The Delusion Of Affordability

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

"I can't afford Stella McCartney's new sustainable line of bags," but I just replaced my perfectly functioning i-phone with the newly launched version last week.

Let's listen to a slightly different version.

"I can't afford Stella McCartney's new sustainable line of bags," but I have ten rexine bags in my wardrobe that I picked up from the streets of Thailand. When I add it up they amount to the same.

So is this a question of affordability or more about the way we value things differently?

As I always remember to acknowledge how mass-produced fashion has made 'looking presentable and smart' accessible to a vast majority on the planet, I also want to acknowledge its role in the decline of fashion's symbolic value.

Questions to ponder over : (even though they might be too idealistic)

Why am I not looking at a bag as an investment that will last me for at least five years? A phone is designed to be obsolete in about two.

Why am I considering splurging on a tech product that is a depreciating asset but not on an accessory which could also become my constant companion?

Why has the availability of mass-produced phones not reduced our respect for investing in sophisticated tech products but the availability of fast fashion at cheap prices affected our consumption patterns on ethically made fashion products?

It's interesting to reflect on how we view things. A bag, a phone, a dress, a holiday. There is no denying that we use every object to create a carefully chosen version of our identity. We're willing to invest in more instantly gratifying experiences. That is an empowering choice to have when it comes to analyzing how we have progressed in terms of the world economy and purchasing power. But isn't it more valuable to see that our choice also comes with the wisdom of buying into products, services, and experiences which can be termed as being more conscious?

Power and wisdom - a formidable combination.

More on this soon

Until next time...