Culture

Are Clothes Shops Turning into Nightclubs (Or I am Just Getting Old?)

Since when do we need noise cancelling headphones and sunglasses to go clothes shopping? From the blaring music, dark lighting and busy crowds, shopping can be a shock to the system for anyone. When you’re a spoonie managing anxiety and noise and light sensitivity, your senses are heightened and the shopping centre environment can feel strange and alienating.

A recent trip to Brighton’s city centre on a Saturday afternoon was a real eye opener. From the busy crowds and bright interior lights, managing a variety of overwhelming senses and anxiety was a struggle. So ‘spoonie shopping’ is an important issue that needs addressing.

What’s the science?

Unfortunately many chronic illnesses and noise and light sensitivity go hand in hand.

A study showed that light sensitivity presents an issue for 70% of people with Fibromyalgia, compared to just 6% of people without a chronic illness.

So when it comes to going shopping, the blaring music and fluorescent strip lighting can be an uphill battle for some spoonies.

Shopping has become a young person’s game

Just walking past the outside of a well known clothes shop. (Yes that’s right, I didn’t even go in) the music was deafening. Is it a shop or a party, who knows?

topshop shopping for spoonies with noise sensitivity
PHOTO: KEVIN GRIEVE/UNSPLASH

It’s jam-packed with teenagers (and all in crop tops for some reason), which makes everyone else feel and look about a hundred. Also it is really dark. I’m guessing the clothes are ugly and they don’t want people to see how awful they look, but not really sure. But then the blinding spotlights on the mannequins pierce through your eyes.

The future of spoonie shopping

Should retailers be doing more to make their stores ‘spoonie-friendly’? It’s bad enough the aisles aren’t wheelchair-friendly. Don’t even get me started on the fact that there aren’t any seats in the queue. (I’m picturing luscious velvet sofas and maybe throw in some popcorn as well).

Should shops follow in the footsteps of cinemas who provide autism friendly screenings? Morrison’s even have a special ‘quiet’ shopping hour every weekend for people with autism. They turn the music off and the checkouts are silent, with no ‘beeps’.

Could a special ‘spoonie shopping session’ be the perfect solution?

are clothes shops turning into nightclubs
PHOTO: FREESTOCKS/UNSPLASH

It’s safe to say, until then online shopping is the best way to shop. Browsing clothes at the flick of a button or simple scroll on the screen is simple, all whilst lounging on the sofa with a cup of tea. Yes you have delivery costs, but it seems like a small price to pay for the quick and hassle free shopping experience.

being blind but loving fashion

We'd love to hear from you