anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘consumption

Food, Fashion and Expiration Dates

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“Fashion is the deliberate inculcation of obsolescence.” -Paul Hawken

Some people might not think that food and fashion have much in common, but in our global consumer society that’s obsessed with cheaper and faster, they definitely do. I write about this topic over on the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator blog. My latest article is all about expiration dates.

Just like we used to put all of our food to use, and fix our appliances instead of buying a new one, if a go-to shirt got a hole in it, there was a time when we would sew it up. But the darning needles and sewing machines of our mother’s and grandmother’s generations have all but disappeared, because in the world of cheap fashion, you can just as easily buy something new.

Cheap fashion is just the same as cheap food; there’s no economic reason stopping us from tossing out the old stuff and buying something new, and that in turn, leads to waste of huge proportions. Consider in 2012, 35 million tons of food was thrown away in the U.S. In that same year, 14.3 million tons of textile waste was generated. But the difference with fashion is that it’s not just worn out clothing that gets us to bring a new item into our wardrobes. It’s a perceived expiration date.

Read the full article here.

Image: David Goehring

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Written by Anna Brones

December 3, 2014 at 09:53

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.

Written by Anna Brones

July 11, 2014 at 13:31