So my journey begins into my first week with the Be Green Challenge. In this challenge, I must refrain myself from purchasing any consumerist goods such as clothing, accessories, makeup, shoes, etc. which are basically everything except for food and health products. This will be a great challenge for me because shopping is a form of therapy for me. It is a process I turn to when I am stressed and bored. I tend to go to the nearest shopping mall or store every week to find something new to add to my collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories. Accessibility of online shopping has also made it that much more easily to shop at any time of the day. The process of shopping at the end of the week is my own personal time to reflect upon my life. Shopping is also a ritual/process of bonding with friends, but when you discover the tactics clothing companies make to insinuate their customers to buy their goods you can see it is a scheme of consumerism.
When clothing stores advertise their annual sales or their buy one get one off deals, I set out a plan to go check out the best deals. Getting goods with the best possible discount is a victory in my book, but it is most often for things I do not necessarily require. I don’t buy clothes out of necessity because I have clothes for every season already, but I always tend to buy things out of luxury to expand my collection. In Kawamura's Fashion-ology, he states that "The newness which, as noted earlier, is the essence of fashion is the typical condition of modernity and postmodernity. The desire for change is characteristic of cultural life in industrial capitalism, which fashion expresses so well, but at the same time postmodern society is society driven to create, not only novelty, but a perpetual desire for need and for endless difference." (Kawamura 25-26). I agree with Kawamura because I do desire new things solely for the purpose of having a more diverse range of clothing to fit my style and mood for a certain day. Some days I want to look feminine and some days i just want to dress casually in a tshirt and jeans. Hans Villarica wrote in her Time article "How Retail Therapy Works: Spending Money for Social Acceptance" that there is a correlation between social relationships with spending money on shopping. I see this happening because I find myself shopping after a long week of midterms just to boost my mood. There is always a sociological factor that pushes me to go shopping. Villarica also states that instead of spending money you should talk to a friend instead. I find this viable and a probable solution for this months challenge.
In this challenge, I expect to overcome my consumerist lifestyle and move towards a smarter way of spending my money. My tactics for this challenge is to thrift all the things I need for this month and to rediscover my old clothes in my closet.
Kawamura, Yuniya. "Chapter 2: Sociological Discourse and Empirical Studies of Fashion."Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies. Oxford: Berg, 2005. 25-26. Print.
Villarica, Hans. "How Retail Therapy Works: Spending Money for Social Acceptance | TIME.com." Time. Time, 12 Oct. 2010. Web. 04 Nov. 2012.