Resist the materialist…
Since the mad rush of Christmas (and let’s face it, over-consumption on many fronts!) has died down. How about a blog on consumption habits? Since most of us have spent the last month or so doing exactly that, this week’s blog seems appropriate!
Consumer behaviour is widely studied throughout the globe – what people consume and why. The ‘whys’ tend to relate to personal and social needs i.e. needing clothes but wanting a certain brand to fit in socially. It is generally accepted that consumers can be segmented into different groups, dependent on a number of factors such as age, income and likes/dislikes.
All this chat about consumerism and materialistic, wasteful lifestyles; means that the alternative consumer is forgotten about. Not all consumers go along willingly with the current trends and there is a rising number of consumers who are beginning to ‘misbehave’ and resist modern consumerism, in a bid to re-gain control of the marketplace. Anti-consumerist movements are those which reject the ideals of current consumerism i.e. all new, all now. Examples of this are green consumerism and ethical consumption.
Although the strongest form of resistance is non-consumption, it can also come in other forms such as extending product life cycles and buying second-hand items. These movements are intertwined with the recycling industry as this is where products eventually go to be ‘disposed’ of, responsibly. So, it can be argued that the recycling industry is, in itself, a form of resistance to modern day consumerism.
People are beginning to realise that something has got to give as we cannot continue to consume at the rate we have been and the recycling industry is here to assist that change. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – that is the motto. Making people more aware of the impact of their consumption habits, encouraging them to change and finally, changing the way we all dispose of waste; is vital for us to become a more sustainable society.
It is interesting that this necessary change is considered, by many marketers and businesses, to be consumers misbehaving and resisting marketing efforts. Almost as if businesses just want us to consume endlessly and not care about the impact on our world… Attitudes are changing and ‘misbehaving’ is becoming more acceptable than following the norm.