Oh no, we’re on it again with an ethical dilemma! 👀
This one is tough and almost reflects an existential crisis because most of our products in all fairness are ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘need to have’. Fashion magazines may call jewelry and accessories ‘essentials’ but how many earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bags, you name it does one actually need? Is it possible to live without them? We think yes, so let’s get to it!
When launching a new product, we want to captivate your attention. We hope you will love it so much that you simply can’t resist! We want you to fall in love with it, to be obsessed with the way it looks, imagine how it will be to have it in your life and to be seduced by its qualities. We want you to start dreaming of having one that is yours only, and not just what that one is but who you will become when the two of you are together. We want you to feel so tempted that you have no other choice but to follow your heart and turn your love story into reality. We want it to make you realize that you can think your whole life away if you don’t let go and start listening to your heart. You have probably had the same feeling before but this time is different, this love will last forever! 💋❤️
Stop! Wait a minute! What kind of morals are we gambling with here? Designing, producing and introducing products to make you feel incomplete without them? Is that what we are doing? Stimulating and creating ‘felt needs’ rather than fulfilling ‘actual needs’? Are we not only ‘bad’ because we create new products but because we create new needs that do not actually exist? 😵💫🤯
Some say that we are part of a consumer society which makes us tied to a material and commercial context where status anxiety is traded for profit. YIKES!!! Short and precise, that is the ugly truth if we seek it from a researcher such as the UK-based professor Kate Fletcher (2015:18).
As a business, we confront you with new products in the hope that you will buy them and come back for more. If you do it repeatedly, it is good news and a sign of success! Whether we like it or not, a business exists to make you increasingly addicted to novel products and offers that will convince you to consume and dig deep into your pocket. We’re sorry to tell you and hate to admit it but that is how it is! 👑👙👜👗👢🧢
Where does all this leave us? 🧐
As a design business whose existence relies on sales of products, we are not left with many other options than believing in our own products, including the love stories, dreams and ‘felt’ needs we make them trigger. Everything is part of what we sell!
Our hope is that our products will actually fulfill needs - being actual and ‘felt’ - and that they will be loved and last for a lifetime. We hope they will make you feel good - not because you weren’t enough without them - but because you’ve made a considerate decision to invest in something that brings you joy and give you a touch of those mysterious superpowers only the best products can give. 🙏🎆
We’re certainly not done speculating about this. Those voices in our heads keep returning just as it goes with real dilemmas: there are strong arguments for and against, and the most frustrating part is that you can’t turn left and right at the same time. 💬
Thanks for reading, we hope you feel more settled than we do!
Team Pura Utz ❤️
Fletcher, K. (2015). Other fashion systems. I K. Fletcher, & M. Tham, Routledge
Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (s. 13-24). London & New York: Routledge.
Text by Mette Dalgaard
Artwork by Marie Heissel
Imagery by Petra Kleis & Stephanie Geddes