Why do we do it?
Brands usually talk about our needs all the time. They care about the need of the customer, they provide for our need, their whole existence is on theory based on the buyers need. How many of them really mean it? What do we really need?
Shopaholic ─ a compulsive shopper or a frequent shopper, especially one who is unable to control his or her spending.
According to Oxford dictionary the word originates from a blend of shop and alcoholic since the 1980s. Confessed shopaholic? Who wants to be associated with having any kind of addiction or not being able to control themselves???
At its very core we could agree that clothing started as a means of protection of the body, distinction between us and the beasts, expression of ones’ achievements. And looking at history we can see that fashion translated into showing the distinction between the classes or making everyone aware of your status by a glimpse. If today, we argue that this trend is changing and now it’s all about expressing your individuality. I wonder, why is it a still a thing to get dressed all head to toe in luxury brands?
If fashion is present in everyday life among all of us… Why is it still believed that fashion is not for everyone? Is it because some love belonging to an elite society, one that is supposedly aware of the history and culture of fashion and has the tools for understanding it. Yet, the very same elite society is the one that helps placing the fashion industry on 2-nd place amongst the most polluting industries.
Let’s see what has changed from the past to present day. During the 17-th century was paid great attention to appearance, presented through the clothing. This is the time when laws appeared to protect the style of the nobles. In this ‘century of fashion’ fabrics, embroidery, embellishments and accessories were all the elements that would distinguish the high society, but merchant classes would do everything possible to recreate this looks in order to receive the wanted attention and increase their public status.
Maybe we need to enforce stricter laws to cover the intellectual property or simply proclaim a maximum allowance of production for a certain period of time. We seem to have fallen in the same trap, no lessons learned from the past… This craving for having something unavailable to us is the fuel of the fast fashion industry. Why do we do it?
Is fashion for the one that cares about the looks of the garments? “Isn’t that pretty?” and the status they bring? Would you say that the one who cares about the material that this T-shirt is made of is less into fashion? Is just the brand the one that should know where and how this garment was made and care of the process? Maybe it is time to change our perspective. That doesn’t mean to compromise looks for quality, but instead search for a combination of both.
Let’s face it, at the end of the day fashion brands need to sell their product in order to stay in business. That being said they choose to offer what is wanted from the customer. If they ‘go green’ all of sudden will their followers stick with them or just go to the other one who keeps barfing out (pretty) quantity over quality?
” For what sense or understanding have they? They follow minstrels and take the multitude for a teacher, not knowing that many are bad and few good. For the best men choose one thing above all—immortal glory among mortals; but the masses stuff themselves like cattle.”
—Heraclitus, Fragment 111
There is no time for excuses anymore. Maybe it’s harder for brand owners to go green than for shoppers. But then again shoppers that are part of the elite society wouldn’t want to lose status and credibility. Hah, or followers… I believe it is a two-way process! The change has to be mutual, brands must start making better decisions as should shoppers.
We all need to be more aware of how the fashion system works. Professionals are saying that if everyone knows how it works than it will stop existing. Isn’t this just fear of change? Nothing of this scope really stops existing, but change is possible and in our reality change has become necessary for our being on Earth.
“Nothing endures but change.”
—Heraclitus quoted in Lives of the Philosophers
We only have one Earth and as we want to keep on existing as a species on it, it is time to act like it. What can we do? Education comes first and I mean self-education. Not everyone can go to fashion school or university. Frankly, most people don’t want to and don’t need to.
In the meantime, the sharp minds in business adapt to the new times. ‘Gucci will join the Fur Free Alliance eliminating animal fur from all collections beginning with Spring Summer 2018.’ The brand has set very ambitious goals to minimize their environmental impact. If they achieve it, luxury brands will come back to their status of quality and meaning.
The brand is taking all the right steps. Another prove is their awareness of the market shift and customers searching for experiences and connection on new levels with the brands. The opening of the Gucci Garden in Florence is a brilliant example of the right marketing strategy and PR approach.
Showing care for the importance of the present acts in order to continue developing in the future. This is how you know a brand is stating that it is here to stay!
Speaking of brands…What is your next shopping going to be about?