DETECTED : overconsumption results from marketing campaigns

Did we really need 52 weeks of new arrivals? I don't think so. Here are 5 things we need instead.

☀️Hello again to another weekly newsletter of my series called DETECTIONS. Yup, I renamed it recently. What do you think of the name? 🕵🏻‍♀️


With summer having entered, what we wear has perhaps subconsciously been influenced. By social media influencers, our peers, magazines, brands, you name it, the list of “influencers” today keeps growing to infinity. I dream of the day where we are our OWN influencer #canyouimagine!?! Why? Perhaps you’ve read that in my recent post on why we need a makeover of influencers, and preferably let scientists lead the way in a role as “Scienfluencers™” #WorkInProgress

Anyway, whatever we end up buying has connotations to it such as “perfect for THIS summer”, “perfect for THAT occasion”, “not to be left out from your holiday packing list to <exotic destination>”. Given COVID restrictions, that destination may as well be your parents’ backyard.

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Marketing campaigns have made us believe that we need to keep buying more, more frequently. I once heard someone say: “It’s an old dress, I bought it last summer”. Pardonnez-moi, that dress is still in perfect condition, looks hella stylish, and deserves to be in more Instagram photos. But who can be blamed for this behavior when aggressive marketing campaigns have brainwashed you into believing this to be the reality.

So we throw away <we think donating is a charitable act though> these clothes that are in great condition, because they are “out of fashion”. We keep collectively increase the pile of unwanted clothes. This is stuff. Stuff that has great value, just no longer to the previous owner. This is really a shame.

I once saw a documentary where women in India working in sorting factories came to believe that we in the West have a water crisis. “The cannot wash their clothes, that’s why they send them to us.” Isn’t that just hilarious? If only they knew…

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So we have 52 fashion seasons, buying new styles every week. Throw them away as fast as the heel of a pair of fast fashion stilettos breaks on a night out (#PlannedObsolescence). I’ve seen it happen, I always feel sorry for the girls who fell for this scheme.


We used to have just 2 fashion seasons and we only bought highly durable items that are made to last, to be passed on as an heirloom, to not be ditched into landfills. Just saying.

We overconsume as a result of having been told that we absolutely need this and that and those items ASAP. Listening to strangers instead of our own instincts is an interesting phenomenon.

Conclusion

Marketeers have deliberately created campaigns promoting products that “solve our problems”. We have been made aware of problems we did not have but supposedly have, and LUCKILY their product will rescue us.

Give. Me. A. Break.

So here are 5 steps to take on this madness:

  1. Get a clear idea on what our personal style is. I recommend following Justine Leconte on YouTube.

  2. Develop a trained eye for greenwashing. Here to help!

  3. Gain the power to resist discounts. Just sleep on it for at least 10 nights and if you still want it, sure go ahead.

  4. Open a savings account for your wardrobe. “The Style Account” if you will. If you have a digital bank you can easily create this for free.

  5. Just unfollow all influencers on Instagram.

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When it comes to influencers on IG I have so far 1 exception. Her name is:

  • Aja Barber

    I have met the woman in Copenhagen (before she became insta famous) and she is the real deal. What I love about her is how down to earth she is. She openly writes about why she rejects free products from the majority of brands reaching out to her. She calls out brands & billionaires on greed and greenwashing in the fashion industry.

  • Aja is the only exception, oh, and any legit scientist that has started to become a Scienfluencer™. At Positive Fibers we are working on finding potential Scienfluencers. Do you know anyone who is a legit scientists and likes to educate others in an engaging way? Reach out, please.

As Miranda from The Devil wears Prada would say:

“That’s all.”

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The Circular Fashion Detective 🕵🏻‍♀️