15/04/2014

Consumerism and the Consequences

I do not want to categorise my blog as a style blog, but as I often write about my outfits and style in general, I think it is crucial that I highlight a few issues that are constantly on my mind. 

Throughout the years, I have become more and more critical of the modern consumer society and the fashion industry. Even if I like to express myself through clothes, I have never cared about fashion per se. I couldn't care less about the current trends, or buy something just because it is fashionable at the moment. Style is what I'm interested in. It is not dependent on what is in or out, it is timeless and can be achieved with, hell, 50-year-old clothes. Well, this is not the actual point of this post, but I needed to say it anyhow, because what I least want is that this blog is seen as a "fashion blog", and I do not want to encourage anyone to consume...

I find it disgusting that people in many, many countries are practically enslaved to keep the Western consumers happy. How many accidents do we (or they, I do not want to belong to that group) need to understand the situation? Who can honestly say that they do not see anything wrong with this? What do you get from wearing clothes that have been made under these horrid conditions? It is often said that this cannot be solved by refusing to buy for example H&M clothes, because how would the workers in countries like Bangladesh survive if they didn't get the little money they get now. But I do not want to give my money to these greedy companies that refuse to respect these people. As a consequence, I buy most of my clothes from flea markets or make them myself, and favour brands that have their products made in Finland or in the EU. 

Furthermore, when buying other products, ethicality is important to me. For instance, I have been trying to find out whether ethical (smart) phones exist, because I will soon need to buy a new one as the old one is dying, and I have found one: Fairphone. It's a start, but not much. There was this interview in which the CEO of Jolla, a new Finnish mobile device company, stated that he believes that people are more interested in the features of the phone and in its applications than in the ethicality of the product. I find it really sad that yes, probably most people do not even think of the manufacturing process of these cool gadgets. But it is also risky to give a statement like that, as there are people who do not really care about the apps! I just want to buy a working phone made in ethical circumstances. 

In addition to ethical problems, ecological issues are to be considered. I keep wondering about the mass-production a lot. Why are all these clothes made, if landfills are being filled with clothes that haven't been sold? Why do people need to buy new clothes every week, month or even year? It cannot be denied that this excessive consuming and manufacturing has taken and will take its toll on the environment.

I wish there was something concrete that I could do to make this situation better. I feel very powerless about this, but at least I've now had my word. I could go on about this forever, and maybe I could have articulated some things better and think about the structure of the text more. But this is all I can come up with now, and I feel like publishing it now.

I really hope to hear your thoughts on this!

I recommend this documentary to all of you who understand Finnish:
http://areena.yle.fi/tv/2188161

Edit on 16th of April: Take a look at these, too! http://fashionrevolution.org/ or in Finnish https://www.facebook.com/vaatevallankumous

3 comments:

Annina said...

Katsoin eilen tuon saman dokumentin ja jäin myös pohtimaan sekä omia kulutustottumuksia että ylipäätään tätä vaateteollisuutta. Oon ihan auliisti myöntänyt jo useamman vuoden "tipahtaneeni muodin kärryiltä", eli en seuraa muotia enkä osta vaatteita sen perusteella mikä on muodikasta just nyt. Tähän asti se on mulle ollut jotenkin negatiivinen asia, mutta viime aikoina oon kyllä miettinyt ihan senkin kannalta, etteihän siinä jatkuvassa kuluttamisessa oo mitään järkeä, joten miksi pitäisi hävetä jotenkin sitä ettei käy jatkuvasti shoppailemassa?

Joskus oon kritisoinut jotain H&M:n vaatetta, kun ne kankaat on niissä joskus leikattu vinoon - siis se paita ei vaan ole suorassa mitenkään päin kun se kangas on ommeltu vinoon. Nyt ymmärrän paremmin miksi näin on.

Tuosta dokumentista jäi puuttumaan ne paikat mistä sitten niitä vaatteita voisi hyvillä mielin ostaa! Stockmann oli allekirjoittanut sen sopimuksen, mutta ei se mikään lupaus eettisistä valmistusoloista ole. Pitää varmaan opetella tekemään itse. Mutta sitten päästään siihen että missä ja millaisissa oloissa ne kangaskaupan kankaat tehdään?

Tulipas pitkä kommentti mutta tosiaan jäi mieleen tuo eilinen dokumentti myös! :)

elle s'ennuie said...

I don't know how I'd categorise your blog - fashion blog? style blog? something else? - but I'm pretty sure it's not the kind of blog that is encouraging consumerism, since you don't fill it with new buys or wishlist items.

I'm not sure what the answer is - or if there even is one.. - and everyone needs to find their own way of shopping (or not shopping) that they are comfortable with, but the first and easiest thing that everybody can do is just stop buying so much, and start buying more mindfully. How to get people to do it is another question, of course...

http://emptyemptor.com/ is a great site that deals with consumerism and all the issues it entails. http://into-mind.com/ has lots of articles on how to minimise/optimise one's wardrobe. And http://the-nife.blogspot.com/ is another good blog looking into both of the above topics.

Anniina said...

Annina: Totta, ei se järkevää olekaan, joten ei ihmeessä hävetä! Joo, olisi kyllä kiva tietää, että mistä kaikkialta saisi eettisiä vaatteita. Ainakin joidenkin suomalaisten merkkien vaatteita tehdään joko Suomessa tai Euroopassa, mutta nyt ei puhuta opiskelijabudjetista. Toisaalta, kalliimpi mutta laadukaampi vaate on varmaan parempi valinta kuin halpa, joka menee heti rikki.

Monessa paikassa sanotaan, että vaikka olisi sopimukset, niin se ei välttämättä merkkaa mitään. Aika masentavaa... Mutta toivon, että asioihin tulisi muutos!

Ne kankaat tosiaan! Luin jostain, että Eurokankaassa on joskus ollut reilunkaupan kankaita. Googlettelemalla löytyi ainakin joitain eettisesti ja ekologisesti valmistettuja kankaita! Täytyy vastaisuudessa ostaa niitä. :) Ja hyvä vaan, että herättää mielipiteitä!

elle s'ennuie: Well, that's definitely good to hear, because that's not what I want to represent. :) Yes, it's a tricky subject. I don't want to shove my opinions down everyone's throats but I want to wake them up!

Thanks for the links, I'll take a look at them. :)

Post a Comment