Here goes another week of this compact challenge. The status of my progress is: great. Other than food, no purchases have been made. Seeing as how this week’s readings focused on consumerism and consumption, I believe the heart of this project came to light. Why else would we be drawing so much attention to this issue I not for the negative effects our fashion consumption is having on society and the environment?
The direction for this week’s readings was “Consumption, (Re)Appropriation and Influence.” The particular thing that stood was the concept of Conspicuous Consumption by Veblen in the sixth section of Yuniya Kawamura’s, Fashion-ology. This has direct correlation to the compact challenge as it begs to question, “Why do we buy the things we buy” as well as “Why do we do the things we do?” In all reality, all of this consumption is based in maintaining perception. This constant feeling of wanting to be accepted or making a sort of personal statement is reiterated in Ian Skoggard’s article, “Transnational Commodity Flows and the Global Phenomenon of the Brand.” What I got out of this piece was just how much corporations and brands control and direct our lives. In the essence of capitalism, money is power; and it is odd how we correlate affluent brands to power and status. And this is where my brain machine started to turn; to think of ways to combat such an overwhelming institution.
The best example of such a plight to dismantle from the confines of ‘the man,’ was an episode of Morgan Spurlock’s show, “30 Days.” Titled, “Off the Grid,” this particular episode shows an expanded version of the compact challenge, and Spurlock visits an oasis for people seeking to go green, organic and live in an environment which is completely isolated from any capitalist industry.
After viewing this episode, I was reinstalled a sense of pride and assurance. Not only is our compact challenge small in comparison, but is completely doable, and benefits the utility of society. So, here goes another week of virtuous plight; cheers to you Morgan Spurlock, you have opened up our fashionable eyes.