Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog #1

Barbara Peanh

Starting today, I will be participating in the "Be Green, Anti-Consumerism Campaign." The movement encourages people to buy less of their "wants" and really focus on our true needs and necessities in order to rid our lives of excess and hoarding. However if we do buy things, we should do so by re-using, recycling, and purchasing items that are second handed. The movement in itself is a great way for people to break out of the unconscious socialization we are all partaking in while living in this consumerist world filled with great marketing techniques, advertisements, and material goods we believe we need. For example, in "Fashion-ology," Yuniya Kawamura talks about Veblen's study of conspicuous consumption and how people acquire goods to compete with each other as social symbols of status and social position. Therefore, we buy things more so to assume an identity we want to be perceived as by using things to impress those we don't care about and are stuck in a devilish cycle of consuming.

This will be an amazing opportunity for me to personally challenge myself and my horrible consumer habits. I acknowledge that I am a terrible consumer because I know I shouldn't buy "things", but it's an addiction that for the most part that I cannot help, or at least have not tried to relinquish. My addiction most definitely started when I first started working after high school in retail at Gap, thus constantly being surrounded by clothes. Also, being the youngest of five, I grew up always wearing my older sisters' out of date, hand-me down clothing. Once I started working, I gained a new sense of power by having my own paycheck and my own money to spend which resulted in me going haywire and buying whatever it is that I want.

However, by participating in this movement for the next four weeks I will learn to fight consumerism by being an "ethical consumer, green consumer, and the activist consumer" (Sands, The Conversation). These three groups of consumers are necessary for consumer resistance with retail and assume the role of a citizen, activist, or rebel according to Sean Sands, a researcher for Retail Studies. These groups are also supportive and political of social movements against corporate dominance. By being an ethical consumer, I will think constantly about my purchases, or lack of them to remind myself that I do have enough. I will also make the conscious effort to stop stalking retail websites for the sake of browsing and being bored, because I tend to cave when I find something striking, or a striking price. I will be a green consumer by re-using or recycling my items, but most of all, I will save money. I will be an activist consumer by not supporting companies and organizations that have poor working conditions and no rights for their laborious garment workers.

Inside source: Kawamura, Y. Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies. "Consumption and Social Status." Pages 95-98.

Outside source: Sands, S. "The Anti Shopping Movement Goes Mainstream." The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/the-anti-shopping-movement-goes-mainstream-4804

Welcome to the chaos I call a closet. This is one side of my closet, with sweaters and shirts folded on a rack under those blouses, two big bags filled with shoes in the hidden corner.. a 4 drawers that I cannot close, and a door full of scarves and jackets which are missing in action. 
 This "Be Green" challenge is necessary for me.

No comments: