Consumerism in The World of Fashion – There is a problem that many of us do not overcome and we want to talk about today. Consumerism in the world of fashion is becoming more than a worrying phenomenon. Unfortunately, we are talking about something more than a constraint. We are confronted with a phenomenon studied in depth by social psychology.
The world of fashion, especially in Western countries, has changed dramatically in a few years. What we see is only the tip of the iceberg of a problem of international concern and devastating consequences for a very large part of the population.
The extraordinary documentary The True Cost, beautifully directed by Andrew Morgan and recently released on Netflix, shows us the true price of a breathtaking reality.
The truth is that we think for many years that we can buy a lot more clothes because prices have dropped. This, which seemed like good news for almost everyone (and some room for maneuver in the tight economies that many people face today), seems to be one of the most deadly economic strategies that people are experiencing. today.
Why are our clothes cheaper now?
Over the past decade, we have seen a significant drop in the price of clothing. We had the idea that it was the result of globalization. Most fashion companies have finally worked with countries such as China, Bangladesh or Cambodia, where the cost of living is much lower than in Western countries, and therefore with a much lower cost of production.
Many of us had the mental image of people working on the other side of the world, in countries that, for that very reason, should be in full economic development. We have seen the problem of our navel: they have taken over the sector elsewhere and have left an important gap here.
But the problem is much more serious. Because workers who sew clothes every day that we can buy better than ever are far from any form of economic development. Not present nor future.
Consumerism in the fashion world generated by big business has created slavery countries. Places where textile workers work endless days, under more than painful conditions and against all the laws of their country. And they do it in exchange for miserable wages that do not even allow them to cover the most basic needs.
What is happening
The major fashion brands come to these countries with very concise proposals. They are the ones who mark the price of production.
If a factory can not accept a ridiculous production price, the company sends its proposal to another country. In this way, the garment factory owners and the governments of the countries themselves are forced to accept work for virtually nothing.
Assuming most of the pie is economically advantageous in terms of final production/selling price, we find that millions of employees do their work virtually free of charge. Meanwhile, large fashion companies are doubling their profits and tripling each quarter.
Consequences of consumerism in the world of fashion
To get an idea: Recently, in Cambodia, employees of fashion companies have expressed their willingness to ask for a salary increase of up to $ 160 per month. The government of their country attacked them with the help of the armed forces and several workers were killed after a few days.
There are employees in Bangladesh who work for $ 12 a month. And they do it in the worst possible conditions, collapsing into buildings, leaving thousands of dead under the rubble.
If it is true that in these countries the cost of living is lower than ours, that $ 12 per month gives them nothing. They can not teach their children, they can not maintain acceptable minimum living conditions. In short, they can not leave the misery that has become a real prison for millions of people and their future generations.
The real price of consumerism in the world of fashion
The dyes used, the pesticides used for the mass production of cotton fabric and the unhealthy conditions in which all these clothes are produced have an impact on the environment and on the health of millions of people, of which we have no idea today. of his true size.
All of this is happening so we can ac heater a shirt of 5 euros each week. We do it because it only costs us 5 euros, we do not appreciate it. We can throw it away and buy another one when we want.
Large companies do not seem to solve this problem. But the real question is, can we stop it? Can we be aware of the real price of the products we buy? In this life, the most important value is the money we can spend.
A shared illusion
This ugly reality has a lot of mirages. In our westernized world, we find ourselves at a time when the middle class has almost lost its status. You have lost purchasing power in areas that are really important and necessary. It is becoming increasingly difficult to access a home, good health insurance or a good education.
However, the statistics show what we can still feel with purchasing power because we can go shopping and always go home with a good offer. In the end, though, it’s still a hoax. And it’s a self-illusion that literally costs human blood on the other side of the planet.
In short, we are the ones who consume. Without our forced purchases, this horrible problem could not continue. Maybe it’s time to become aware of what’s behind each item purchased. To start enjoying what we have and not to throw away quickly because “we can buy cheaper”. We can of course; The question is, should we do it? It’s our real power. Much more important than the purchasing power.