Sustainable colour forecasting: The benefits of creating a better colour trend forecasting system for consumers, the fashion industry and the environment

Tracy Cassidy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Changes in fashion occur through combinations of design and marketing communications efforts directed by the industry and the timeliness of consumers’ responses to such directives. The resulting changes in colour, style and decoration, or detail, are the ingredients of intended fashion trends that must resonate with the changes of attitudes, opinions, desires and needs of individuals, societies at large and their empirical environments at particular points in time (Sproles 1981: 118). Trends are linear in present time periods having either a long-term or a short-term existence or appeal; and cyclic in past and future time zones, though in subsequent lifetimes a trend will emulate the subtleties of the environmental and societal factors of those times resonating with the behaviours of that particular generation of consumers. Hence trends are viewed as an expression of the ‘Zeitgeist’, or the ‘spirit of the times’ (Yurchisin and Kim 2010: 1). Consumers are the vehicles that diffuse fashion trends through their acceptance and willingness to interact with them (Sproles 1981: 117). It is the volume of products, through mass production practices, and the mass communication of trends, through promotional efforts in retailing and the media, that the fashion industry relies on to promote mass consumption to ensure survival (Sproles 1981: 117). However, in order for mass consumption to occur, trends need to be dynamic and appealing. Re-inventing the same trend with fresh appeal, creating ‘follow-on’ sales to complement the existing wardrobe for subsequent seasons, may be considered more challenging than introducing something viewed as being radically different, providing a new look for the next season to create ‘new sales’; in which case existing product needs to appear out-dated and rendered obsolete, thus encouraging short-term trends rather than supporting long-term trends and consequently accelerating the rate of fashion change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainability in Fashion and Textiles
Subtitle of host publicationValues, Design, Production and Consumption
EditorsMiguel Angel Gardetti, Ana Laura Torres
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351277600
ISBN (Print)9781909493612 , 9781906093785
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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