crochet as resistance to mass production


illustration: angelina trajkoviski

As relentless snow flurries run their course this winter, we have become desperate for weather-appropriate protection that is actually stylish. College students and teenagers alike have been searching for a solution to keep their heads warm while making a fashion statement in the process. Enter the balaclava. 

TikTok and its fine-tuned algorithm have been dishing out crochet content to the fashion side of the platform since summer 2021. The excitement surrounding crochet stems majorly from the quarantine-bred boredom that COVID-19 has inflicted on us all. In our search to maximize our newfound free time, many of us decided to pick up hobbies—crafting of all kinds included. When combining Gen-Z’s recently discovered knack for crocheting and our fascination with all things “statement,” the balaclava has taken top billing when it comes to trendy headwear.

@gisellealmightyy Reply to @gisellealmightyy THE TOP OF MY DREAMSSS #crochettiktok ♬ original sound – gisellealmighty

Crochet has been around since the 1700s—it is not new by any means. But the stitching form notably enjoyed its time in the spotlight as hippies stunted granny-square looks head to toe in the ‘70s. But the significance of this resurgence of crochet in 2022 is that the pandemic has caused a rise in all sorts of DIYs while fast fashion simultaneously is booming. The interesting dichotomy of the two trends is that the handmade process of crocheting is pushing back against fast fashion’s harmful manufacturing practices, as it continues to be a leading cause of pollution in the world. 

Not only are Gen-Zers trendsetters, but we are also changemakers. Crochet, DIY and upcycling all are centered around creating something unique, as opposed to the manufactured uniformity that comes with fast fashion. These budding trends could be seen as a proclamation against the exploitative and environmentally damaging production that are rampant in the fashion industry.

@amazingishgrace Reply to @abblesnapple crochet bunny balacalava tutorial!! (version on IGTV goes slower) #crochettutorial #crochet #balaclava #knitting #thriftflip ♬ original sound – amazingishgrace

It warms my heart to see a sea of heads outfitted in colorful yarn, but crochet does more than make a cozy fashion statement. By wearing handcrafted pieces, we’re making a statement of resistance too: for its crimes against workers and the environment, we’re not going to let the fashion industry off the hook.


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Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.