My sister came to visit this weekend and insisted on browsing the local shops. A lot of fashion now seems to be going back in time, which just reminded me of how arbitrary fashion is. AS far as I can see, and I open to corrections, fashion is dictated by shops, adverts and designers. Fashion is purely aesthetic, and though some things may derive from usefully designed items of clothing, that is now very rare. I am not inherently saying that anything aesthetic is bad, or that clothes are bad as they mostly are aesthetic, I am just clarifying that as being my opinion.
Now, I have enough clothes for a couple of years, bar some trousers, so why would I buy more? Do you buy new crockery, tables or clocks for random reasons, just to chuck out the old ones that are fine? Probably not, so why clothes? And they aren’t much cheaper than the the other things I mentioned! I also don’t see why anyone would go to anywhere but a charity shop right now for clothes, but I guess that is more personal.
Something I would like to re-iterate throughout this post is that I am not saying that no-one should be allowed to go shopping or anything of that ilk, but that people do it without thinking. People do a lot of things without thinking, but I can’t think of many things that are done on this scale without thinking. So I would like to think that if I make one person not care any more about what they wear, up to the point of avoiding being arrested or beaten up in the street, that would be great 🙂
Anyway, to look at some of the harmful aspects of the clothing industry:
- Sweat shops are very common place in the production of goods for the industry*
- The advertising encourages a whole host of image based mental health conditions
- A lot of bullying at young ages will be based on how fashionable someone is
- This then continues in to older age as classism – just look at exclusive balls
- A massive waste of money and resources
I am aware that it is an individual choice to go shopping. But, to say again, I think it is undertaken more than almost any other (unnecessary) activity and with less though than almost any other (unnecessary) activity. If the number of people shopping was only a tenth of what is I would have little issue and not be writing this. However, this is not the case, and I would like to make people think about this.
Before I look at the points above, there is one other pet peeve of mine on this issue. That is the way it is assumed that one knows about fashion. People would not kick up a fuss if I didn’t know which car is more expensive, which brand of rice is nicer or which shampoo is the most effective. But if I wear my trousers too high at the waist I will be laughed at. Unless I did it in a specific time frame, then I would have been laughed at for NOT doing it. What has changed exactly…?
I think the first three points are quite self explanatory and not very controversial at all. I would be interested if anyone knows if the price you pay for clothes bears any relation to the conditions it was made in though. Please let me know if you aware of the situation.
Point 4 is similar to this; why do I need to know whether a black or white bow tie is “better”? And what difference will it ever make to you which I am wearing. Why limit what music people can see and enjoy live according to whether or not they can afford to buy certain clothes. I like classical music, and I am sure I would love to go and see an opera, but I really don’t like wearing the “appropriate” clothes. Fortunately, this seems to be less of an issue that it was.
With regards to point 5, I would like to know why clothes seem to be one of the only things you can’t have too much. I can think of nothing else which people so universally have too much off. Any charity shop will show you what an abundance of excess clothing people have to just give away. There are no other sort of products you can guarantee being able to get second hand. Other than books perhaps, but they do have a practical use (and are still not available in the same quantities at all).
So basically, I see fashion as a useless excess that has far too much of the UK in it’s grasp, and I really don’t understand why. I just hope people become less obsessed in future.