Shiny Objects Syndrome: Unveiling Psychology Behind Consumer Behaviour

Exploring the Paradox: Why People Forget Reality and Support Exploitation in Fashion

Shiny Object Syndrome is the psychological idea where a person moves from one subject or object to the next, creating a constant distraction and a constant need for something new and exciting. This syndrome is present in the fashion industry with fashion trends, technology, news, social media, etc. 

Shiny Object Syndrome: encouraging overproduction from brands

In terms of the fashion industry, the control of Shiny Object Syndrome over society is what encourages fashion corporations to overproduce and contribute towards the abundance of textile waste and exploitation of labour. But our need for something shiny and new is costing the planet purchase by purchase. 

Unbreakable reputations despite concerning news
In April 2024, the Italian police exposed Giorgio Armani operations for using Chinese workers under an unauthorized subcontractor to make handbags and accessories. These workers were subject to unsafe working conditions and exploitation. Armani can also be traced to major water pollution scandals in China. Despite these concerning allegations, Armani maintains their reputation of being the pride of Italy and a loved brand worldwide. This contradiction is evident in other brands as well. 

The result: a vicious cycle
News and trends circulate so much that we forget the significance of events. Thus, when Armani releases their new collection we are too fascinated by the new fabrics, styles, and costs to remember how exactly these novelties were made. Thus, the Shiny Object Syndrome. Ultimately, we are showing brands that they can exploit human rights and the planet and get away with it. This must stop. 

Stopping Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny Object Syndrome can reflect in many aspects of our life from relationships to our purchasing habits. If we are always searching for the next exciting thing, we will never be satisfied with what we have. 

To avoid shiny object syndrome you can:

1. Set achievable short-term goals
Setting short-term goals can divert our focus towards positivity and improvement during the week and help us work towards a greater goal. Personal motivation is key.

2. Focus on experience rather than substance and find meaning in smaller things
Spend money on experiences like dinner with friends and plan these experiences for something to look forward to. Also, find meaning in smaller things by reviewing your day and asking yourself what made you smile and how you can make someone smile tomorrow. 
When you do buy, buy thoughtfully. Invest in items where you can read about the story of the designer and feel the craftsmanship. Items that are unique to you and not just a trend.

3. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude always. Gratitude can be as simple as being grateful for a sunny day or the flowers blooming. Once we see what we appreciate, we can appreciate even more and accept a beautiful life.

Gratitude turns what you have into abundance.
Gratitude is so much more than saying thank you.
Gratitude changes your perspective of your world.

What really matters

In conclusion, brands are constantly feeding off our bad habits, not only exploiting their workers but they’re also exploiting their customers. Shiny Object Syndrome increases the profit of brands while decreasing your overall well-being and satisfaction with life. It is better for your health and for our social and economic environments to disengage from Shiny Object Syndrome and focus on what really matters to you.

✍ Credit: Post written by Joelle Elliott, an American scholar pursuing studies in Fashion at Cattolica University in Milan; currently interning with suite123.

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Rethinking Earth Day

Should We Even Celebrate?

We got to a point where rethinking Earth Day becomes crucial. Indeed, if we continue at this pace, in a future devoid of resources, Earth Day will be remembered for the countless celebrations. But should we even celebrate?

Earth Day significance

April 22nd marks the annual recurrence of World Earth Day 2024, a global event dedicated to raising awareness and promoting environmental protection. This day is a powerful reminder of the critical need for conservation and sustainability efforts. The purpose is to inspire collective action towards a healthier planet and a more sustainable future.

Earth Day marketing

However, we received emails inviting us to purchase products to save the planet! Is this truly the extent of our commemoration? Another opportunity for product promotion? Is increasing sales an effective strategy against global warming? Is it the means to safeguard our planet? Earth Day promotions sound really weird!

