Wednesday, June 3, 2009

compact challenge: it doesn't HAVE to be the end...

As the last week of the compact challenge is coming to an end, I feel successful, but at the same time, unsuccessful. Although I failed a couple times and did buy some clothes, I feel like I did manage to save some money here and there. I stopped spending a lot of money on food and tried to cook food at home more. I also tried to stop buying clothes and I believe the things that I ended up buying, were mostly on sale and pretty good deals. I guess the main thing I would take from this challenge is just remembering how much I was able to save. It’s not even just the money I was able to save, but just knowing that I have tried to be more "green" in many different ways has made me feel really great about myself!

While this may be true, one main thing I noticed is that no matter how hard we try to save, people will always be consuming new things one way or another. That is just how we are. In "Fashion-ology" by Yuniya Kawamura, she talks about how there is a system in the fashion world and how everything connects to each other. There are the designers, fashion professionals, and the consumers which together, make and keep the fashion industry happen and stay alive. (page 105) It seems as if even if we, the consumers, were to stop consuming, the designers and fashion professionals could still work together and attempt to make fashion happen, but no one would be consuming these things. However, because of how the media and others portray fashion, there is no way that everyone in the world would just completely STOP consuming. Fashion and the consumption of fashion is such a big role in everyone’s life. No matter how much people say they’re going to stop shopping, they usually end up shopping sooner or later. This is pretty true for me. In the beginning of the compact challenge, I was set out on my journey to not buy new clothes and stop buying food as much. However, by like, week 5, I was back to going shopping and buying things. Although I didn’t buy a lot of things, or I only bought sale items, I noticed that no matter how hard I tried to control myself, I still got sucked into the idea of fashion and buying more clothes that were considered "in" by everyone around me.
I also noticed that fashion isn’t just something that is happening in our city, state, or country. It’s something that is happening EVERYWHERE in the world, even in the places that we least expect it. In a book by Sandra Niessen and colleagues titled, "Re-Orienting Fashion," they discuss how "fashion is a global phenomenon…" (page 243) Fashion isn’t something that just involves some people. It’s something that involves people everywhere around the world. Whether we are a designer, fashion profession, or consumer, we are all part of fashion no matter where we live. And even though everyone’s fashion style may be different, it all comes together some way or another.

Although these six weeks and the compact challenge are coming to an end, I hope that I don’t just start spending money like crazy again. I hope that I actually learned something from these past weeks like how to save money on things and not buying as much things, how to become more green and eco-friendly, as well as not using as much paper towels as I used to. Just because the class is over doesn’t mean I have to stop the compact challenge. Hopefully I’ll continue to spend my money wisely, learn more about being environmentally friendly, and continue learning about fashion and the different ways it affects people.

Steph Hirsh
Blog #6

Kawamura, Yuniya. "Fashion-ology." 2005,2006. pages 105-108.
Niessen, Sandra, Ann Marie Leshkowish, Carla Jones. "Re-orienting Fashion." 2003, 2005. pages 243-265.

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