Empowering Individuality in the World of Mass Consumption
The holidays are marked with a rampant fever and impulse to purchase both mindlessly and in a reactive manner. And it’s easy to see why. It seems as if it’s nearly impossible to go a single day without being presented with cyber sales, doorbuster deals, and hours-only specials. Prices are slashed and the sense of urgency rises in us all.
We’re pushed into this mindset that convinces us all that we need to capitalize on deals, discounts, and the sheer want for more of everything. Even if you aren’t looking for a blouse, jacket, or necklace, if a sale, special, or season marks an item in any way, shape, or form, it somehow becomes an item one must have. No reason, just habit.
This sale-centric cycle isn’t simply synonymous with the holiday season. In fact, it’s a symptom of the current fashion reality that many of us lament; a reality that Not Just A Label both rejects and is determined to change.
Consumerism within fashion on the broadest level has turned clothing into just another item to stock up on, collecting and buying with the same frequency as household cleaning supplies. That’s not how clothing is meant to work, right? But it’s a direct result of a larger system of consumerism that purports quantity over quality.
The quantity over quality mindset is a reflection of the world that fast-fashion has normalized. The way in which many of us interact with garments today is marked by a general sense of distance. There’s no seeking out unique, authentic, and interesting pieces that are made to last when you’re constantly presented with garments that embody trends, many of which come without a steep price tag or notion of longevity.
Trend-based, sale-focused purchasing may seem like the leading power in the industry, but it’s a norm many of us are working to defy—you just have to know where to look. Our digital world enables consumers the ability to browse, connect, and purchase from designers from all around the world. It's a fact that is both empowering and an act that is the antithesis of fast-fashion.
The NJAL community is full of designers from across the globe that continuously infuse the utmost creativity into the industry, creating garments that are unique, inspired, and a direct representation of the fearlessness and unwillingness to contribute to a world reliant on mass consumption.
For every emerging designer with an inspired collection comes a consumer that is excited and eager to purchase a piece that speaks to them. The problem? There is a massive gap that exists in the consumer-to-designer pathway, specifically when it comes to the discovery phase that’s required on the part of the consumer.
Because let's face it: scrolling through Instagram feeds and Etsy shops will only get you so far.
Set to launch in 2019, the NJAL shop will bridge the space between consumers and designers, bringing the talented voices within our community straight to those who are eager to flex their purchasing power in a meaningful and purposeful way while working to empower designers through a model that puts them first.
The shop is also a full embodiment of the NJAL ethos. Instead of taking a commission, NJAL has crafted a membership program where designers can pay a small monthly fee to not only be part of the aggregated shop, but also receive a long list of business services.
It’s not just another online store. This is the future of consumerism in fashion; one that focuses on connecting, facilitating, supporting, and inspiring both designers and consumers throughout the entire process.
And this shift is not an isolated creation. Whether you're a designer, buyer, consumer, and so on, one thing is for sure: the normalized modes of mass consumption are set to be challenged and redefined one thoughtful and empowered purchase at a time.