‘Tis The Season To Be A Conscious Consumer
By Haven Hathaway
We have come to the end of October, which means the holidays are right around the corner. But with early retail holiday guides and deals, the pressure of holiday shopping has already begun, and our environment may not agree that this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Vox released a great article on the sociology behind why Americans buy as much as we do. Amongst the competition in retail, there lies a competition between each other to keep this desired status of owning the newest merchandise.
“We have a social impetus to “keep up with the Joneses,” whoever our version of the Joneses is. And in an increasingly unequal society, the Joneses at the very top are doing a lot of the consuming, while the people at the bottom struggle to keep up or, ultimately, are left fighting for scraps,” said Vox.
The shared experience of buying something new and the joy that newness brings is why the overconsumption and consumerism of Americans aren’t entirely surprising. However, it is surprising that amongst all the sustainability and environmental research, people continue to feed off these social and natural desires and consume at unhealthy rates.
The holidays are a prime time for American consumption, and it’s no help that Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals seem to go on until the new year. But with sustainability at the forefront, we can find ways to be more conscious of our holiday consumption this season.
I am not afraid to admit that I am guilty of wanting a new holiday wardrobe. However, with rental apps, subscriptions, resale, and secondhand, there isn’t a need to buy all entirely new outfits for our festivities. I couldn’t agree more with In Style Magazine that the latest fall and winter trends happen to be clothing we have all owned and probably still have in our closets. The fashion industry is truly embracing the minimalist movement promoting the reuse and re-wear of apparel and accessories. I am here for these simpler and basic fashion trends that align with our conscious consumer habits.
As a general rule of thumb, we should carry the idea that simplicity goes with all our shopping this season.
The holidays are busy, and finding the time to shop can already be challenging. Although it may be tempting to purchase all your gifts and supplies on Amazon or other convenient online sites, try incorporating local and secondhand shops on your holiday shopping list. The extra thought and consideration of how, when, and where you plan to consume will go a long way in the normalization of accepting that we don’t need everything new.
The only reason to feel the need to keep up with the Joneses this holiday season is if they have sustainable fashion and consumerism at the top of their shopping list. Let’s work to make the next few months of holiday shopping and cheer the most wonderful time for everyone, including our environment.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style
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