When a t-shirt costs more or less like a chocolate bar, it's no wonder people turn to it when they're looking for a little emotional uplift.

When a t-shirt costs more or less like a chocolate bar, it's no wonder people turn to it when they're looking for a little emotional uplift.

Clothes speak volumes about who we are and what we want to say to the world. Don't let your outfit scream that you couldn't care less about our planet by choosing fast fashion. 

Fast fashion known for its low prices, is very popular. Hard to resist? However, this rage comes at a high cost to the environment, people and animals. The average person buys 60% more items of clothing compared to 2000. People are are not only shopping for more clothes these days they are also throwing them away faster.

There was a time when fashion followed a certain order — a system. But that's not the case anymore. Our shopping habits have been remodeled, driven now by material desires. Yet, this shift comes at a steep cost.

Shopping isn’t just a way to pass the time; It affects our mental well-being.

Shopping releases dopamine in our brain, giving us instant gratification. This explains why shopping is a popular go-to when feeling down or celebrating something. But this reliance on shopping for emotional enhancement has led to an increase in consumerism, and some people have developed strong addictions, driven more by the desire for possessions than need.

The concept of “Retail Therapy" is not new.

The shopping we do can distract us from worry and trigger the emotions, creating an escape from reality. This sensory experience chances how we look at shopping. It's more than just buying what we need or indulging; it’s a fascinating look at human behavior, driven by motivations and passions.

It's easy to get bogged down in fast or ultra-fast fashion as ‘Retail Therapy’ is based on the immediate gratification, affordability, and emotional experience.

This segment of the fashion industry known for turning trends into increasingly purchasable items at the breakneck speed, exploits the emotional and cognitive aspects of shopping in several different ways:

  • Instant gratification: Fast fashion offers the latest trends almost as soon as they appear, making the customers want instant gratification. When someone finds a style or trend they like, they can find it at a fast fashion store almost immediately. These rapid changes feed into the emotional buying cycle, making it easier for individuals to "jump in" and buy without much thought.
  • Affordability: Highlights how the low prices of fast fashion items remove financial barriers to purchase. These affordable prices mean that many people find it easier to buy new clothes. Lower costs also reduce the perceived risk associated with purchases, encouraging spontaneous purchase behaviors.
  • Sensory Experience: Fast fashion stores are designed to evoke a range of emotions, from the visual appeal of the latest trends on display to the bright lighting and sometimes even the scent of new fabric. This sensory bombardment creates an environment that can momentarily distract shoppers from their everyday stresses or negative emotions. The act of buying is an immersive experience.
  • Psychological rewards: The release of dopamine upon making a purchase is a powerful motivator. In the context of fast fashion, where new items are constantly available at low prices, the reward system is continuously engaged. This cycle of browsing, buying, and experiencing the short-lived joy of a new purchase can become a habit, as the brain seeks out the dopamine rush associated with retail therapy.
  • Social and Cultural Factors: Fast fashion emphasizes culture in terms of the social prestige associated with wearing the latest fashion and trends. The industry  exploit these pressures, making it easy for individuals to justify purchases as a way of keeping up with societal standards or as a means of self-expression.

Specifically, the characteristics of the fast fashion— speed, cost efficiency, and overall shopping experience—create a perfect storm that forces rapid and often unthinking participation with consumers.

This accessibility and the immediate emotional reward make it an easy outlet for those looking to improve their mood or distract themselves from their concerns, thereby reinforcing the cycle of fast fashion consumption.

The allure of globalization painted a picture of mutual benefit: affordable products for shoppers in rich nations, jobs and economic upliftment for the poor countries.

However, reality doesn't match this vision at all. The truth is, the fashion industry is on shaky ground, prioritizing profit with no regard for sustainability or the promise of poverty alleviation.

The disadvantages of fast fashion are strong. It's responsible for significant economic drain, environmental damage through carbon emissions, and massive waste, with most clothes ending up in landfills soon after production. The industry also consumes vast amounts of water and contributes to microfiber pollution.

 The impact of fast fashion is huge:

  • It costs the global economy $500 billion a year.
  • Trap specially women and girls in poverty.
  • Exploits garment workers.
  • Only 1% of clothing is recycled.
  • Responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions.
  • 60% of clothes end up in landfills within a year.
  • Water usage by the industry is astronomical, with one cotton T-shirt and 2,700 liters of water.
  • Fast fashion, once celebrated for making trendy clothing accessible, is now being scrutinized for its environmental impact.

But there is hope! Fast fashion, once celebrated for making trendy clothing accessible, is now being scrutinized for its environmental impact.

A study by Bain & Company alongside WWF Italy reveals a sharp spike in the craving for eco-friendly fashion, potentially boosting its consumer base by half.

With increasing awareness of the industry’s impact, the demand for sustainable fashion is on the rise.

Consumers are increasingly looking for products that are environmentally and socially responsible. The sustainable fashion market is expected to grow exponentially, offering environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional fast fashion.

It is important to understand the complex relationship between our consumption habits, mental health and environmental impact. By embracing sustainable fashion, we don’t contribute only to our well-being, but also to a healthier and brighter future that respects people, animal and the planet. We tell a story about the world we want to live in. Sustainably fashion is more than a trend, it is a movement towards a more responsible and ethical way of life.

So the next time when you're feeling blue, why not grab a chocolate bar instead of going on a shopping spree? Or, for an even better pick-me-up, immerse yourself in a peaceful forest walk.

 

Sources: criteo.com 

https://theroundup.org 

https://climatetrade.com/ 

https://time.com/ 

https://www.theissuemagazine.ca/

theeconomist.com

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POD products of Visual Nook

Choosing print-on-demand (POD) products provides significant environmental benefits, including reduced waste, support for sustainable practices, and more efficient energy use in production.

  • Less Waste: POD means producing items only when ordered, significantly cutting down on the overproduction and excess inventory that often ends up in landfills. This approach ensures resources are used efficiently, aligning production closely with demand.
  • Sustainable Materials: Many POD providers opt for environmentally friendly materials, such as organic cotton and recycled paper, and use non-toxic inks. Choosing these products supports the use of sustainable resources and reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing.
  • Energy Conservation: Compared to traditional manufacturing, POD is generally more energy-efficient. It often eliminates the need for large-scale production facilities and reduces long-distance transportation, leading to lower carbon emissions. This on-demand model means energy is only used as necessary, further minimizing the ecological footprint.

 

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2 comments

Congratulations! Interesting content supported by numbers and enriched with powerful pictures. Very well written 👏🏼👏🏼

Dalila

Mahtava kirjoitus ja monille ajatuksia herättäväkin. Itse harvoin ostan halpaketjuilta tuotteita ja silloin, kun “syyllistyn” tähän, niin todellakin näen halpatuotteessa potentiaalisuutta vielä pidemmän aikaa 🙃 Itselle yleisesti on tärkeää käyttää tuotteita pidemmän aikaa ja valita tuotteita mitkä palvelevat vuosien päästäkin. Tämän tekstin voi myös liittää kosmetiikkateollisuuteen. Nopeasti halpaa ja paljon. Ihmiset eivät edes tiedosta mitä tuotteet sisältävät, soveltuvatko ne omalle iholle, missä ne tehdään ja onko niiden valmistuksessa otettu huomioon kestäväkehitys yleisesti. Surullista.

Emmi

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