Consumer Engagement

In previous modules, we discussed the negative impacts of clothing consumption and in this module, we discussed why it is important to be an “engaged and pro-active” consumer in order to support sustainable development.  Here are some key facts about our industry just to remind you! The number of clothes produced every year is more than 100 billion garments. That is a lot of clothes! There are only around 7.7 billion people in the world, so that’s more than 12 new items per person in the world each and every single year! And this number is set to double by 2030. The dressing is furthermore, universal human practice! Clothes are a really big part of our everyday lives. Even if you aren’t interested in fashion or shopping, you are part of the fashion industry because you wear clothes every day and will buy and wear a large number of clothes throughout your lifetime.  So far, we also learned that if we as a society want to become more sustainable in the long term, we collectively need to think about how we can change our systems from a linear model (take, make, dispose) to a circular model (use, re-use and recycle resources to feed them back into the system). In this huge process, each of us individually can do something very simple to support long-term behavior change.   So, let’s do something very simple: let’s question and investigate our own consumption habits! Discussion Question In this discussion, I want you to reflect on your own clothing consumption habits. Also, I would like you to provide some improved solutions for your future consumption.  There are 3 questions that you should answer and reflect on: How many new apparel items do you buy every season? Describe the main reasons that motivate your clothing purchases (for example, do you buy only items you really need or you have other motives that guide your purchasing behavior). What do you do with your clothes when you don’t want them anymore? (If you throw clothes away please provide the main reasons for disposal).  What else could we do with clothes (but also shoes, and accessories) when we don’t want them any longer? (for example, what other solutions you plan to implement in the future but you didn’t consider them previously?)

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