Buy-It-Yourself: How DIY Got Consumerized

Elizabeth Chamberlain

Looking at do-it-yourself (DIY) fashion blogs as a test case, "Buy-It-Yourself" considers some of the consumerizing pressures that can turn an anti-consumption movement into another tool of the corporate machine. I examine the punk roots of the DIY movement, the recent flurry of maker activity, and a sampling of DIY fashion blogs from their 2009 heyday through the present. Ultimately, I suggest that online activists consider DIY fashion blogs as a warning tale: as a counterculture movement begins to pick up steam, it can morph into something that betrays its original goals.

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Elizabeth Chamberlain is a doctoral candidate in rhetoric and composition at the University of Louisville, KY. She grew up in sunny, dry California, where she received her MA in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a BA in English from California State University, Los Angeles. Her dissertation research compares publication practices in academic journals (both open-access online and traditional) and web magazines, with a focus on citation.