we have all heard about retail therapy? it makes us feel good to buy something, especially when we are having a bad day. yes, something to look forward to. that absolutely ravishing dress or the perfect-looking handbag that will go with all your outfits. we say, “nothing else is going great in my life but this will do for now.” but while we rationalize our actions, we don’t realize that we are falling into the trap of fashion addiction. surprised?
the pleasure of fast fashion
research says that our brain finds pleasure in buying cheap things so that “end of the month clearance sale” that you cannot resist may not actually be in your control. scrolling for your perfect match, perfect colour and finally seeing that 50% discount so that you can add it to your cart can be incredibly addictive. it is not about what you are buying but the act of clicking buy now that makes it thrilling.
but this continuous buying doesn’t actually make us happier. we are eventually left bereft and unfulfilled and chasing the same feeling by buying more. if you notice carefully, this definitely sounds like an addiction. chasing the same feeling and never getting there is the direct result and reason for addiction
the cycle of addiction
experts say that when we see something we want, it releases a surge of the chemical dopamine in our brain. the spike in dopamine makes us feel pleasure and excitement. but the spike is short-lived and goes away the moment the transaction is over.
this consumer behaviour is aptly exploited by online retailers and brands; creating a culture of fast fashion consumption that is difficult to get rid of.
psychologists say that buying clothes might be a reflection of how er search for ourselves and our place in this world. instead of pursuing goals that we want to, we resort to shopping as a quick fix. this mindless consumption has led to the rise of slow fashion and sustainable fashion. research has shown that gen z wants to have more meaning attached to their clothes and buying preferences.
this does not mean we are saying that everyone who buys clothes is suffering from addiction. it doesn’t mean you are looking for your sense of self in your clothes but it is true that the act of shopping and scrolling different websites looking at millions of choices has become a leisure activity. just like we binge on tv shows.
so next time you want to click on the add to cart, ask yourself does the outfit give you happiness or is it just the act of buying that is making you feel good. you will know what to do when you get the answer.
Until next time, take care of yourself.
live sustainable. live aastey.