Let’s get one thing straight. We’re not trying to bring down capitalism.
No, what we’re trying to change is consumerism.
Consumerism is the idea that people buying stuff is a good thing as it leads to a cycle of increased wealth in society. (Put very simply.)
It’s hardly sustainable in its current state.
We’re past the slippery slope. In fact, we’ve plunged into the abyss that is our hyper-materialistic culture.
We live in a reality that incentivizes businesses to pursue profit above all else, to innovate in unsavory ways.
As a result, we have cases where businesses create products/services that we don’t need or intentionally design products so that we must spend money to replace it or upgrade to a newer version regularly. (Here’s a nuanced take on planned obsolescence, if you care to have a read.)
We’re certainly not suggesting that business board rooms are composed of moustache-twirling villains. Reality is complicated.
Also, we’re not against businesses.
We’re not against making money.
We’re not against stuff or buying stuff.
So what’s the problem?
We’re concerned about the future.
More specifically, we don’t believe there will be a viable future for humanity in a world where products and services are created for the sole purpose of taking your money.
Don’t worry, we’re not advocating for mass asceticism.
Our goal of improving our hyper-consumerist society doesn’t mean that we want everyone to live on the bare necessities, to live without luxury.
Imagine how boring the world would be without fashion, food, video games, art, movies, sports, travel...
No, we believe there’s value in all those things.
We’re simply afraid of a world where our stuff are shackles instead of things that add value to our lives.
So what do we do?
The solution is to work towards a “conscious” economy, one where businesses operate under a higher ethical standard and consumers are educated and empowered to make purchasing decisions that account for their own well-being (as well as that of the world).
Products and services will still be created and sold with the goal of making money. Except all parties will also seek to operate above board with a genuine and concerted effort to be socially and environmentally-responsible.
It’s not impossible.
It’s not even unrealistic.
If we can teach our citizens trigonometry and ancient history, we can certainly teach them to be conscious consumers—which is arguably much more practical. (Honestly, I would’ve appreciated “How to be a Conscious Consumer” and “Financial Literacy” classes in high school.)
If businesses can find a way to create lucrative markets for products that are 100% useless—and even harmful—from nothing, then it shouldn’t be too hard to create a culture of responsible businesses. (Think douches—the product, not the people. In fact, the feminine hygiene industry in general is one big sham.)
Basically, some amazing(ly horrible) things have already been achieved through consumerism.
There’s no reason we can’t work some more magic…
For People. For The Environment. For Good.
So. Let’s. Get. Started!