Who Needs to go Shopping Anyway?

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if people didn’t need more things? If everyone was just satisfied with what they had and didn’t feel the need to buy more, how different would it be? I think that people need to put things into perspective and really try to figure out what it means to need something and what it means to want something because those are two very different things. Today everyone is worried about having the newest and best thing there is and spends way too much time stressing out about fitting in. I believe that when people learn to worry less about those types of things and focus more on creating deeper relationships, everyone will be happier. As in past generations before technology was all the rage, what do you think people did then for entertainment? They actually spent time together and went outside and participated in more activities. We all need to start living in this way and we will be able to discover how life can be much simpler and more peaceful.

A story that Dr. Armstrong shared with us in class this past week really resonated with me. She talked about how a few years back when she was first starting out in grad school how just lived out of a suitcase and gave up on shopping to save money. She learned that even though we think we are connected to all of our things, we can actually live without a lot of them. She found herself being more social and living a happier life. At first I thought that the idea of living like that for years was crazy and that I was not sure if I could even do that, but now that I’m thinking about it I realized that maybe there is something to that. Obviously it is one of those things that are easier said than done, but it could really be a life changing thing like she said. I think it would be a fun and interesting little experiment if we could get everybody in the class to try it out for like a month or so. I’m sure everyone would see what a difference it would make and maybe put some perspective in our lives. Outside of our little bubble people are living like this every day and it’s not by choice. We could change how the world views things, one person at a time.

On a smaller scale, we read an article this week called Fashion & Sustainability: Designing for Change. It talked all about our basic human needs and how the fashion world needs to change their image of its products.  Designers need to start designing for the needs of the consumer and not for the business side of it all. Instead of focusing on exploiting the desires of the consumer and increasing sales for the good of the company, businesses need to figure how to satisfy just the basic needs of consumer first and then the rest will come. Without consumers businesses would be obsolete. In order for a company to be successful it has to produce a product that people will want to own and will be able to use. Change will have to come from both sides of the system, but in the long run it will be the fashion world that can have the greatest impact on our future and making it a more sustainable place.

So what can you do today? For starters, living a more sustainable life can mean just buying clothes and products that you absolutely need and know that you will use, instead of buying everything that is “in” during the time and will slowly move to the back of your closet when you get bored with it. It can mean “living out of a suitcase” per say and getting rid of all the things you don’t need and use by donating them, selling them, or handing them down to someone else. There is something that everyone can do, whether it is big or small. It can all make a difference.

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1 Response to Who Needs to go Shopping Anyway?

  1. Richard Farr says:

    I’m not sure that doing without fits the bill because it would be the usual ‘deep green’ crowd who would do it, and the people who typically consume more than a fair share would simply be baffled, and wouldn’t change their behaviour.
    Perhaps a better approach is to say that people shouldn’t buy things on credit anymore. If you want something… save up for it. The longer period of anticipation might improve buying decisions, and the lack of debt would do everybody a lot of good.

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