What is an “Apparel Anthropologist”?

If we broke down the term, “Anthropology” is the study of humans and culture, past and present. “Apparel” is clothing, especially outerwear; garments; attire; raiment.

Who is the Apparel Anthropologist? I am an observer, an analyst of how people use, wear and interact with clothing in their day-to-day lives, their community and their culture.
BUT I take it one step further – I find insights and create active ways for people to look at their personal wardrobes, shopping habits and consumption thought patterns. I call this, “Shopism” or the idea of becoming an active participant in your own shopping world.

The apparel industry, an enormous, bellicose, multi-trillion dollar machine has no end-game. It also has no plan when it comes to what happens to your clothes after you’ve bought them. Where do they go? Who get’s them next, do they live on, or die in a heaping pile of fabric? Are they biodegradable? Are they sustainable or will they hurt both the economy and the planet?

Those are big questions and I’ll touch on a few of those topics throughout this site. But what about the more tangible, close to home questions: when it’s time to get rid of them, due to wear, quality, size, style, preference or simply mood, do you just give them to a donation center or is there an smarter way?

My Story

I didn’t come to these ideas overnight. I began my career in the fashion industry and over the years have called advertising and marketing my career path of choice. I’m a brand strategist and insight gatherer and an observer of most things. But throughout my advertising career, I’ve always held onto a tie in the fashion world, moving from editorial and high-fashion to budget lines, fast fashion and retail. Through really diving into the “affordable”, and “cheap” side of fashion I realized the sum of problems the industry was beginning to create and it really began to wear on me.

Catherine Halprin, your Apparel Anthropologist.

A French-American and global adventurer at heart, I’ve worked on a few things over the last 15 years, like, how can I learn more, see more, do more and then use that to inspire some pretty amazing things – namely, great ideas for some pretty great reasons.

A photo by Annie Spratt. unsplash.com/photos/ZVQhy9KGoSY

Read up!

Are you ready to start your own “Shopism” movement or maybe a “Clothes not Cache” program? Make sure to check out the resources page and find out more about how you can get involved in your own community.

View Resources