Riding the Consumer Train

Bronwyn Eichbaum

When I saw the front of Your Weekend magazine in the Dominion Post this morning - the lead story "My no-buy year.  Jumping off the consumer train" was somewhat disturbing for someone who is trying bloody hard to make a local label work.

It was just last night I was showing Max a sponsored ad on Facebook that was promoting a vast array of items for sale at sickening prices.  A pair of overalls for $6, a toiletries bag for $3, and cushions for $1.  And these products actually looked okay at first glance.  But I couldn't hold myself back to comment on the post - which to my dissappointment had been liked by some of my Facebook friends - to really question these products that they saw as a good deal.  Who is making money on them, who made them for them, and at what price and I'm not just talking financial here.

Apparantly there's a no-buy year band wagon happening.   I get it - I honestly do.  And to a large extent I agree.  Only last week I cleared my own wardrobe of items that didn't spark joy,  to quote Marie Kondo.  We all have too many things in our lives, but to spark a revolution of consumer activism is utter madness.

What we should be focused on is buying well made, sustainable items  (not just clothing), and locally made.  Things that we love for a long time, that we love so much we want to repair them when they break or wear.  And did I say locally made?

To cease consuming altogether would be counter productive to our local economy.  By supporting locally made product you feed a trickle down effect.  A local craftsperson or designer makes some income, and they spend this on music or sport for their kids, or eating out now and again at the local cafe, or buying a ticket to a movie or live theatre.   

So it's not about stopping and going cold turkey.  It's about being smart about it.  Smart, intelligent, and aware.
Do this and you will enjoy your new purchases so much more and find yourself surrounded by things that make you go hmmm.

I'll leave you with that.  Go dance and think about it. 



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