This is the last week of the “Be Green Challenge” and I’m proud to say that I was able to uphold this challenge! Although the “Be Green Challenge” wasn’t too much of a stretch for me, I can still congratulate myself and feel good about my efforts. By being aware that I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything for 28 days, I was able to gain a different perspective on how much we consume. Unknowingly, we buy a lot of things—and oftentimes, those things aren’t necessarily needed. I was able to categorize which clothes I actually wore and bought just because I liked it at the time. I think this challenge is good for people to take on because it shows them their impact in a consumerist society and how their purchasing efforts just continue to perpetuate the notions behind why things like the “Be Green Challenge” were created in the first place.
In one of this week’s readings, the Japanese street fashion scene was discussed. In Kawamura’s “Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion,” Japanese teenagers are actually the masterminds behind the coming and going street fashion trends. The emergence of the impact of Japanese teens on fashion stems from “an intentional shift away from old ideology and ways of life…reflected through their norm-breaking and outrageous, yet commercially successful, attention-grabbing styles” (787). Looking at their wild and outrageous style, Japanese teens have definitely made a statement in the fashion industry in Japan. By becoming increasingly creative and innovative, “the teens wanted to challenge and redefine the existing notion of what is fashionable, aesthetic, and against the grain of the normative standard of fashion, in search of their identity and a community where they feel that they are accepted”(787). Trends such as Ganguro, Amazoess, Yamamba, and Mamba, were all popularized by young teenage girls, as an avenue for individuals to come together and serve as a symbolic group identity. Furthermore, the young women hired as salesgirls in the department stores serve as the fashion experts of the current trends. These women are “no longer merely selling clothes but contribute to the buying of merchandise and designing for the store labels” (791). Essentially, these teenagers have switched up the roles of producer and consumers, having the consumers now play the role of advertising directors, retailers, and new-product-development consultants (Bruce and Soloman 309). Having these salesgirls present themselves as “icons,” they know exactly which clothes and garments are trending, they act as co-producers of a service and marketing as a process of interaction with customers (Bruce and Soloman 310).
Kawamura, Yuniya. "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion." Current Sociology 54.5 (2006): 784-801. Print.
Bruce, Margaret, and Michael R. Soloman. “Managing For Media Anarchy: A Corporate Marketing Perspective.” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 21.3 (2013): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.