"Köpskam", the shame of buying what you don't need

Perhaps terms such as flygskam (ashamed to fly) or smygflyga (to fly stealthily). They may even sound like a joke to us, but the reality is that in Sweden, a country that has always been one step ahead in environmental concepts, there are people who have really stopped using the plane for certain trips out of shame and ecological awareness. In addition, we recently saw how Qatar Airways has canceled a journey of just 9 minutes due to protests by NGOs and environmental politicians.

Well, the last concept brought from Sweden has been köpskam, which can be translated as "shame of buying or consuming" and refers to that shame and feeling of guilt that one experiences when buying things that you do not need.

For some media, this köpskam It could be extended to threaten the global fashion industry and market, by changing consumer habits and thanks to the growth of social awareness.

Ecologist Demonstration
Environmental demonstration in Germany. Source: Baumeister (Unsplash)

Ethical fashion: environmentalism and advertising

The latest data states that we consume twice what the planet can produce. Climate change and environmental awareness Our habits are changing when consuming any product and, in the case of the textile sector, there is a tendency to reuse old but still useful garments and look for garments based on the style and personal tastes of each one, as opposed to “ go to the latest fashion ”.

Advertising campaigns as global and luxurious as the catwalks of Victoria's Secret have recently been canceled because they are no longer as profitable: consumers have changed their habits.

Many companies are aware of this change in consumer mentality and use other "more natural" means to reach their customers. The largest of these new channels is through influencers, so that they show their clothing on their social networks. In this way, we see how the companies that follow the canon of ethical fashion will look better in the eyes of consumers.

How many clothes do we Spaniards have in the closet?

Six out of ten Spaniards have more than 35 garments in their wardrobe, of which they only wear 30% and buy clothes and shoes each month with an average expenditure of about € 90. Even so, the vast majority are unaware that the value of their wardrobe can amount to almost € 2.500.

According to the United Nations, the fashion industry produces more carbon emissions than all international flights and ocean shipments. It alone generates 20% of wastewater and is directly responsible for 10% of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Only in the manufacture of polyester, present in 60% of garments, about 70 million barrels of oil are used annually.

Fact: How many liters of water do you need to make cotton pants?

A whopping 3.117 liters

Fuente: Expansión.com

Textile recycling

Textile Landfill
Mountain of garbage in a landfill in Southeast Asia. We even appreciate little shacks where people live. Source: Tom Fisk (Pexels)

According to Iberian Textile Recycling Association, you can only recycle 20% of the 2 kg of annual average of clothes that a Spaniard throws away. That is, only 0,5 kg per consumer per year.

These remains are destined to fill mattresses, to be converted into rags or acoustic or thermal insulators. Despite the fact that Spain has committed to the European Union to recycle 490 million kg of clothing in 2020, experts say that, in the future, textile waste will end up being incinerated instead of processed for recycling.

Will the köpskam? What will be the real future of the fashion industry?

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