Although the connection between psychology and sustainable design practises may not be immediately apparent, our psychological motives and biases have a big impact on the clothes we choose and the ways we dress. Our ability to comprehend these psychological influences will enable us to adopt more ethical fashion practises.
The desire for social approval and belonging is one psychological aspect that affects how we dress. Fashion may be a method to show that we belong to and fit in with a certain group or community, which is something that many of us strive towards. But this need for social recognition can make us blindly follow fashion trends, even when they are not ethical or sustainable.
The drive for self-expression and originality is another psychological component that affects our choices in clothing. Each of us has an own sense of style and preferences, and dressing up can be a method to do that. Although it is neither required or sustainable, our need for self-expression can sometimes cause us to overconsume and keep looking for new attire.
Psychological biases can also have an impact on our choices in clothing. For instance, the availability bias causes us to overestimate resource availability while underestimating its impact on the environment. This may increase our propensity to purchase apparel without taking sustainability into account.
It can be beneficial to build more sustainable fashion habits if we are aware of the psychological influences on our choices in clothing. We can choose our clothing more thoughtfully and sustainably by being aware of our needs for social approval, self-expression, and individuality as well as by identifying and overcoming psychological biases.