When I see an IKEA, the only thing that comes to my mind is “How quickly does the product get turned over into landfills?” I can’t imagine that every single individual product that is manufactured for consumption is sold. The sheer volume of new creations for the ‘new season trends’, which are now being pumped out on a scale that is unsustainable for our planet, fashion trends don’t flow with the seasons any more, they flow with demand.
Learning that one of the world’s richest men is a second-hand shopper, is kind of enthralling. I know that the wealthy generally stay wealthy because of frugal spending habits, but this guy takes it to a different level. Ingvar Kamprad gets his hair cut when visiting third-world countries, utilizes city transit, and buys his clothes from local markets that are regenerating ‘old stuff’. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who truly live by example. But, when you create a company that creates an over abundance of waste, it’s a Catch-22. The creation of all this stuff and his ability to ‘live sustainably’ is an extremely mixed message in my eyes. Society has reached a peak of gathering ‘stuff’. There was a great line by Peter Holley in an article from RenegadeInc.com; “Self-storage is Ikea’s unofficial nursing home.”
We are buying crap and putting it in storage when we no longer have a use for it. Why is it so difficult for us, as a society, to draw a line and say “I don’t NEED that stuff, I am happy with what I have and it is useful.” Consumerism and practicality are waging war on our home turf. Will Hutton writing for The Guardian pulls perspective from in our quest for meaning and how economists view the fundamental forces of spending, “Economist Tomas Sedlacek, who has won an international following for his book Economics of Good and Evil, insists that contemporary societies have become slaves to a defunct economistic view of the world.”
So how do we debunk our idea that obtaining possessions means ‘more out of life’? I think society as a whole is coming to the realization that ‘more stuff’ doesn’t mean a ‘better life’. I love to watch anything surrounding the shift to ‘Tiny House Living’, to see how happy people truly are when they are living beyond their means. I hope the idea can be transferred to everything material that is generally over consumed, especially clothing!!