Wearable Wellbeing is the most important value that defines ALTER MADE, on which we have based our brand’s philosophy. But what is the relationship between Wellbeing and Fashion?

The World Health Organisation uses wellbeing as a term to define health. Psychologists, on the other hand, consider wellbeing to include all the factors that make the individual feel satisfied and open to experiencing positive emotions. We are not the first to associate wellbeing with fashion, the American philosopher William James already did so in 1890 through his book “The Principles of Psychology”.

For James, dressing was an essential part of the material Self. The truth is that the philosopher was passionate about fashion, he was always well dressed, he spent a fortune on clothing, he paid a lot of attention to the clothes that his colleagues wore and he was also president of the Harvard Committee on Academic Dress.

Image without a name
Image without a name


In his book, James said that he identified so much with his clothes that, if they gave him a choice between a poorly dressed beautiful body and an always impeccably dressed but not so beautiful body, he wouldn’t think twice and would choose the latter. Of course, James took fashion very seriously, even going so far as to say that after the body itself comes clothes, and that things like home or family were secondary. We don’t have to take everything James said at face value, but the truth is that he had a very interesting point of view on fashion’s ability to positively influence people’s emotional state. He defended the idea that fashion is an expression of ourselves and that’s why it makes us happy. Many years later, other thinkers have supported this idea. 

The pleasure of getting dressed

In 2014, Kate Hefferson and Cristoph-Simon Masuch published a theoretical analysis with which they sought to understand the links between positive psychology and fashion. They discovered that the moment of getting dressed resulted in very pleasant emotions, which is the basis of wellbeing.

In another study, published by Rebecca Smith and Julia Yates, they asked a group of subjects why their clothes made them happy. All of them expressed that they dressed to reflect what they felt or to change their thoughts from negative to positive. All participants believed that the way they dressed improved their wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of others. In the study, Smith and Yates considered the following: “If we were all satisfied with how our clothes make us feel, would we consume less?”. For ALTER MADE, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, there are already studies demonstrating that consuming fewer clothes, or doing so in a moderate way, is related to a greater sense of wellbeing. That’s why we believe that it is better to buy less and to buy smart. 

Conscious consumption

Admittedly, fashion doesn’t have a good reputation, many people actually consider it to be quite problematic. Many do not like buying clothes at all, while others are addicted to consuming trends that have a shorter and shorter shelf life. Although shopping for clothes is practically a social norm, the need to do so is more emotional than material.

Building a more sustainable production model and promoting conscious consumption helps us to generate wellbeing in people and the environment. At ALTER MADE, we believe in a new way of understanding fashion that is more positive, in which getting dressed makes you feel good and provides you with real, long-lasting wellbeing. Ultimately, we want to create clothes that make you happy.

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