Consumer incentives and the buy buy buy cycles

People spent a lot of money on things, and mostly on things we don’t really need or even want. Commercials, buy cycles, specific targeting and about a million other marketing tricks make you believe that, you’re always out of fashion, if you buy product X your life will be complete. And the best part of it, it works. And it works really, really well. Take fashion as an example, 4 seasons is what we decided on a while ago. The old industry was basically divided into 2 seasons, warm and cold. Because of the production time it took to make all basic materials and time for the tailor to make a suit. Industrial revolution and a few commercial inventions later we now have 8 seasons or cycles. New colours , slightly changed designs and you need to be on top of things. So off to the store.

All new shiny commercials, billboards, banners and mails come along with it. Even the good old pre sale , or post season sale. Now I am a sucker for a nice jacket, which means I have many, and now I am on a self imposed ban , which is good for me. And hard. I really don’t need another jacket , in fact I don’t really need any clothes at the moment.

Most clothes I have are of some quality and last a considerable time. My oldest cardigan is 14 years old and still looks good. For me the fashion part is not an issue. Buying quality means I just replace stuff that’s worn and has wholes in it. Now that the industry has 8 cycles, at least most of the brands do nowadays, what happens to the stuff that isn’t sold ? Which is quite a bit.

Is it going towards homeless people or other less fortunates ? Most does end up with good causes one way or the other and some stuff gets tossed as it’s broken and can’t be fixed. But do we really need 8 cycles and 10 different colours of more or less the same article in our closets ? We don’t , we really don’t. What’s wrong with just 2 ? Or 4 cycles even ? Looks like a waste of raw material and energy.

But let’s not try and be over reaching and solve the global environmental problem just yet. Even on just a pure personal level it’s useless, and a waste of money. First off most people have one or maybe two favourite jeans. the rest gets a turn when the others are out of sight. So having 8 pairs of jeans or whatever isn’t efficient , it’s a destruction of perfectly good cash. Which can be spent on other stuff , like cool experiences. Learning a new sport or taking a short trip or whatever you fancy. Not even mentioning investing here see.

And that’s just fashion, never mind the overpriced items of ‘luxury’ you really need , expensive fashionable watches also matching the season. Fancy dining experiences with lousy food and expensive bubbles. The list goes on. The funny thing is, once you buy any of these items , the next is always there. In the next buy cycle, the next trigger. And after a few years we end up with boxes of stuff we only wanted and never needed.

It’s hard not giving in to al these impulses , but there is a way out, only focus on absolute quality in everything you buy, even if it means overspending in the beginning.