In the podcast Little Saturday tells Anitha Clemence that she is addicted to shopping. “I have so many unused garments in my wardrobe that I don’t even have time to use before they become out of fashion,” she says.
In the podcast Little Saturday, which Anitha Clemence runs together with Ann Söderlund, Clemence talks about how it happened when she realized she was addicted to shopping for clothes.
The realization came when Clemence took a good look in her wardrobe and found items that still had their price tag on them – despite being several years old.
“I have so many unused garments in my wardrobe that I don’t even have time to use before they become out of fashion, because I have a need to consume. Then I realized that I am addicted to clothes,” she says.
Clemence believes that she has denied her addiction because it is so “socially accepted”. But after examining herself and the “strong mechanisms” that have resulted in late nights of online shopping, she has come to the conclusion that the behavior is not healthy:
“I [tänkte]: I’m sick, I have to recover from this”.
Before “clothes shopping stop”
As a step in getting rid of her shopping addiction, Clemence has decided to implement a so-called clothing shopping freeze, something she shares on Instagram.
The motivation does not only come from a desire to overcome the addiction. IN Little Saturday tells Clemence that she has suffered from severe climate anxiety since she read the UN climate report 2020:
“I read it from cover to cover and understood that it’s done. Point. All that spring I was so depressed that I had to go to a therapist to deal with my existential anxiety,” she says.
The purchase freeze means that Clemence will not consume clothes for three months.
“Yes, it may sound a little. But for me it’s a long time,” she writes in a post on Instagram. “If I can reduce my consumption to four or maybe two times a year, then I have been a little kinder to the planet.”
“Is really just a mannequin”
Data from The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency shows that we Swedes consume around 14 kilos of clothing and home textiles per person per year and on average throw away over 7.5 kilos of used textiles per person per year. According to a survey by the International Environmental Institute at Lunds university moreover, many of the clothes that are sent back, especially in e-commerce, are thrown away instead of being resold.
When Clemence features in Economic Agency she discusses the impact that today’s clothing industry has on the climate and the role that influencers play in it all. According to her, influencers have contributed “hugely” to the buying power that prevails in society:
“We are really just a mannequin that you put on different clothes and then we sell them on to our audience, in the right target group. In that way, influencers have an incredible impact on the market.”
She also admits that she overconsumes and for several years has encouraged her followers to do the same – but says that now it “will have to be enough”:
“If you dare to be a little self-critical, you can look at your own buying behavior compared to ten or five years ago and see that it has escalated,” she says. “It’s this total supply and availability that exists in so many ways all the time – that’s what’s started to get skewed. We use clothes almost like we buy a latte. There is something not right there.”