Wednesday, 6 May 2009

"fashion is the antithesis of sustainability"

Welcome to a new era in lazy blogging: I find a really good article, I post it!

The Tyranny of Trends by Charty Durrant

Of course I can't resist airing some views of my own on the subject! But really, read the article rather than my stuff, it is better, I just rant and point fingers!

Anyway, it appears to me that many people claim to not follow fashion, while still actually following fashion: buying new clothes every month or couple of months because other clothes are 'old', or because they have been worn too often, or because they 'just don't look good on me anymore', or for the ultimate ignorance 'because I haven't got anything to wear', is following fashion. For I have not met anyone who has said these things who hasn't got at least ten different outfits in their wardrobes that are the right size and are not falling apart. If you don't believe you are following fashion consider any other culture than the western one (even how our culture was not so very long ago) and see how they compare.

The argument that 'I don't buy fashionable clothing' doesn't hold water because there is a fashion in 'ordinary unfashionable clothes' and a fashion in alternative fashions. Styles change, people buy new clothes, it is the same thing. Marketing departments would not be doing a very good job if they only created sales out of those who willingly follow fashions, so they subtly create stuff for the rest of the market too: fashions for the conscientious, fashions for the unfashionable! Oh and buying organic and fairtrade clothing does not get you off the hook while you still have clothes that are in one piece and fit (and buying nothing is so much more environmentally friendly than buying anything).

Basically, the extremes some people go to make a lot of us look very moderate, but compare our moderation to that of other times and other places and you will see how extravagantly we are living

Also, the article makes a very good case for the benefits of weening yourself off fashion, "We may look good, but we feel bad.". But "Once we dismiss the illusion of glamour and wake up to the power and delight in having less stuff and more time, we can embrace being more human."

Finally, a quote from the article: "As the effects of the credit crunch begin to take hold, psychologists have coined a term for heavily addicted shoppers who eschew food in order to afford the clothing they crave: ‘fashionrexic’". Wow! Scary, but still wow! Who would have guessed what us humans are capable of!

Hmm, so much for lazy blogging!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Positive Change II

Today I came across a really great article called The Great Turning by Joanna Macy. It addresses the shift happening within the world, from the "Industrial Growth Society to a life-sustaining civilization". What I like most about the article is that it incorporates the different aspects of this shift; it has helped me link the jigsaw pieces together and has helped answer some questions I have had for a while. These questions include what is the point of direct action or protests (like stopping someone chop down a woodland) when the problem is so global and there are so many problems that we can't address them all? Or what is the point of trying to change government when it takes so long for any changes to be made? Or what is the role of spiritual change in the changing of the world?

The article lays out the three dimensions to the change that is going on: actions to slow the damage to Earth and its beings; analysis of structural causes and the creation of structural alternatives; and shift in Consciousness. It describes the parts these all play and gives examples of each. It is an article that to me helps create a more whole understanding of part of the change we humans are undergoing, and in doing this it creates more faith in the fact that positive change is happening.

I will leave you with a quote from Joanna Macy's website:

"The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world-we've actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other."