Sunday, August 8, 2010
Compact Challenge and Thrifting
I have to admit, when I first saw the compact challenge in the syllabus, I was genuinely worried about this anti-consumer culture. I'll be the first to admit that I'm very good at consuming, and I consume frequently. I know that this is not a good habit, and this challenge will probably do me a lot of good. And, of course, before embarking on this challenge, I did a little research on the anti-consumerism culture. According to Bob Horowitz, anti-consumerism goals are to
1. To save the planet and all of its life forms from a global environmental collapse fueled by spreading hyper-consumption.
2. To increase the overall happiness and fulfillment of the human race by encouraging simplicity, and by doing so, reduce war, cruelty and suffering worldwide.
3. To preserve the planet's spiritual and cultural traditions from annihilation in the face of the global consumer religion promoted by multinational corporations and their lackeys in national and supra-national governments.
These goals seem a little grand to me but I look forward to chronicling my attempt at the anti-consumer culture even if my goals are personal ones.
Now, to bring in Week 1's readings, I found something of relevance in Pilippe Perrot's "Toward a History of Appearances" in the class reader. Perrot mentions that fashion has rhythms and oscillations, also known as trends. Agnes Young states that trends come and go "cyclically for several decades" for a period of time (11). From there, the anti-consumer challenge ties into trends and their cyclical nature. I've noticed that there's been a recent resurgence in "vintage" or "thrift" clothing. It's the new "hip" thing to do. This likely has a lot to do with the "go green" phenomenon moving through the Western world. Personally, I have never been "thrifting" (searching through thrift stores for anything ranging from books to underwear which is where I would draw the line). I've heard that thrifting is a long and tedious process that usually yields limited results. However, with this compact challenge, I wouldn't mind going thrifting.
Inside Source: Pilippe Perrot. "Toward a History of Appearances." Class Reader
Outside Source: [http://www.sustainableenterprises.com/Planet/anticonsumer.htm]