The conscious people movement

The conscious people movement, under the hashtag #formodernhumans, joins and inspires people who want to make a change. It starts from fashion but it goes beyond that. Because style tells who we are, and so does our lifestyle.

One way or the other

It’s about making a choice: one way or the other.
Our thoughtless and short-sighted actions provoked climate change. And now extreme weather is a serious threat. Therefore, the idea that everything is fine and we can take whatever the industries try to sell is dead. Fashion, food, technology, lifestyle, everything needs to be revised.

In fact, old-time patterns, economic models and human behaviours aren’t sustainable anymore.

The choice: niche vs mass market

And so, the choice is niche or mass market. Quality or quantity. Unique fashion and good design vs fast fashion. Timeless and reusable vs disposable. Conscious consumption vs overconsumption. Circularity vs waste. Also, ethical business in order to put an end to modern-day slavery. In other words, Doughnut Economics (which is a groundbreaking book by the economist Kate Raworth, a must-read!) vs capitalism and infinite growth.

The conscious people movement #formodernhumans

Conscious people make a clear and radical choice: less but better is the starting point.

We really care about this matter, so we made our choice.
Now make yours.

It’s one way or the other!

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Luxury Brands & Young Audience

A new perspective on luxury brands selling to the wrong audience

A piece written by an American student studying fashion in Milan and interning for suite123, Gavriel Ewart.

Logic or Manipulation?

It is understandable for a business to market their products and services to a specific audience. Rationally, a business has a niche, and they sell to those who will respond to that niche.

It is an entirely different story if a luxury business is promoting to an audience who is undeniably not in the chapter of their lives where the concept of ‘luxury’ is available to them.

Is their strategy from an angle of manipulation?

As many know, during the late adolescent years when the frontal lobe of the brain has not finished developing, the youth are still heavily prone to absorbing information that’s restricted to them. The frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for planning, organizing, initiating, self-awareness, and intensive decision making. 

As a result, adolescents are easily influenced by all external stimuli. Because of this, many businesses, the luxury fashion industry being one of the most convincing, use their advertising, locations, storefront displays, and interior design to lure the young. 

They eventually purchase a disgustingly overpriced item that fools them into believing they are a part of the glamor status in society. . . When in reality, they are living with their parents and trying to pass their statistics exams. 

Is their strategy from a logical perspective?

According to Eurostat Statistics Explained, young citizens living in the metropolitan cities of Western Europe get paid an average of 332-2257 euros per month. Considering the fact that a younger employee would typically get paid on the minimum scale, they are barely making ends meet. Therefore, it would be irrational to assume that they have a surplus of funds to spend on luxury pieces every month since they are still concerned with food, transportation, and possible rent charges. 

These results provide one clear conclusion, one that is frankly not too surprising. Luxury labels don’t care how the youth are able to purchase their products, as long as profits are made.  

Why luxury brands target the young audience

The true reason . . . . 
Profit. Profit with the dismissal of its grand effect on those who have little power to reverse the actions they didn’t know any better but to make. Many know that the youth are one of the most easily influenced generations, yet all categories of business make a habit of exploiting them from all angles. 

“You don’t have the money to buy this purse? Well here is a high interest rate credit card with no instruction on how to prioritize paying. Do you want an education? Here is a $50,000 Unsubsidized loan that will take over half your life to pay back. Wait, you want a loan to start a business and become successful independently? No we can’t do that for you, you’ll need a hefty credit score to receive that privilege”. 

As said, it’s understandable to sell your products to those attracted to that niche and who can afford it. But the new reality evidently presents that the niche of these companies is predominantly to sell to those who are required to max out their high interest credit cards in order to purchase.
Sadly, this singular purchase is what makes them feel included and accepted into this glamorous facade that people call reality. So don’t allow yourself to sink into the sand of manipulative brands. Don’t let yourself be blinded by the sparkly logos. Shade your eyes with your hands, not your overpriced sunglasses. 

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The freedom of buying

Is that real freedom?

“If we don’t become active thinkers, the only freedom we have is the freedom of buying – the freedom to consume.”

We cannot cite the lawyer’s name who said this on a tv programme, but her insight sticks in our minds. She touched on a point that controls every layer of our life.

Take time to reflect
For our society, we have value as consumers. That is the logic behind her statement. We are consumers, and we believe consuming is a gained freedom. And as consumers, we are targeted by credit cards, hospitals, hotels, retailers and so on. Plus, web companies and social media.

