… Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to …? Anyway you get the point, we are moving into the height of the consumer season and the question around sustainable society vs consumerism promoted incessantly by the corporatocrasy, the consumerism that according to our government “Drives The Economy” is worth some consideration.
Which economy do you wish to drive and which one does your family and circle of friends support with their gift buying; the economy on your Main Street or the bigger one from Wall Street? In other words do you shop local or or do you shop big box?
Seeing people shopping at Target, Walmart, Costco or any international chain store is like watching container ships full of money leaving our communities, never to return. This shopping pattern is the norm for many consumers ‘driving the economy’, but just where are we driving to?
We also should consider when gift buying, what is the lifecycle of this product? Will it become a family heirloom or is it more likely to soon become the newest form of toxic waste; namely discarded electronic gadgets, phones and games?
ONLY .. DAYS to XMAS! coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge while he still worked for Marshall Fields in the USA before creating his eponymous Oxford Street Selfridges emporium in London, still sets the tone of a critical consumer chronology for this season of the year.
If you could slow down, take one of those few precious days left before the pinnacle events of Christmas and Boxing Day when the real shopping frenzy actually starts, and then consider these few things, it might make for a better feeling when the party dies down.
You might have bought something of lasting value, perhaps supported a local artisan, selected the more sustainable option, or simply chosen not to buy so many things after all. Perhaps you will take the time to make a hand-made card, or to bake something, or to cook a special meal for friends that may create memories with more inherent value than any seasonal trinket.
Even though we own a retail store, my partner and I hope that we can support responsible consumption and gift buying at this time of the year. We encourage our customers to shop, and only when they chose to do so, for goods that are free of toxins for a healthy home. Please try and find items that are mainly local and look for gifts that are inherently beautiful that will last and then if they are discarded, that they will biodegrade.
This is your stage, your “To Shop or not To Shop” moment. You get to drive your economy, so I ask you to shut off the seasonally induced autopilot and think carefully about the destination you want to arrive at after this drive ends.