Markdowns, sales and sustainability
In a collapsing world, the anachronism of sales, expression of a system of overproduction and excessive waste, should raise eyebrows. Indeed markdowns are a short-term win inadequate to the current situation. In the view of making fashion a sustainable industry, aggressive discounts and sales aren’t a consistent plan.
Overproduction is the cause. Producing too many clothes doesn’t make sense anymore. Furthermore, a system that needs constant discounts to push people to purchase more than they need is a rotten system. Overproduction and overconsumption: one triggers the other. But if we want to make fashion sustainable, we should break this pattern.
Sales for high-income
They still rely on overconsumption and also markdowns to satisfy their need for novelty. In fact, they have learned nothing from the latest events. Therefore, the conclusion is that they simply don’t care about the impact their actions have on the planet. So, fashion brands throw the bait, and those people buy whatever comes out to show their higher status.
For lower-income consumers, the matter is different, but the push to overconsume is the same. Indeed, affordable prices give the illusion of richness. And rather than shopping for quality vintage or “less but better” clothing, they shop for discounted items. Feeding up the throwaway culture that thrives thanks to unaware people.
Most importantly, there is an excessive supply, too much of everything, so high and low spenders don’t value the craft work anymore, the art of making quality clothes. There’s no understanding of this process. Therefore the masses think garments should be cheap and disposable.
The anachronism of sales
It’s impossible to match what needs to be done to keep the planet habitable and what the economic system (capitalism) needs to preserve itself. The choice is one or the other.
Although sales are an anachronistic expression of a system that failed, the cycle restarts happily season by season. No matter if the world is on the brink of collapse.
Fashion brands, retailers and consumers are not interested in having a positive impact and making a change. If the fashion industry doesn’t change, most consumers aren’t interested in doing so either.
So people, enjoy your winter sales! Your temporary illusion of joy is served this season again!