In a consumer-driven society, the desire to own the latest product, such as a smartphone or fashionable trainers, has become part of our culture. Without always realising it, the public are immersed in media that subconsciously influences their taste in style.
Fashion trends continue to be influenced by changing technology. Wearable items embrace new technology, such as high-tech watches, while textile technology utilises electrically-conductive material or 3D printing technology. Embracing new technology allows products to remain popular with a modern market while creating new and innovative looks (see image of dress with 3D-printed panels). Trend forecasts are able to predict the future patterns and colours two years before products come onto the market, and manufacturers can buy this information to influence their designs and enable them to keep ahead of their market competitors.
Many countries now have a diverse range of cultures, so it has become important for designers to consider a range of cultural beliefs when designing for the mass market. For instance, clothes designers might incorporate designs into their collections that allow customers from other cultures to dress more modestly, or cosmetics manufacturers may choose not to use animal ingredients in their products because of people's beliefs.