I read a research paper that depended on consumers keeping a "consumption diary". The researchers were trying to understand what motivates people to buy clothing.
Something I've been "consumed" with for many years, I decided to try one myself. I will be keeping a log to document all the clothes and shoes purchased during a period. I’m going to keep it for three months. The reason you ask? To better understand why I purchase things and also how much I buy. It's easy t forget the run by "The Gap" to pick up one item (or more) so I will document and log the purchases of what why when and how. Like in the case where my daughter had no more knee socks and I went looking for places to get them and ended up purchasing items for husband and myself too. Why? So my experiment begins.
It looks like this:
In March I purchased a bathing suit coverup at Marshall's for $15 for my trip to Cuba.
Purchased 1 pair of shoes for daughter at Tom’s and picked up a summer clog on sale for me. $65
April 6 I purchased a sport spring/summer outfit in person from a private trunk show for $275. It is a blue pant and short sleeve “blouse” in floral design made by an Italian designer. I love the color of indigo. So far a month after buying it I’ve worn it 4 times including on mother’s day. I get compliments and wearing the outfit makes me happy. I can also wear them separately which I plan on doing. It has done a lot to give my closet a boost.
May 11 I placed an online order from H&M for T shirts and socks for hubby and daughter. Included were 2 sale items for fall (1 work blouse for me and 1 sweater for my husband) Most of the items were purchased in the “sustainable” section using organic and ecofriendly materials. $115
Sustainable fashion is a challenge. Fashion is mostly defined in terms of change and novelty, while sustainability involves re-use and continuation. My idea is to study why people purchase through consumption diaries by contemporary consumers in order to examine how they handle the paradox of sustainable fashion and how and if they deal with a desire to change from current consumption habits.
Added: May 25
“Ran” to the gap to buy my daughter some new underwear. It had been a few years already since I last picked up a package and she had clearly outgrown her current pairs. Caught up on the “sale” of the day I also added some summer shorts (2 pairs) and 2 camp bathing suits and a sweatshirt. Wow. What a difference a few minutes make!
In addition I added a bra for me. It had been shockingly a long time since I added a new one to my boudoir collection which is really embarrassing.
And a pair of shorts for my husband adding to his collection from 3 to 4 pairs. (He works from home so they have become a daily wear over the last year).
All in the total was $213 but with all the sale pricing, I paid $105 which is probably a fair price to pay for all the items.
Purposely I've been ignoring my own closet having inherited a few black and white t’s and a pair of shorts over the winter. Although I have not added a new dress which I’m sort of sad about it's not that I haven't been thinking about what I'd buy when I can get around to doing some shopping for myself.
Another month to go on the 3 month experiment, I’m excited about the opportunities that are unfolding for in learning about my own behavior.
Does this give you any ideas of what to do with your own shopping behavior?
Fashion is a sphere that is generally considered to contain large amounts of “unnecessary” consumption; new clothes are bought for reasons of identity, social pressure or simply a craving for novelty. The textile industry is among the dirtiest and conditions for workers among the worst. Clothes are manufactured and sold for their fashion value rather than for their use value and are sometimes only worn a few times. But what would a world without fashion be like? Is it even possible to imagine?
Would you like to start a diary to better understand your own consumption?