5 April 2019
I. Project Rationale
Have you ever considered where your clothes come from, how they are made, or even who makes them? A lot of the clothes you where every day are made by people in other countries, working for next to nothing, so you can have those cool jeans you wanted or that pair of shoes that have that fresh look you were searching for. But what if there was an option that saved you money on clothes while ensuring you are sourcing your clothing in a more ethical way? Well, there is. Just thrift it! Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Plato’s Closet are some of the biggest names in thrift shopping. Thrift stores are becoming increasingly popular, but a lot of people still seem to be on the fence about wearing something that someone else already has. However, if you can move past the idea that you are wearing used clothing, you can feel good when you put on your clothes, knowing that you sourced them from a more ethical company than “that one store at the mall”.
I plan on diving into this topic by first explaining how some of the biggest names in fashion don’t ethically source their clothing and how much waste goes into the industry of fast fashion. I will use sources that directly discuss this topic as well as sources that delve into sustainability in general in the fashion industry. Then, I will discuss how big-name brands cause trouble in influencing people to spend more money than they need to on something, enforcing the wants vs. needs idea. At this point, I will counter the idea that big brands are bad with the argument that a lot of more expensive brands tend to be more ethical environmentally and be more humanitarian when it comes to sourcing their products. After explaining the negative aspects, I will bring it back to a lighter side by talking about thrift shopping and how it can save you money, be more ethical when it comes to the environment and the workers, and how it can be fun to thrift. The sources I will be using for this all directly address these ideas.
The goal of this research project is to get people to think twice before spending the money on a new shirt or pair of pants. I want them to think of the consequences of giving these huge companies more of their money to continue fueling what they are doing. I would like people to see that thrifting is a great alternative to mall shopping and that you can even have fun doing it. I will feel successful if I can get people to purchase even one thing from a thrift store instead of spending the money elsewhere.
II. Project Outline
Bardhi, F. (2003). Thrill of the hunt: Thrift shopping for pleasure. Advances in Consumer Research, 30, 375-376. Retrieved from Google Scholar. (This paper describes why people may choose to shop at thrift stores over shopping at what most people would consider a normal store. The author discusses how shoppers may be influenced by the way the sores are arranged as well as not having to spend as much on the products they are looking to purchase. They also discuss the potential level of excitement the shoppers may find in searching for and examining to find what they may or may not have been looking for. I will use the information discussed in this paper in order to influence the idea that thrift shopping can be a hobby and in some ways, more fun than shopping at normal stores.)
Bardhi, F., & Arnould, E. J. (2005). Thrift shopping: Combining utilitarian thrift and hedonic treat benefits. Journal of Consumer Behaviour,4(4), 223-233. DOI:10.1002/cb.12 (This paper discusses how thrift shopping can be a pleasant experience while also saving the shopper money. The authors examined shoppers at five different thrift stores, looking at what drives them to shop at thrift stores. The authors also look at six practices of people who are looking to be thrifty, showing how shoppers can experience pleasantry of shopping while still maintaining thriftiness through shopping at thrift stores. I plan on using this article to further enforce the concept that thrift shopping can be helpful in minimizing waste while saving you money and provide a fun experience.)
Claudio, L. (2007). Waste couture: Environmental impact of the clothing industry. Environmental Health Perspectives,115(9). DOI:10.1289/ehp.115-a449 (This article takes a look at the global effects of fast fashion and how it is damaging to the environment as well as humanity. The authors also discuss how fast fashion leads to more waste due to the “disposability” of cheaper clothing. The authors also discuss how due to the cheaper clothing market in the US, the clothes are being sold to third world countries as secondhand. I intend to use this article to show how shopping at modern stores in the mall or other outlets allows for the continuation of this massive environmental footprint that is being left behind by the clothing industry.)
Joy, A., Sherry, J. F., Venkatesh, A., Wang, J., & Chan, R. (2012). Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands. Fashion Theory,16(3), 273-295. DOI:10.2752/175174112×13340749707123 (This paper looks at the concept of fast fashion and the driving force behind the concept. It talks about how the consumers tend to look past the ecological responsibilities of a company in order to sate their desires for more clothing. The authors then look at luxury brands and how these brands can actually have a far better method of sourcing their product and that though luxury brands are indeed more expensive, they provide quality with sustainability. I will use this article to further explain the detrimental effects of fast fashion while also using it in my counter argument to show that luxury brands can be good for the environment.)
Shrum, L., Lowrey, T., Pandelaere, M., Ruvio, A., Gentina, E., Furchheim, P., Herbert, M., Hudders, L., Lens, I., Mandel, N., Nairn, A., Samper, A., Soscia, I., & Steinfield, L., (2014) Materialism: the good, the bad, and the ugly, Journal of Marketing Management, 30:17-18, 1858-1881, DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2014.959985 (In this paper, the authors discuss the good and bad side of materialism and what influences materialistic behavior. It looks at how materialism can promote some good images but for the most part, portrays the bad side and how detrimental being materialistic can be. I plan to use this paper in order to show that buying expensive name brand clothing is not healthy for you and that thrifting can be a much better alternative to being materialistic. I also plan to use this article in my counter argument showing that there are some good sides to materialism.)