The Brand Fad

Navjyot Singh
“The only thing that is constant is change”. This very famous quote by the ancient Greek philosopher Hiraclitus is very apt for each and everything that constitutes this universe. With everything changing with every passing second around us and even within us, our choices and priorities also tend to change. Plus with the consumerism at its all time high in today’s society, a common denominator for everything that is cool and popular is one thing- a big, popular, solid brand name.
One of the really charming things about the yesteryear’s generation is their set patterns. Many of us might have our parents or grandparents who like their every piece of clothing stitched from a particular tailor or they will always choose their leather slippers and shoes from the same cobbler or at least the design should always be similar. Though they might also sometimes buy a branded shirt or pair of trousers after weeks of persuasion, but they only feel true comfort when they themselves choose a piece of cloth and get it stitched by the tailor who stitches it exactly as per their fittings. But times have changed. Now mere comfort doesn’t decide your liking for the shirt, but a famous Italian or French designer’s name on it is decisive of its quality. Times are like that what is on the outside is what matters. So be it clothes, shoes, gadgets, mobiles or anything for that matter, everybody wants to establish themselves on the basis of how high they have climbed the brand tag ladder.
Though there is no denying in the fact that all the popular brands in each sector are popular for a reason. They have attained success by delivering quality and by having an edge over the others consistently for many years, but one really wonders does there loyal and fervent buyers even know why their favourite brand is better than the rest? Especially when it comes to clothing, the millennial generation seem to be less and less informant. The owners of a famous clothing shop in Gandhii Nagar area, Fashion secrets tend to agree to this “teenagers are more eager to buy only branded clothes. Just because of a big designer brand people will buy a pair of jeans which is four times of cost than another jeans of same material and quality of a smaller brand name” said Varun Goswami, while the co owner of shop, Tarun Goswami added, “eighty percent of the customers are clueless about the quality and material unlike the older generation, they won’t be able to name one cloth type from the other they just know brand names and go by that only. When asked if they prefer brands personally, they answered they go by quality and not by the tag of the brand as they hold knowledge of the quality.
The life today is not of the physical struggle it used to be for the yesteryear’s generation. This is the age where all the energy is focused on making life easier instead of better. Technology is constantly working on providing information rather than cultivating knowledge and which has resulted in a generation in love with everything that this synthetic and “looks good”. Today aspirations are superficial and so are the choices and liking and the millennial kids would not disagree to that. One such guy, Mukul Tondon of 19 years of age who is a student said, “Yes, I am very much brand conscious as I come from money and like to spend it on looking good.” When asked if he will ever where locally stitched clothes of same quality and material as of branded clothes he said, “as long as my friends won’t find out”. Many those who are brand conscious argue that branded clothing is always of superior quality, but the question is how many of them ever tried wearing locally stitched clothes? Tanvir Singh who is a 12th standard student agreed that he has never tried a clothing item that is locally stitched and said, “all my friends are brand conscious and yes it is more because of status symbol and show off than a matter of quality”.
The biggest ill effect this global capitalist market has on the local business ventures. In today’s unhealthy ecosystem there is breathing space for small time businesses in front of corporate giants and there mere survival is in question. Local tailors everywhere are facing such fear and Mr. Bhajanlal, a local tailor in Shastri Nagar area is no exception. He has been a tailor since twenty three years but since last decade his mere survival is a struggle, “If I look back the business has come down to hardly 20-25% of what it used to be and only 10-15% of customers want to wear tailor made shirts and trousers, rest of them just come with the alterations of readymade clothes.” Although he agreed that many times there is a quality difference but there rates are sky high as compared to the quality they provide.
In the conclusion it is one’s individual choice what they want to where and own, but this rising consumerism is strangling individuality and everything around you looks same. The personal, human contact that was there in the small local ventures, which used to make even a materialistic commercial exchange lively, enhancing human touch is extinguishing. And the real question that we need to ask ourselves is that how important is it to keep it alive?


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