I probably shouldn't admit that I have a strong love of McDonald's, especially their fries--and especially when the fries are eaten simultaneously with the hot fudge sundae (hold the peanuts). So this nightlight would probably keep me up at night with cravings; good thing it was only a concept in a print ad for the chain. It's also an interesting symbol of the pervasiveness of our consumer culture and the idea of bringing it into the home.
I know this blog and the bulk of my career relates strongly to consumption, so it might come across as disingenuous (I hope not), but I'm actually in favor of a less-is-more approach to consumption. I am troubled by the disposable culture we live in and the impact it has on the environment. I try to look for companies responsibly producing goods with positive impact on the people and resources of the planet, and of course support artisans and handmade products. I want people to choose things for their home and lifestyle in a meaningful way, and not just by trends or what others are doing.
I am fascinated by consumer behavior and the motivations behind it: I actually took a psychology class in college specifically on this topic and have several books on the subject. Actually, I should dig those out of the moving boxes and read them again. Although, I'm sure there are also several new books on the topic.
Two of the books I read in college that I highly recommend are: Do Americans Shop Too Much by Juliet Schor and Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by the amazing Barbara Ehrenreich. They impacted so much of my thinking. There was so much discussion around Nickel and Dimed in the past, but it's worth reading if you haven't yet.
I also recently downloaded the app Buycott for my phone. You select the causes that you support, then scan items you want to buy or are looking at, and it lets you know if the manufacturer's ideals run parallel to yours or not. It's a bit eye-opening as sometimes (more often than I would have liked) you think a company may support one thing, but through a complicated chain of ownership, is a company you actually may not want to support. Campaigns relate to social causes, food manufacturing, and animal causes.
I realize that I will often be sharing products, many which are mass-produced. And I don't want to paint them with a negative brush. I love what I do and the companies I work with. I just think it's important to be a conscious consumer and I do always have a bit of this discussion running through my mind.
I'm curious how others feel, especially designers and people whose job it is to make/sell products. How do you shop?
image via designyoutrust
mom, wife, market editor, crazy person.
© 2014 | mrkt