A Note On Shopping

Having placed myself on a temporary spending ban (which has since been lifted), I had a lot of time to evaluate today’s shopping phenomenon. Having promised you more substance on this blog, I thought it was time to put my thoughts on paper. I would really love for this text to stir up a conversation, to hear your thoughts ‘On Shopping’. Here goes:

I recently read a very poignant conversation between three creatives in the latest copy of Apartamento; associate at Universal Design Studio Richard McConkey, designer Faye Toogood and COS’s Marie Honda were discussing the importance and aesthetics of retail environments and how they have developed over the years.

With the rise of internet shops and fast fashion, the classic shop front has had to evolve. It comes as no surprise that winning people back from the realms of the internet isn't an easy task, so simply offering great customer service wasn't going to do the job – but don’t think I underestimate good customer service, it’s one of the most important parts of a physical (and virtual, actually) shop. The history of shopping is an interesting one, from its glamorous beginnings at department stores all the way to trawling your way through the Net-A-Porter website.

I'm putting myself out there, but is online shopping just like online dating? Are we perhaps too consumed by the virtual world and even too scared of human interaction to go to a shop and buy something in real life? Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t especially like online shopping, but no one can deny it is a useful tool when you don’t live in a city or work all the time.

But isn't it a better idea to support your local manufacturers and shops, instead of pumping more and more money into big corporations like Amazon and spending a small fortune on delivery charges (which definitely isn't doing any good to the environment either)? I know we are all guilty of it, I know it is often much cheaper and so much easier, but since when has a time factor become so important?! Would it kill me if I bought a dress I really want two weeks later? No.

But let’s go back to retail environments. With online shops taking over our lives, brands have had to develop their shops into something more tangible and give customers a full-blown visual and palpable experience. When I shop at Acne or A.P.C., I'm not merely buying their fashion pieces for their good quality and beautiful cuts, I buy into their lifestyle. 

Visiting an A.P.C. shop, for example, is a feast for the eyes; thought-through interior design meets a beautiful curation of clothes and accessories. Their brand values promise me craftsmanship coupled with coolness and chic - and it delivers. When I look at my wardrobe I'm often surprised to realise that some of the key items I wear on a day to day basis are in fact five or six years old and still going strong. While they might not be stand-out pieces, they are the type of clothing I reach for everyday. 

I often find myself purchasing items on a whim, or because I ‘need’ them, right this second. However, when I go to a shop and look at an item, I end up going home and considering the purchase for a while; I therefore end up making a much more calculated – and wiser – decision. I'm certainly not going to stop shopping online, but maybe a more considered approach would be beneficial to both my bank account and my conscience.

What do you think? Do you have any thoughts on today's shopping society?

Lilly Wolf