Consumerism In The Fashion Industry

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“Western societies socialize people to be excessive consumers and have materialist values”. Humans have succeeded in separating themselves from other mammals due to their excessive materialistic values. Defined as a system of values driven by the concern that social status is defined by possessions (Bauer et al., 2012), human social environments have managed to encourage these tendencies towards consumerism (Kasser et al., 2004). This is especially true in Western society, with materialism and consumption an enormous part of everyday life, as daily exposure to advertisements are estimated to be at an average of 245 daily exposures (Bauer et al., 2012), through internet surfing, advertisements in public places such as shopping malls and billboards, …show more content…
The emergence of “fast fashion” in the global industry is a reflection of the consumer culture in Western society, where “fast fashion” is imitation clothing of high-end designer brands sold at a cheap price. Fast fashion has reinvented the fashion industry to a point where the production of clothes only takes into account the interests of big businesses (Morgan. 2015). Clothing companies such as H&M and Zara prove the unsustainability of fast fashion as a system that supports disposability; as the cycle of fashion items from catwalk to retail rack has shrunk a couple of weeks from a standard of six months (Joy et al., 2012). Fast fashion operates on two predominant themes, “speed and style at low cost” and “disposability and limited durability”; clothing companies routinely replenish their stock and source new trends on a weekly basis, while their clothes are designed to only last ten washes, in order to retain business and attract consumers to return to retail (Joy et al., 2012). These companies achieve these low prices of fast fashion by outsourcing their manufacturing to countries where manufacturing and labor costs are significantly lower, since the eruption of fast fashion, 97% of clothes manufacturing is outsourced to other countries such as China, Bangladesh, and Turkey (Morgan. 2015). Fast fashion appeals to the materialistic values of western consumers as it provides instant gratification towards individuals who excessively consume to gain a sense of autonomy and belonging. Fast fashion achieves this by capitalizing on the materialistic mindset of individuals, focusing on extrinsic values by replacing exclusivity, originality and luxury with “massclusivity” (Joy et al., 2012) to approach the feelings of anxiety, dissatisfaction, and competitive concerns produced by the culture of consumption parading desirable

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