This week, even though the reading was a little difficult to read, to me, had the most direct and potential solutions to our consumerism problems. I believe that understanding the whole package of what has driven down prices creating “artificially cheap” goods; which drives consumerism, is so important to be able to change our habits. I think that both Schor and Durning had very different ideas on how to fix the problems of consumerism, but also similarities. To me, I think that Schor had the most practical and quick solution. Schor is challenging the world to be more ethical and sustainable. By pricing items the way they should be priced we’re creating not only “designs for humility” like Walker proposed, but designs for humanity. Proper pricing combats the issue of cheap labor and sweat shops as well as making a truly competitive market, not a created market. Racheal challenged us with the question would that make people feel like it is taking away their rights if we are to adopt Schor’s idea and regulate (or “do the math”) the prices on goods. I feel the answer is no; which helps make it a more practical approach. Just as one girl stated in class she would “pay the extra 25 cents” for items. Therefore, the idea is not stopping people from consuming. It would make people think more about the NEED versus the WANT of purchasing. It would not stop recreational shopping; therefore, not taking away their rights to own items, but would be more ethical and sustainable spending. While, I admire Dunning for his ideas and practices for change, I believe that if we take his approach would not generate enough results to make a change because he is leaving up to the consumer, but if, as Schor suggests, we make concrete, governmental, and marketing changes, real accomplishments can be changed.
I think this information is probably the most volatile of what we have learned so far. We have touched based on all of the problems that both fields encounter and some utopian views of change, but I feel that this week presented very tangible changes. There is a large relevancy for us as designers and merchandisers to understand ALL of the stages of merchandise production.
In the future I plan to use this information to find vendors who have proper pricing and ethic practices. I think it is also something to keep in mind in the future to push for legislation and regulation on behalf of those in sweat shops and our future generations.
I think I would like to know if Schor’s ideas could truly be possible and what are the logistics of making it possible. As far as Durning goes I would like to know more about what for interiors and apparel drive prices “artificially cheap” instead of just bananas.