A2 Basic UK 157 Folder Collection
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I have an entire operation around shopping.
I take it very, very seriously.
I've got loads of items that I just never even wear.
Beautiful, beautiful quality. I've had it for over a year.
It hasn't even been taken off the hanger.
When we look around the high street and stores
we see lots and lots of stuff,
but the most interesting thing about consumption
and buying is what's going on in our minds.
The story of stuff begins in our imagination
and in our fantasies.
That's the space where we dream about all the things
that we would really, really love to have
and what a wonderful life we would have,
if only we could have this stuff.
I always think, "Yep, this is it. This is the item.
This is what's going to make me happy."
What we consume is an expression of our identity,
because our identity consists of a number of different facets.
We have an actual self, who we actually are most of the time,
but then we also have a social self.
We buy products, clothes that express
who we want to be at any point in time.
I have two moods.
So, I have this mood.
And I also have this mood.
And they're both as vital to me as the other.
Like, I feel like sometimes clothes help me take on a character.
Buying something new makes me feel excited
and like, full of adrenaline.
Marketers are very, very good
at speaking to the parasympathetic nervous system,
the one that makes your heart just flutter,
they can't do anything about it.
I buy clothes quite frequently.
I tend to do a lot of my shopping online
so I have orders come in at least once or twice a week.
I actually have an order right now that I'm going to pick up.
It's a new dress and I'm quite excited to wear it.
Excessive consumption is actually proven to make us feel
if not bad, it doesn't make us feel good.
Recent research has shown that
when we have too many things
we are constantly dissatisfied.
Let's say I spend about half my lunch break looking at clothes,
and then I look a bit in between work tasks.
And then you add that to some time when I get home,
and then the actual purchasing -
I would say maybe like three hours a day
is spent looking at websites, looking at baskets, returning things,
yeah, it takes up quite a lot of my time.
Before the 16th, 17th Century
many cultures thought of things as opposed to the self or the soul,
and what we see in the modern period is a reversal.
It's a cultural shift that things start to be seen
as central to our identity.
There's something really interesting happening actually with consumers.
People are actually beginning to get fed up with stuff.
We spoke to three generations of grandmothers, mothers and daughters.
For the grandmother generation, in that post-war era,
there was a much greater emphasis placed upon being frugal.
The mother's generation, they wanted to be modern
and embrace technologies like the freezer and the microwave.
The daughters rejected a lot of that.
They saw themselves as being experimental,
buying different ethnic foods, trying different styles of cooking,
buying organic produce, ethical products.
What we found was that these generations of women
were all the same in wanting to be different,
and the way in which they did that
was through how they shopped and bought and used stuff.
With the topic around climate change
and the impact the fashion industry has on the climate,
I am trying to be more mindful of my shopping.
So I've recently made a rule to try and make sure that
at least 50% of my wardrobe comes from vintage stores,
and I really want to get to a point where I'm more mindful about it
and it's less fast fashion and less vapid.
We've got so much stuff now, we don't really know what to do with it.
We spend a lot of time trying to work out
how to get rid of the stuff that we've got.
Now, rationally we might say,
{\an2}"Well maybe we should stop buying all of this stuff."
But we don't do that.
What we do is retreat back into our imaginations
and into our fantasies and so we start the cycle all over again.
I would say yes, I do have a mild problem when it comes to shopping.
But I like to think that I could stop if I wanted to.
Oh my god, that's exactly what an addict says, isn't it?
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Why do we have so much stuff? | BBC Ideas

157 Folder Collection
Annie Huang published on August 5, 2020
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