From mass consumerism to mass change: Hope for sustainable consumption

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In an article for Shareable, Caren Holzman presents trends that signal “a reversal in the way that consumers value and use products and services”:

“A global culture of consumerism has firmly taken hold – the average British woman buys half her body weight in clothing every year; a typical American purchases more stuff every day than an average American weighs; more than 30 million tons of food was dumped in landfills in the US in 2009; and the largest shopping centre in Europe has just opened as the gateway to the London 2012 Olympics. Yet as resources become more constrained, economies stall and businesses begin to think more innovatively about different ways of delivering value to the customer, there are some signals of hope for a reversal in the way that consumers value and use products and services.”

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  1. Ecological and ethical considerations could indeed bring another element in consumer subjectivity and the question is also how they could rearrange the consumerist model. See also Yannick Rumpala, “Sustainable consumption” as a new phase in a governmentalization of consumption, Theory and Society, 2011.