A festive downturn for Fashion or a timely shift in consumption?

The Christmas catalogues are beginning to drop onto the door mat – sparkly tights paired with woolly jumpers, heralding the news that parties are back on. But simultaneously competing for our attention is a multitude of doom, in the form of:

“Cost of Living Crisis
“Energy Crisis”
“Climate Crisis”

Perhaps this is why the Guardian is reporting that sales of “non essential purchases,” notably hardest hit sectors of clothing and footwear are set to decline, as we enter the “golden quarter” (aka Christmas gifting/black Friday) with sales expected to drop by £4.4bn on the year. 

Although bad for retailers, is this a win for climate?

Given that global apparel consumption is forecasted to increase by 63% by the end of this decade, from 62 million tons to 102 million tons, which is the equivalent to more than 500 billion additional T-shirts.

Do we really need any more stuff?

I also saw a post by Edie this week, suggesting that the cost of living crisis is set to reduce consumer demand and spending on “sustainable products” this winter.  There seems to be an assumption from the report that people will switch from more expensive, sustainable products back to cheaper less sustainable ones, but could it be that people will buy less? After all buying ‘better’ is not in fact ‘better’ than buying nothing at all!?

The Edie report also suggests that households may be prioritising energy saving investments rather than “non essentials”.

This is a good thing, right?

Another report last week from the BBC, suggested an increase in demand for second hand clothing, as a result of the cost of living crisis, as well as an environmental “shift in attitude” 

On a slight tangent – I have a question for you on this?…

Would you / do you buy loved ones second hand for Christmas? Is there any stigma attached to gifting second hand?

Back to falling consumption shifts in the “golden quarter” – Now we are feeling the pinch, at the same time as facing up to the stark realities of climate change, could the combined power of the three crises be the nudge needed to change our behaviour?…

Could this be a turning point, an opportunity for us to redefine ourselves as citizens rather than consumers?
Or will the crises exacerbate inequalities in our society further?
Can the fashion industry thrive off non-new?
Can we grow as an industry and yet reduce consumption?

As always more questions than answers! Please join the debate and let me know your thoughts….

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