Not long ago, I did a course on Consumer psychology in fashion, and I was about to discover how I can translate the knowledge of human behaviour and psychological insights within the fashion industry into creative ideas for my projects and my daily life.
My love for fashion and psychology was fuelled by one of the most insightful and honest teachers I’ve ever met, Carolyn Mair. She has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and is responsible for the first ever Fashion Psychology degree programs. Carolyn describes describes herself as a cognitive psychologist working in the context of fashion.
She made me understand that fashion can be used to enhance, rather than harm.
This means that fashion should be about responsible and sustainable consumption, about empowering people to feel happy with who they really are and to love themselves.
Unfortunately the factors that influence fashion consumption might often be related to emotional problems.
Take my example. I used to buy compulsively because I wanted to fit in the fashion environment I’ve been working in and because I wanted to avoid and relive the unpleasant feeling of not becoming the successful woman I was aspiring to be.
This led to financial difficulties, conflicts with my dear ones, and emotional problems. The decision to stop indulging in binge-shopping brought me so much relief. This was a year ago. Then I started to inform myself about the impact of the consumption decisions I was making. I started challenging myself to make those choices only when they would help reducing the impact that apparel production has on the environment and those involved in the production.
Carolyn says it really nicely in one of her interviews: ¨Making decisions beyond those which are solely personal, to those which are economic or environmentally motivated, is being socially responsible.¨
I have some good news. According to a statistic mentioned by Carolyn, consumption from businesses which do not damage the environment is increasing. 41% of 1554 students surveyed for a study in US wanted to buy from socially and environmentally responsible brands.
If you want to know more about Carolyn´s work you should check her blog and you can buy her book that will be available in March 2018.
She was also interviewed by Alexa Chung for the Future of Fashion Vogue series.