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Stuffocation

Book review: Stuffocation, by James Wallman

Christmas is peak ‘stuff’ time in our household. We throw away more than usual, and generally have a bunch of new things to find places for at the end of it. I’m not complaining, but it’s an interesting time to read a book like Stuffocation – Living More with Less. Stuffocation, as the name suggests, […]

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Primark, Oxford Street

When 99% cheaper is not enough

Every city has its treasures. It may not be particularly famous, but here in Luton we have the Wenlock Jug. It’s a bronze piece from the early 1400s, made to order by a bell foundry and incredibly rare – there are only three such jugs that we know of, and the other two are in […]

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pile of clothes

10 reasons why the future will be less materialistic

This week I’m reading a new book by James Wallman, called Stuffocation, in which he argues that there is a cultural shift away from materialism underway. The idea that a good life is measured in possessions is slowly passing into history. I suspect he is right, and as Chris Goodall has highlighted, there is evidence […]

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stilton_and_port_150

Kettle chips, Coca Cola, and a cure for ebola

Yesterday I came across a new word that I can’t unsee: premiumisation. I read it in an article about Coca Cola, which is planning to move into the world of dairy with a new milk-with-bells-on called Fairlife. “It’s basically the premiumisation of milk” said company exec Sandy Douglas. It’s “a milk that’s premiumised and tastes […]

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live rich

Live Rich

Have you got room in your day for a bit of spoken word performance on consumerism and our relationship with money? I think so. This is from Gary Turk, and you can see more of his work on his website or Youtube channel. From my own perspective, I’d just add one thing to the film. […]

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pocket-money-loans-mascot

Pocket money loans for kids!

There’s something new on the high street today, as the first pocket money loan shop for children opens in Finsbury Park. Or should I say Funsbury Park, since local children will no longer have to wait for all that their little hearts desire. Just pop in or get your pocket money loan online, and you […]

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myth gap

The importance of myths

Prompted by John Fosters’ book After Sustainability, I’ve been doing some reading around myths over the last few days. We usually use the word ‘myth’ to disparagingly describe something that is widely believed, but untrue. I’m interested in myths as underlying stories, broadly held understandings of the world. Myths have an important sociological function, helping […]

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Restart_Logo_Black_Complete

Fixing gadgets with The Restart Project

One of the key ways to reduce our use of materials, and limit the amount we throw away, is to repair things. That’s particularly important in the area of electronics. They require relatively scarce metals, and electronic waste is hazardous and complicated to process, which is why a lot of it ends up in faraway […]

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cheaponomics

Book review: Cheaponomics, by Michael Carolan

People have always been suckers for a bargain, but the pressure to deliver cheap prices has become a key driving force of our consumer economy. The prices of many things, from clothes to household appliances, have consistently fallen in recent decades. More and more of us have been able to buy the things we want […]

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the-waste-makers

Vance Packard’s consumerist utopia

You might not have heard of Vance Packard. He is not well known today, but in 1960 he wrote a book about the onset of consumerism called The Waste Makers. It describes the invention of planned obsolescence and decries the advent of a throwaway society with striking prescience. In the opening of The Waste Makers, […]

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