The Conscientious Consumer
It’s obvious to me and the people around me that this little experiment has changed a lot about how I am and think. I have become so much more aware of the things around me and in my life. Not only when it come to clothes, but all things that surround me. And the great thing is that I can also feel the awareness being growing out there and that the discussions have started.
As a result of my project I decided in my BA thesis to take a closer look at the consumerism in fashion – and how the consumer can be or is able to make a difference.
To give you a little insight, I wanted to post two parts from it, the abstract and my conclusion, since the thesis in itself is around 20 pages.
The whole journey of writing and researching for this thesis was very inspiring, eye opening and so interesting to me. And since I have been floating around in all of these thoughts now for a long time it was a good thing to be able to pinpoint these things down and take a closer look.
Without consumerism there would be no fashion industry. But with increasing awareness about the environmental issues that we are facing, buying to satisfy our longings isn’t as relevant as it once was. The consumer needs to start taking responsibility and stop hiding behind the statement that big companies are the ones doing all the harm.
With conscientious decision-making and relevant information seeking, the consumer can make a difference: voting with their dollars. There are many different ways of being a conscientious consumer, and the reasons and focuses differ from person to person. You might care for the environment or the welfare of animals. You might want to fight for human rights and buy only Fairtrade or take a more drastic change and start living a zero-waste lifestyle. Maybe you make the switch to a minimalistic lifestyle and follow the slow fashion movement. And some might even try to do it all. That said there are countless different approaches to being and becoming a conscientious consumer, but the place to begin is to start taking responsibility and stepping back to see the bigger picture. Fast fashion being one of the biggest issues, being unsustainable in almost every aspect, as consumers we need to set pressure on brands, demanding more ethical and sustainable products for what ever reason one might find conscientious.
Consider this: all the ants on the planet, taken together, have a biomass greater than that of humans. Ants have been incredibly industrious for millions of years. Yet their productiveness nourishes plants, animals, and soil. Human industry has been in full swing for little over a century, yet it has brought about a decline in almost every ecosystem on the planet. Nature doesn’t have a design problem. People do.