A recent report by the World Economic Forum states that spending trends are shifting and people are moving towards a minimalistic lifestyle and concepts like retail therapy have become a thing of the past. Do Gulf News readers think so?
Currently a trend
Consumer patterns keep changing
The global socio-economic system is built to support capitalist spending, which would make the disappearance of fast fashion and consumerism virtually impossible. However, I find that in my generation, which is that of Gen Z, there are divergent patterns of consumption, which are based on upbringing, socioeconomic status, and education.
In this region, consumerism is not acknowledged as such but it is rather a way of signalling class status and simply using what ‘blessings’ one has earned or been given. I do notice that those of a more westernised mindset either due to exposure to certain ideals through a private and very Western education system or after living abroad, are more likely to consume ethically and consciously compared to their counterparts of the same age in society. At times however, ethical consumption comes in waves when it is considered a ‘trend’. That being said, to truly combat the effects of capitalism in the fashion industry or in other industries related to retail, companies must also bear the brunt of ethical manufacture and consumption due to their more profound control and impact on product sourcing and methods of manufacture and distribution.
From Ms Amna Abudyak
International relations student based in Sharjah
Retail therapy going strong
Sales are making people keep buying
I don’t think retail therapy is going anywhere, people buy stuff they don’t need all the time. The word ‘sale’ presses every single irrational button in the brain. It has to do with contrast bias: people see the contrast between the original price and the new price with the sale and they go like “wow, the price got cut by 70 per cent? I’m buying it!” Nobody stops to think “wait do I really need this...?” The biggest example where this happens is the Black Friday sales. Especially since there are only a few every year, the scarcity factor takes over and people buy stuff they don’t need. This is the day people basically have their credit cards out ready to go on a buying spree. It is not only until they get back home and look at the items they bought that they realise how much of it was unnecessary. I think retail stores make more number of sales simply because the items there are usually cheaper than a branded store or shop. That’s why I don’t think conscious consumerism is the new trend.
From Mr Muneeb Mashadi
Computer science graduate based in Dubai
Today’s generations are consuming consciously
Conscious consumption is all about our approach. How we consume? What we consume? Where has a product come from? Where have the ingredients been processed, and packaged, and what happens to the leftovers when we are done consuming? When we look at today’s youth we are shocked at their choices and decisions. They are making informed, deliberate choices. They no longer run after brands. They want more of all types best in quality and quantity. They are growing with umpteen choices and everything is in abundance and affordable. They can wear any street brands, local markets, supermarket stuff and maintain fashion as well. They are looking for eco-friendly, sustainable products and those that they can easily use and throw to have the next launch of fashion at their disposal.
At some point of time today’s generation believes in minimalism – owning less and wasting less. Having all but at a price that they want.
Retail therapy is totally a stress buster, a mood modifier and dependent on the buyer’s disposition. Sale is an attraction these days and it does attract both young and old generations. Retail buyers will therefore never disappear either but buying will continue wisely and not unethically.
From Ms Anjum Hassan
Biology teacher based in Sharjah
Is retail therapy a concept of the past as minimalism takes over?
Have your say
Is fast fashion going out of style?