content creators are expanding the world of fashion to include special and unique elements that have never before been seen—let alone accessible. These small trends can then instantly get picked up by hundreds of thousands of Tik Tok viewers.

The concern with micro-trends

Although these Tik Tok creators are opening the door to so many different ways of living and dressing, there’s also a risk of these micro-trends moving too quickly through our world. Now, fashion doesn’t just follow a four-season schedule—it’s a weekly schedule of new trends. That means there’s even greater speed in the world of “fast fashion,” in turn leading to even more waste and unhealthy practices.

Because trends are moving so quickly, textiles are continuing to be thrown out at exorbitant rates in a way that’s detrimental to the environment. More and more chemicals are being pushed out into the environment. And factories are churning out low-quality products without care for eco-friendly practices. Moreover, there’s a risk that large companies trying to keep up with these trends will overwork their employees, creating both social and environmental concerns. Learn more about how destructive fast fashion is here.  

Taking control of micro-trends through sustainability

However, Tik Tok has created an interesting dichotomy. While we’re pushed towards shorter-lived trends and destructively fast fast-fashion, Tik Tok is also making viewers more aware of eco-friendly practices and the importance of sustainability. There are also thousands of creators who are promoting new ways to live a more environmentally life, particularly through eco-friendly materials, buying preloved clothing, purchasing from eco-driven companies, and investing in quality goods. Just as fashion is moving faster, our awareness and education regarding sustainable choices have also ramped up.

Gen Zers, in particular, have become obsessed with repurposing clothing, upcycling goods, and shopping pre-loved finds. The hashtags #upcycling and #vintage have over 8 billion views combined! That’s because this new Tik Tok generation has greater access to information regarding eco-friendly concerns and practices. They’re becoming more aware of the significant waste and harm for which the fashion industry is responsible. In response, Americans are learning how to live more sustainably in their daily lives, particularly through fashion. This is creating an eco-minded generation controlling the purchasing population, which is further going to change the way that both major retailers and small businesses emphasize social and eco practices. 

Back to the basics

Another interesting impact in this sustainability movement has been a push towards “the basics” of fashion. Because trends are changing so fervently, the go-to basics are also becoming more important than ever. People want to get involved in micro-fashion trends—but they also want to stay sustainable in their choices through investing in quality clothing pieces. That’s why a lot of Tik Tok creators and followers are moving towards more classic, elegant styles. With the rise of Hollywood styles and cottagecore, for example, we’re seeing that a lot of people are increasingly interested in investing in timeless, quality pieces that hold the nostalgia of simpler times… And those that won’t contribute to fast fashion waste.

Two of the greatest impacts of Tik Tok micro-trends are a movement towards enhanced sustainability and timeless pieces gaining traction. Thankfully, this has opened the world’s eyes to consignment stores like Current Boutique. We provide preloved clothing as well as eco-friendly “new” clothing to minimize fashion waste, promote sustainability, and create a more cyclical fashion world where timeless looks reign supreme.  

Start your journey of preloved, sustainable fashion by browsing our site for trends, looks, and hidden gems that will work with your unique style! (Then, go show it off on Tik Tok!)

Carmen Lopez, President & CEO www.currentboutique.com


Hello Fashion Lovers! I've been in the fashion industry for over 15 years. I started Current Boutique with the desire to recycle amazing pre-loved designer gems for others to enjoy! I value quality, unique craftsmanship, sustainability & saving money. I am a fashion lover who is energized by the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. I'm here to share tips on fashion, style, bargain shopping and business. I hope you enjoy!
XOXO, Carmen