Over-consumers or under-consumers? We may ask ourselves this question after this week’s lectures. I don’t think any of us as Westerners can truly say that we under-consume. I know that most of the purchases I make aren’t actually things I need. Whether it be clothes, home décor, etc. I over-consume often. However, the argument can be made that it isn’t our fault as consumers that we require as much as we do. It’s in our culture to keep up with trends and to have many materialistic things. It is also in our culture for producers to continue to put out products that are destined to be obsolete.
So, is there a problem with this way of consuming? The situation at hand doesn’t truly have a clear answer. Some may view this as a very glutinous way of life. We obviously don’t need the latest trends to live. However, we do need a sustainable environment in order to survive. Western culture isn’t something that can be changed overnight. It would be a long process that would take generations before the mindset of over-consuming changed, but the Earth needs this change.
If this mindset were to change, it may raise more problems. The flow of money brought about by this large amount of consumption is what keeps our economy thriving. Where would be from an economical standpoint if designers and producers DID create products that were long lasting? Not only would the economy be changed, but how would the culture of people change? Trends and fashion is how a lot of us express ourselves and use our creativity. If we took away fashion, what would replace it?
These are all questions that I obviously don’t have answers to. They only can be used as simply reflection questions to ourselves? I know that this topic has made me more aware of how much I buy, and I now want to make changes in my over-consumption. However, the issue still remains that the pressure of keeping up with trends and buying the latest fashion is hard to escape from. Even as I reduce my spending, I know that I will still remain as an over-consumer.