by Sally Applin
To continue my post on the trend of “inconspicuous consumption” — in retrospect, I think that it’s counterpart is going to be quality. This means that thrifting will likely trump Target/Walmart and the bargain chains because if its made it to thrift, its got to have some quality in the construction that made it last.
When times are tough, and people have limited amounts of money, it seems that the idea of an investment in what one buys to last, becomes important. It isn’t just limited to consumer goods. There is a rise of concern about quality in food. Quality food may take longer to prepare, but what we put in our bodies will be better for us. Quality lasts and quality will help us last.
The notion of quality as a trend layers over both “inconspicuous consumption” and of “get smaller” and neatly funnels into the eco-mantra “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”
Through my trend filter, these look like this:
Reduce: get smaller. Buy less, but better quality so it will last. We will see less spending. We will see more Micro Homes.
Reuse: if people can’t afford new quality, they will seek out “old quality” either by thrifting, or home swaps or garage sales. (Another trend taking off for clothing seems to be working wear goods such as painter’s pants, field coats and other kinds of very durable, high quality, but lower cost, and lower status “inconspicuous consumption” items.)
Recycle: Quality food will lead to more composting, more home gardening, more tuning into the ecosystem. Quality clothing will lead to more sharing, swapping, thrifting as durable goods can last.
Trend: What’s “new” is the “old” European mindset
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