In the mid-1980s, garment production went global, clothes got cheaper and our closets got bigger. While we once chose attire to fit seasonal demands – warmer, thicker layers in winter, for example – for many the significance of garments has shifted from practical need to social and emotional want. We simply like to shop and stay on-trend.

But while hypertrendiness might ensure the perfect outfit for every microseason, it might also mean overstuffed closets, piles of unused clothes and a size-large fashion footprint. How trend sensitive are you? Are you a fashion vanguard or dyed-in-the-wool rebel?

Take our quiz to find out.

1. I like to buy new clothes right when a new trend starts
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


2. I influence the styles of clothing my friends buy
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


3. I spend a fairly high proportion of my income and time on fashion
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


4. Friends regard me as a good source of fashion advice
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


5. I read fashion news regularly and try to keep my wardrobe up to date
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


6. Specialty stores suit my needs better than department stores
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


7. I buy new clothing often, even if I don't need it
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


8. I am usually the first to know the latest fashion trends
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


9. I follow celebrities' fashion styles and they influence my purchasing habits
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree


10. Compared to my friends, I own more of the latest fashion styles
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Strongly Agree




This quiz was adapted from Sabine Weber’s current research on textile waste and consumer behaviour. Questions are based on those used in “Drivers of clothing disposal in the US: An exploration of the role of personal attributes and behaviours in frequent disposal” by Chunmin Lang, Cosette M. Armstrong and Laura A. Brannon, published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies37:1 (2013).

Explore ways to recirculate your duds in our sharing guide, including how to get the most out of a clothing swap.

Sabine Weber worked for nearly 20 years in Europe as product manager/head of design in the fashion industry, and as an international buyer/team leader in retail before she came to Canada She pursued her passion for ethical and sustainable fashion by earning a Master’s degree in Environment and Resource Studies at uWaterloo with a focus in waste management and social marketing. Weber is a PhD student at uW, teaches at Seneca in the fashion program, and is almost always working on projects related to textile waste.

If you liked this article, please subscribe or donate today to support our work.

A\J moderates comments to maintain a respectful and thoughtful discussion.
Comments may be considered for publication in the magazine.
  • From EATING AROUND THE WORLD article: "The long road to sustainability requires rebuilding our communities, and a g… https://t.co/gLTuZ7Rvu5 25 weeks 6 days ago
  • A Valentine's Day (and every day) message from Jane Goodall: "Let us replace impatience and intolerance with unders… https://t.co/1WGML2toyK 25 weeks 6 days ago
  • For Valentine's Day: https://t.co/exvDzE2LQf 25 weeks 6 days ago