With Black Friday coming this week, we discuss whether more people buying more shiny new stuff is really an indication of a healthy economy, and what to make of conflicting “consumer confidence” headlines.
This narrative frame of “peak stuff” is particularly dangerous because it suggests we are overcoming global, future resource depletion like we *are doing* with ozone, or we think we already did with acid rain. It lulls us into a very false sense of complacency.
We talked about Japanese “decluttering” guru Marie Kondo’s best-selling book. While Kondo’s approach could provoke people to value and love the things the own more, it also could simply work in service of a throw-away economy.
We discussed our incipient collaboration with Amnesty, Global Witness and Wikirate, which are working to rate companies on their sourcing of minerals. Then about the IKEA executive who caught headlines when he said that in the West, we may have reached “peak stuff” in households.