When it comes to affordable materials used in making wearable accessories, plastics and stainless steel rank high on the list. Some may raise their eyebrows when the words “plastic” and “fashion” are use in the same word but just like the history of industrial metals like stainless steel and tungsten, the synthetic polymer might just have something to deliver.
Stainless steel jewelry fashion trends have been dominating the affordable accessories market for the past decade. Designers feel in love with this metal due to its unique characteristics which makes it such a great material in creating a variety of designs, ranging from high-end pieces to more casual accessories. But today, plastic is creating a buzz in the fashion world as top designers and brands have just flooded the market with colorful pieces made of this material.
In the past, it was rather rare for plastic jewelry to get on the fashion scene but collections of bangles bracelets, brooches and earrings can now be spotted in the collections of retro accessories that is taking the attention of many customers. The synthetic polymer has also been spotted in the pages of various fashion magazines, giving rise to the question: does stainless steel jewelry have competition to the affordable yet edgy accessories niche of the industry?
One of the best things that brought forth to the current stainless steel jewelry fashion trend is the materials design flexibility and affordability. Also, it is highly durable and has resistance to corrosion that can rival inert precious metals. Comparing a metal alloy to a synthetic resin might be a bit of a stretch for many but in the fashion world, a material’s characteristics can influence a lot of things for a designer who is looking for something new. Forward has always been the direction of trends in fashion: retro might have a comeback but there is always something added to make it edgy for the contemporary sense of style.
For the sake of argument and comparison, plastic jewelry does have a fighting chance to get toe to toe with the dominance of stainless steel jewelry fashion trend today. It is affordable and also easy to use in designing pieces. Being a non-metal material, it can withstand environments which can be corrosive to metal jewelry and some types of plastic have even been treated to be heat-resistant. Durability wise, there are synthetic polymers that are lightweight yet able to keep up with aggressive activities.
It seems, it all goes down to consumers’ interest and designers’ creativity whether one material will dominate the other. Stainless steel jewelry fashion trends have a head start but if more plastic pieces get into the market, its status as a go-to affordable material might get threatened. Or the trend can also go both ways for the two materials and flourish under the same fashion arena. With the prices of precious metals and gems still on the rise, who is to say that plastics and stainless steel are not the fashion-forward materials everybody has been waiting for?