For those striving for a sustainable lifestyle, which transcends the hollow slogans bombarding us incessantly, Earth Day holds no celebrations. In truth, there is little cause for celebration. What’s to commemorate? The devastation wrought by humanity? Or perhaps a brief respite? Certainly not!

climate change -Image of a melting planet earth - Killing me softly by Gianluca Traina
Killing me softly by Gianluca Traina

The true purpose: rethinking Earth Day

The aim is to raise public consciousness, to instil the understanding that we have but one planet, and we must preserve and protect it. Mother Earth requires time to heal from the havoc we wreak daily, from the mountains of waste generated by our economic system, by our way of life! The devastation is the byproduct of progress, something we seem unwilling to relinquish. 

Let’s face it. Unfortunately, Earth Day has become the ultimate marketing strategy to drive sales! But sustainable growth is a myth. Similarly, there can be no sustainable fashion or sustainable tourism without a significant reduction in consumption! “What is needed in the first instance are reduced levels of consumption, not just changed patterns.” – Herman E. Daly.

In conclusion, brands may push marketing gimmicks to celebrate Earth Day 2024. Tourism, fashion, or any other industry may create its own sustainable bubble. But we will neither address nor solve any issue unless we are wholeheartedly committed – every day – to saving the planet by curbing our consumption.

So, let’s be serious: rethinking Earth Day means nothing to celebrate. We must raise awareness and take action!

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Understanding The Fashion System

The Truth Behind Sales & Markdowns

Understanding the fashion system involves exposing the hidden environmental costs of frequent fashion promotions and sales. Aiming for sustainability in the fashion industry is critical to saving the planet.

Sales used to occur at the end of the season only. But now, promotions and markdowns are frequent. What’s changed in the fashion industry? Since fashion became finance and brands became properties of corporations, profit has been the only logic guiding the fashion industry. Corporations use overproduction to maximise profit; sales are part of the game.

The negative impact of fashion sales

Sales apparently are a way to get a deal on clothing and other products. But, they contribute to a bigger problem in our society: the value of clothing and the labour that goes into making it is not recognised. In other words, sales devalued product quality and labour.

Sales perpetuate an unsustainable production cycle that harms our planet. To support this profit-driven system, they fuel impulsive buying, encouraging people to buy things they don’t need. Additionally, when brands play a pricing game with their products, it can call into question their credibility. On the one hand, brands praise the value of their products. But a month later, this value has halved. Who are they kidding?

However, overconsumption and overproduction are two faces of the same coin: capitalism, an economic system that values profits above all else. 

Despite the apparent fascination, thinking individuals should consider the detrimental impact of sales on the planet and people. With overproduction and fashion waste visible from space, the fashion industry significantly contributes to climate crises, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. In fact, the recent UN guidelines underscore the urgent need to combat unsustainable consumption patterns.

The call is clear: curbing overconsumption. To do so, we must acknowledge sales and frequent markdowns as symptoms of a profit-oriented system that harms our environment. But, to find solutions, first, we must grasp how the fashion system operates.

The fashion system: who does it work?

Brands pressure retailers to meet escalating budget demands each season (minimum amount or quantity). That leads to excessive purchasing beyond actual retailers’ demand. To ensure profits for brands, retailers buy more than they can sell.
Excess inventory drives up retail prices because high quantities of merchandise are sold only during sales. So, higher prices throughout the season partially cover this loss.
Lastly, overstock forces retailers into a cycle of frequent discounts and promotions, aiming to encourage more purchases from end consumers.

This interconnected cycle of consumption and production cannot be rectified by addressing only one aspect without considering the other. In this context, we cannot trust brands who preach sustainable fashion.

Solutions: sustainable fashion practices

Sustainable fashion practices for retailers: Stop Sales! 

• Reduce the quantities of clothing and accessories ordered per season. If brands do not accept lower orders, do not buy from them. By preventing overstock, retailers can maintain fair prices throughout the year. Both retailers and consumers would benefit from this.
• Refrain from excessive discount events like Black Fridays, promotions, and sales. Customers are no longer willing to buy at the true value of a garment.
• Educate consumers to prioritise quality over quantity, investing in durable, timeless pieces and understanding the value behind their purchases.

What Consumers Can Do: be agents of change!

