Conspicuous consumption of products is problematic for the development of a sustainable relationship to cultural and natural resources. Drawing on an emotional design approach, this study explores emotional conditions involved in the buying phase of socially visible products used in a typically expressive consumption activity. Through an extreme character approach, impulsive and compulsive buying is explored to expose principal and generic emotional conditions in the drive for new design products. The study demonstrates a range of primary negative emotional conditions or emotional fluctuations related to anxiety, mood, and self-esteem in the buying of appearance-related products. In conclusion, to achieve a more sustainable consumer relationship with fashion-conditioned material goods, the study reveals a need for unemotional design to acquire emotional detachment, rather than design to acquire emotional attachment.

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