I know this is a harsh question. What I mean by it is that most people are genuinely happy to be ignorant to the world around them as long as they perceive that it does not “interfere” with their way of life. Convenience has come with a cost and easier has become unethical.
Over consuming has become a way of life for most people. We are lured into purchasing things we do not need, things we cannot afford or things we won’t use.
According to Greenpeace the amount of clothing being produced has more than doubled since 2000. Think about that for a moment. That is mind boggling. More than 83 billion garments are being produced a year. Where are all of these excess garments going when we are no longer “in love with them,” or they are “out of style” or in need of repair. The common response is “I just throw it away”. One question, “Where is this away place you speak of?” Because according to my middle school memory of learning about this place we call home, our planet earth, everything is connected. Rivers flow through, Oceans wash ashore and air is constantly circulating. So I don’t believe there is a place called “away.”
We can and need to rethink our lifestyles. Brands are beginning to give the customer better options. Designers are leading with design and making better decisions with the materials they use. Big companies are turning to a conscious capitalism mindset. Growing people as well as profits and the planet.
Now it is our turn to do out part. We can limit our consumption of goods. We can buy better and buy less. Our values are an excellent predictor of what we buy and how we buy.
A little bit of information to get you thinking. We all love denim. Yours truly included. Did you know that it takes 1800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton and to finish one pair of jeans. How many do you own?
Do you know that when you purchase a pair of leather shoes it has been tanned with an extremely toxic and hazardous chemical called chromium 6. Not to mention the horrific way the animal has been slaughtered. The Chromium 6 is the same chemical that the film Erin Brockovich fought against using in the US. But it is used everyday around the world to tan leather for your shoes, handbags, belts and other leather goods. Even those seats in your car!
My vision and hope for the future is to nurture a healthy relationship with consumerism as a collective conscious society.