• Don’t contribute to the climate crisis. Change the system: make conscious choices. 
• Buy less, much less during the season. Take only quality items that complement your existing wardrobe; reuse clothes.
• Avoid trendy items; embrace a timeless aesthetic that transcends fleeting fashion. Remember, quality endures – good design transcends trends. It doesn’t have an expiry date.

Ultimately, sales aren’t sustainable. Understanding the fashion system, how brands’ pressure on retailers drives over-purchasing, inflates retail prices, prompting endless discounts, and addressing both consumption and overproduction, is vital for impactful change.

At suite123, we prioritise good design, timeless fashion, and conscious consumption. And we care about people and the planet. Therefore, we do not endorse sales. 

Let’s make conscious decisions about what we consume, nurturing a sustainable world for generations to come.

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Ignoring Black Friday’s impact

Is overconsumption the only reason to live?

Despite the abundance of information available, people still ignore Black Friday’s impact.

Indeed, it’s essential to remember the truth behind it. This promotional event is a dangerous marketing trick. In fact, it leads to toxic, mass overconsumption and generates monstrous quantities of waste harmful to the environment. But our planet cannot sustain this economic and lifestyle system, so we need to stop.

As a retailer, if you participate in sales and promotions such as Black Friday, you contribute to a system that has failed.
This system does not offer a place for change and encourages you to foster the status quo by ignoring reality.

The fashion system, as well as any other industry, does not make reasonable or sustainable quantities. On the contrary, it produces large amounts in excess; the sole purpose is to maximise profits. Unfortunately, they do it at the expense of people and the planet.

Against Black Friday’s wastefulness #formodernhumans

We are unhappy with the current fashion system and choose not to participate in sales and promotions. That means no Black Friday for us.

We value consistency. So, we refuse to be part of something against our values and principles. And we take responsibility for our actions. That includes how we present our work and conduct ourselves while interacting with you. Though we understand that this might limit our audience, we believe it’s the right thing to do.

The big question is why people don’t see further than their noses. Why don’t they see the negative impact of this system? The results of Black Friday are crystal clear: mountains high of waste polluting the earth and waters are undeniable.

So, why do people ignore Black Friday’s impact? Why do most people not want to educate themselves? Do you think overconsumption is the only reason to live?

Do you know there’s a healthier alternative? Buy Nothing! Above all, stop buying pointless shit!

Share your thoughts here below or WhatsApp directly from this link!

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Sustainability is ridiculous

Why playing this shell game should be banned

Sustainability is ridiculous. Not because the concept per se is stupid or does not make sense. But because it is too broad, too vague, and, therefore, deceptive. 

Sustainable fashion? This is greenwashing

Sometimes for ignorance or superficiality, yet in most cases, with intentionality, as those who play the sustainable game are perfectly aware of what they do. But, in the end, sustainability is just a new way to make money by showing a green facade. The industry, which goes from consultancy to fashion brand retail to NGOs, is flourishing. As a matter of fact, industry players spend time on “eco – green – conscious” labels, but it seems they are playing a shell game. The purpose is to hide and manipulate truths. 

In most cases, the effort is all about running after the latest eco-friendly label. But is it enough to achieve sustainability? It is the case of Chloé, for instance. Richemont hired Gabriela Hearst for her eco credentials, and now, three years later, the designer is exiting the company. Though they say revenue increased by 60%, their design is far away from the beauty of the past. 

Why sustainability is ridiculous

However, we have some doubts about the strategy Chloé has promoted so far. How can a luxury brand based on seasonal trends manage its business without damaging the planet? We wonder how fashion brands that shift to a purpose-driven business can be credible if they still run their activity on an overproduction pattern. Also, they attain the status of B-Corp. Most importantly, we wonder how B-Corp certification can combine with overproduction.
That seems contradictory. In fact, in this context, sustainability is ridiculous.

Specifically, we wonder if a drastic reduction of supply by offering only beautiful design garments made with “sustainable materials” and respecting the production chain would be an effective strategy.

But, of course, we understand that manipulating reality with the effect of fueling overconsumption is the most effective way to make money. So keep up promoting a green world!

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