anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Are We Addicted to Fashion?

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Normally I write about food, bikes, or coffee. Or some combination of the three. But if there’s one thing that ties my writing together, it’s that I believe that we have to think differently about how we live. I want to get people to think about their daily behaviors, and hopefully, start challenging cultural norms and expectations.

One thing that clearly falls into that category is fashion, and while I am not a fashion writer, I am intrigued by the clear link between consumption and what we wear. There’s no denying that as a culture, we’re obsessed with shopping. But why? I got to explore that question in a piece titled “Breaking the Addictive Culture of Fashion Consumption” which was published this week.

Consider this: in 1930, the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits. That wasn’t a minimalist wardrobe; it was simply a wardrobe. Nowadays however, we’re far from that. The average American woman owns 19 pairs of shoes alone, and as Americans, we spend about $1,700 on apparel every year. We’re taking up space with things we never wear, and we’re paying to do it.

So why do we consume? That’s the ongoing question of psychologists and marketing professionals. It comes down to one thing: emotion.

“Necessities to sustain life and have basic comforts are physiologically driven. With very few exceptions, our society exists above this level. For most of us, it is the interaction of emotion with psychological motivation that is responsible for our behavior as consumers. These emotions range from simple pursuit of pleasure to more complex emotions like security, contentment, and (life) satisfaction,” says Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D, principal of a consumer psychology practice in New York City.

Are we addicted to fashion? I’d say yes. But there’s something we can do about it. Focus on experiences instead. Analyze why we’re consuming. Think about what really makes us happy. Because ultimately, the most valuable possessions that we have, aren’t possessions at all.

You can read the full article here.

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Written by Anna Brones

July 11, 2014 at 13:31

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