Deleting social media changed my relationship with fast fashion

Deleting social media changed my relationship with fast fashion

Words by Georgie Desailly

“How can we struggle towards the fixed barrage of latest tendencies and merchandise capturing feeds (and brains)?”

Five years in the past, I deleted all my social media accounts. Why? Up till 2017, I used to be spending each spare second endlessly double-tapping, scrolling by means of feeds and snapping pics for Instagram. It was the equal of a full-time job, and I used to be exhausted. Eventually, I’d had sufficient, and what was supposed to be a one-month break changed into a everlasting delete and reset.
While experiencing the advantages of residing disconnected (improved psychological well being, extra productiveness and decreased fatigue), the one factor that stunned me probably the most was the way it fully changed my relationship with fast fashion.

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In the months following my preliminary delete and reset, I began to develop into hyper-aware of my consumption habits. I realized concerning the significance of sustainability and started embracing sluggish fashion, finally switching to procuring solely secondhand. How is it I went from a self-professed fast fashion addict to a aware shopper after the easy deletion of some apps on my cellphone? 
New York-based Fashion Psychologist, Shakaila Forbes-Bell, attributes it to the truth that I used to be now not being influenced by feeds filled with fashion-related content material and tailor-made adverts selling new tendencies; one thing she notes has performed a key function in perpetuating fast fashion.
As the founding father of Fashion Is Psychology and writer of the newly launched e-book Big Dress Energy, Shakaila teaches shoppers how you can change their habits and rewire their thought processes to grasp the psychology behind their styling and procuring choices. 
“Social media has elevated our need for fast gratification, which has additional enhanced the attraction for fast fashion and trending items,” explains Shakaila.
“Curated content material feeds coupled with personalised adverts continuously present social media customers idealised photographs that they’re in a position to purchase their approach into with only a few clicks. It encourages fast and sometimes senseless consumption, which is right for fast fashion manufacturers.”
It’s no secret that social media has expedited the connection between shoppers and merchandise, with most of the apps having shifted from their preliminary deal with social connection to type a extra ad-based strategy aimed toward shoppers.
You solely want to take a look at Instagram’s Shop Now tab (quickly to be referred to as Tab Lite) which, since its introduction in 2020, has turned the platform into the equal of a mini on-line store, and, as Shakaila factors out, capitalised off our need to ‘belong’.
“It’s interesting to be half of the present cultural zeitgeist… research have additionally proven that fast fashion shoppers are closely influenced by the opinions – each optimistic and detrimental – from members of their social media neighborhood,” Shakaila says.
In 2020, the variety of Australian shoppers who made purchases by means of social media amounted to five.3 million, in accordance with Statistica. This quantity is predicted to extend to six.4 million by 2024. Yet, with many firms now focusing on adolescents with social media advertising and marketing, Shakaila says it’s this demographic who’re probably the most susceptible. 
“The frontal and prefrontal cortex are areas of the mind concerned in measured choice making,” she explains. “Research exhibits that adolescent brains aren’t in a position to entry these areas as shortly as fully-formed grownup brains, inflicting adolescents to behave extra impulsively… they’re extra vulnerable to leap[ing] on fast fashion tendencies.” 
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. In the identical approach that fast fashion manufacturers are leveraging social media to advertise their merchandise, Shakaila says these platforms “can be utilized by the sustainable fashion area to encourage a change in consumption habits” and encourage habits like repairing, re-wearing and secondhand procuring.
But with social commerce in Australia solely predicted to develop, how can we struggle towards the fixed barrage of latest tendencies and merchandise capturing feeds (and brains)? Here, Shakaila advises her ‘4, three, two, one rule’, which goals to coach our brains to solely purchase garments we all know we’re going to put on. 
The first step is ‘4 years’. “Before you take into account shopping for one thing on social media, ask your self for those who’ll nonetheless be carrying it in 4 years’ time. Avoid impulse procuring by picturing your future self within the outfit,” Shakaila says.
The subsequent is ‘three outfits or events’. If you possibly can’t see your self carrying the garment on at the very least three totally different events or with three totally different outfits, Shakaila explains “it in all probability received’t provide the longevity you need to be in search of”. 
Next, ‘two deep breaths’. “Arguably crucial step, taking a few deep breaths earlier than making a purchase order choice will instantly fight the frenzy of the neurotransmitter dopamine that’s crippling the areas within the mind accountable for choice making,” Shakaila tells me.
And lastly, ‘one evening’s sleep’. Put your cellphone away and luxuriate in an evening of relaxation. If you’re nonetheless occupied with the merchandise within the morning, it’s doubtless an indication of buy. Who can argue with that?
For extra on changing into a aware fashion shopper, head right here.

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About the Author: Amanda