Smart Consumption in the Mediterranean

» Clothes and accessories

Keep this in mind!

There is no doubt that clothes are a basic necessity. However, who hasn’t spent a Saturday afternoon shopping for clothes? This shopping expedition is more of a leisure activity than a way to meet a basic need.

We really should question the fact that buying clothes and accessories occupies a significant part of our free time. We should go further and see how objects condition our identity and the feeling that we belong to a group (brands and publicity play an important part in this). We should be critical and not let ourselves be led by social pressure.

Some questions we can ask ourselves:

1

Why do I go shopping and what kind of satisfaction does what I buy give me?

Do I go shopping because I’m bored? If so, couldn’t I find something more creative and stimulating to do than go to shops?

Is there a connection between my appearance, what I buy and the mass of advertising I see every day? The fashion industry functions by constantly changing and creating a need for us to change to keep up.

But what are we keeping up with? We should not let ourselves be influenced: there are plenty of more creative and satisfying activities than filling bags with things that quickly go out of fashion. We should free ourselves from consumerism.

2

Can I dress and look good without buying new things?

Could I swap the clothes in my wardrobe that I don’t wear with my friends? How difficult is it to make your own earrings?

There are many opportunities for acquiring clothes and accessories second hand: exchange markets and free shops are becoming increasingly common and it is easy to find what you’re looking for there. There are also shops selling second-hand clothes. If you have the time and energy to do so, you can even make your own clothes!

3

When I go shopping, where does the product I buy come from and from what company?

Can I still find locally produced clothes? Is there ecological or fair trade clothing? What kind of companies hide behind the most popular clothes shops?

Customised clothes, traditional textiles, locally made products, ecological cotton, fair trade clothing… Between the traditional textile industry (which is disappearing in some countries) and new trends in ecological clothing and fair trade, there are a number of options for sustainable purchases, although we still have a long way to go.

4

Do I use clothes correctly so that they will last as long as possible?

The idea of making clothes last is still very much a part of some cultures, where the caring for clothes and other items is a matter of course. In others, social pressure encourages people to replace clothes and accessories constantly, well before they are worn out.

We should try to reintroduce a culture of looking after clothes so that they last as long as possible. If we no longer like a garment, we should try to exchange it for another. In this way it continues to be used.