J500 Media and the Environment

Buying into Environmentalism by julianat
February 12, 2008, 11:28 am
Filed under: Society + Media

Environmentalism IS becoming sexy, even if it costs you an arm and a leg! Has anyone ever tried online shopped for organic clothing?

Unless you want to dress in vein with “traditional environmentalist clothing” such as earth-toned colored, plain, ill fitting and baggy… It is difficult to find fashionable or organic clothing, unless you want to shell out 100-dollar pair of jeans, 150-dollar dresses.

Knowledge and awareness can lead to so many internal struggles, such as I have suffered.

*My mind* Ugh, I need to get work out clothes for my new yoga class. I want to get organic cotton clothing to wear, but all I can find is this 50 dollar top. I understand the social injustice and environmental costs of going to Target to buy my clothing… but there is little more than I can afford…

How do we clothe ourselves while being sustainable and fashionable, and affordable?

I resorted to pulling out my old cheerleading leggings
(yes, I was a cheerleader) from the back of my closet and another random tank top… Later realizing that yoga clothes are mostly A GIMIC! Especially tops, THEY ARE JUST REGULAR TOPS!

I think that affordability is a problem that many people see in the environmental movement, and it has often been classified as an “upper or middle class, white only” movement, because they are the only people that can afford to care, even though they are probable less effected by the immediate environmental and health concerns, such as those in low economic classes that have to live by nuclear power plants or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

On the other hand, people love to shop, and often it’s a cure for emotional ailments,
(“Wah, my boyfriend broke up with me, so I went to Urban Outfitters today and bought this 100 dollar pair of jeans (nonorganic, but just as expensive) and now I feel better cause I look hot.”) Being green or shopping green or consuming green is just another way to show status, “ I just bought a new Prius, so therefore I am saving the world”.

Just as in reference to the greensumption video, it’s difficult to have people realize that although they are “greensuming”, they don’t realize that are still CONSUMING.

Many people always forget the first and foremost of the triple R’s! REDUCE on consumption, packaging etc.! Then reuse, and then recycle… these should be a last resort, but it instead becomes something like a savior and a “feel good act”.

Excerpt from the show “Weeds” about Prius. There is bad language though !

-Juliana Tran

Also, did anyone notice this AD banner for Motherearthnews.com, comments?


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You really bring up such a good point that I was about to actually mention in my post. This whole idea of cost is what is stopping some consumers from “greensumption”. Environmentalism is sexy because it is becoming a trend. It is the “cool” thing to do, yet it is so darn pricy.
By the way…I love the show Weeds and I was in shock during that episode that she bought a Prius. If anything, I was really impressed.
Overall, I think it is possible for us to do this whole environmental consumer attempt, but it is just so pricy!

Dena H

Comment by denah

Companies keep telling us that when organic products are in “mass demand” then they will become cheaper. It’s almost a two-fold problem though: does the word “organic” conflict with the concept of mass consumption? And can the government subsidize sexy clothes?! Please, yes.

Lauren Keith

Comment by laurenkeith

Part of the reason the goods are so pricey is because they are capitalizing on green, another reason is because they are trying to pay a fair wage and approximate the “real” costs of things (like food – which is cheaper because of subsidies). The challenge is we are never sure what we are paying for. Let’s stay with food for a moment. If you know you are paying a little more to support local farmers, making sure they are paid enough to feed their families and maintain their farms that’s good, right? But not all organic food is created equally. If the money goes back to a big corporation that has economies of scale, then we might view that price premium a little differently.

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

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REDUCE, REDUCE, REDUCE. I agree with you 100%. I feel as if the approach that targets the general population is always “buy this, it’s green,” “buy that, it’s sustainable,” “buy this, it’s fair trade,” but what about the “Hey, stop buying so much crap all the time and just try buying only what you need (from sustainable, eco-friendly brands, of course) for one month. Then take all the dough you just saved and invest in some cool new green technologies. Then you can retire early when those stocks hit huge highs in 10 years.”

The environmental movement itself is not expensive, it’s just all the unnecessary crap that businesses are trying to get us to buy all the time.

Organic food on the other hand is a bit pricier than the average commercial food products, for justifiable reasons – fair wages, realistic/natural yields, the actual cost of running a farm, etc.


Comment by shemme

Consumerism is something that has been a problem in our society for a long time, and unfortunately it is something that is relied upon as well.

Advertising is still manipulative no matter what, and being green, as Simran mentioned, is something that companies are capitalizing on. In the end of it all though, I guess it still is a good thing that the market is going green, it’s a progressive step. Is there a way to get people in America to stop spending so much?


Comment by julianat

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