This mechanism has been highlighted by the pandemic too.
‘Please, get well and go back consuming.’ Otherwise, the world stops, because modern life revolves 90% around consumption.

Consumption, per se, is not wrong. What is wrong is the blind direction it has taken, the voracious capability of eating up everything. That ignorant way of devouring each product or service without any evaluation. Just because it’s advertised, the brand is popular. Because it’s new, it will work (so throw away the old one).

Overconsumption and the freedom of buying

We over-consume blindly, to the point of harming our planet. Which means that we, humans, aren’t really smart.
Brands, we believe we use them, but the opposite is true. They use us. Our freedom is limited to our consumption.

Active thinkers and thoughtful consuming
Active thinkers consider the long haul, so they consider their actions within a long-term vision. It’s fundamental to become conscious about what we consume and how. Unless we want to discover the consequences of our actions once the damage is a reality.

Now more than ever, we need active thinkers. People who think before consuming. Yes, think. That’s the greatest freedom we have.

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Product placement vs consumer awareness

Among various methods corporations use to keep women hooked to their brands, product placement is on top. Yes, corporations. That’s what luxury conglomerates are. And it gives the pulse on their work.

During the 80s, Giorgio Armani was the first who started dressing Hollywood stars in order to sell to the American middle-class. In a perspective of massive overproduction and an ever-growing economy, perhaps that strategy made sense.
By the way, Armani, followed by all the other designers right away, started giving outfits for free to the stars, and women – the so-called middle class – promptly bought them.

Now the economy is not in good shape, and the middle class swiped away. Most importantly, we opened our eyes, so we are tired of being treated as fishing lures. Therefore we find some specific marketing techniques obsolete, if not meaningless.

What’s the point of stars wearing luxury designer’s clothes on the red carpets when it’s known they don’t pay for the clothes?
Does it still make sense?

Fashion & celebrities marketing

In fact, what makes it sound absurd is that they can afford to pay, but they don’t. In other words, those who can afford clothes don’t purchase them, while those who can’t are supposed to.

There’s no logic in this anymore. What if celebrities purchase their outfits and designers donate the proceeds to charity?

However, we should also dig deeper into those impressed by ‘the rich Milanese’ showing off her outfits on social media. And women promptly buy. Indeed we die a little for this lack of self-esteem.

Since we weren’t all born with good taste, looking for guidance is the right way to avoid weird outfits. But asking for advice is different from imitating someone else’s style.

Marketing has always targeted women because, traditionally, they are considered fragile and easy to influence or manipulate. And the sad thing is that we allowed them to do so.

Let’s evolve now.

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Conscious buying: a sustainable choice

Conscious buying is how we refuse to go back to normal, our sustainable choice.

Among crowds of people eager to go back to normal, some individuals are quite perplexed by what this means. Whatever that normal was for you, consider linking it with all the troubles we went through this past year.

For those who have connected the dots, the picture is clear. Going back to that normal is not a possibility. In fact, we are showing up every day with the intent of reaching a higher level of consciousness and helping others to do so.

The intention is not to stop purchasing items. Perhaps we could go for one year without buying new clothes. But, even if it makes sense, the side effect would be tragic. Consider all the people that work in manufacturing to bring food to their tables.
Of course, we need to find the balance.

Promoting conscious buying is a byproduct of our evolved attitude. “Shop now!” is far away from our new vision. And, there is an urgency to think rather than to buy. As modern humans, we realise that even our shopping patterns need to change. And from the moment you connect the dots, you naturally make a different choice.

Conscious buying in fashion

In fashion, what are the bullet points for conscious buying?
The premise is that consciousness relates to being aware of both the environment as well as one’s self. “Well-being” includes having respect for the planet and ourselves as individuals. It is about feeling better and being the best humans we can be.

These are the actions we can take when we buy clothes:

• choose a good design, it stands out forever.
• look for quality fabrics, they are made to last.
• invest in well-made items.
• choose fit over size, a size number will not define you.
• support honest productions that take social responsibilities.
• the packaging must be minimal.
• less marketing, more critical thinking and thoughtful consumption.

Some of those concepts you can apply as general shopping rules, not only for fashion items. However, having a critical approach is fundamental. For instance, do we need tons of paper for packaging? No!

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”

we like this quote from Jonathan Swift.

Indeed, we see that going back to normal is dangerous. Also, we can look around perplexed but, in the end, we know that we are not alone.

Small communities can make change possible!

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