A Captive Audience


The Great American Apparel Diet
July 1, 2010, 12:46 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: ,

I have been enjoying following a blog called The Great American Apparel Diet. It is a group of (mostly) American women who have pledged to not buy any new clothes for one year beginning in September 2009 and will end in September 2010.  The participants blog about their experiences in avoiding clothes shopping, some write frequently, others sporadically.  I find these first hand accounts fascinating, as it leads into a broader discussion on the spending patterns and approaches to fashion selection and consumption of a broad group of people.  What becomes apparent throughout the accounts is the way that acquiring clothes has become an important part of the social and emotional lives of the participants, while the actual owning, care and wearing of the clothes is of less significance.  So, for instance, many participants write of social trips to the mall with a friend and how hard it is to leave empty handed despite not actually needing anything while others write of the urge to buy something to make them feel better at a particular point.  The process of avoiding buying new things makes them ponder why they buy what they buy and what this means and then the process of re-looking at what they already own creates new ways of relating to these clothes.

So now this leads me wonder about the Australian context.  Do Australians buy clothes in such a reckless fashion?  Would Australians tell the same stories, or what outcomes would they produce given a similar scenario?

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