Are you making the world a better place?Holly By Heart
I’ve read a lot recently about how consumerism has to end to change the world. There’s a video of George Monbiot saying that we have to stop capitalism completely. Whilst I agree that we cannot keep on consuming at an exponential rate, George has made his career from doom and gloom. If everyone stopped spending money, then everything would collapse (I wrote about this over 10 years ago) which whilst seeing the fast fashion industry collapse wouldn’t too bad (job losses aside) what would happen to all the charities, makers and NGOs?
I made a resolution to only buy ethically where possible back in 2007. (You can read about it here). Whilst I’ve struggled at times, given up at other times and managed 3 months barely buying anything, I think I’m on the right track. I try to make informed and thoughtful purchasing decisions but is it now time to up the game?
I spent the last few days thinking that I should only buy secondhand. I’m so sick of adverts telling me to buy stuff – they’re everywhere! On social media, the algorithm has picked up on my ethics and is trying to sell me T-shirt’s with ‘save the bees’ on. These tops have no sustainable production policies, they’re all about raising awareness. That’s not going to help, that’s contributing to the problem whilst greenwashing over the major issues. It’s the same with major fashion brands selling recycled textiles items for £3 – whilst I commend them for investing in recycled fabrics and bringing to the high street (and hopefully converting some high street shoppers to more conscious consumers) it’s not good enough for me.
But where do I draw the line? I want to make a positive difference so do I buy from marine wildlife charities even if the products aren’t recycled or 100% sustainable? I’ll happily buy everything I can from charity shops but would supporting small independent makers be more positive?
Is it possible to be a conscious consumer? Or should we just stop buying it?