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Conscious Consumption

What does the term ‘Clone Town’ mean? Well, it’s the global term for a town where the high street is dominated by chain stores. The term was coined by the New Economics Foundation (a British think tank), in 2004. We’ve all seen them – we probably live in one. The beautiful individuality of our high streets has been replaced with soulless strips of the mainstream; how can we tell one place from another anymore?

At the very core of this issue, is how we consume; something we either do consciously or unconsciously, fast or slow. Allow me to share my thoughts with you (on my worn soapbox!)

Fast: mass produced products made by big corporations, where quantity and speed is valued over thought and quality. There’s no emotion involved, the products have no story, and are often unethically made. Plagiarism is sometimes involved, usually at the cost of small businesses who can’t compete or complain (I know many of you will identify with this).

Often, fast consumption is tech based; intangible. We’re disconnected from the process and the story. With two-hour delivery slots from desktop to your home, the value we place on things is being degraded daily.

Slow: conscious consumption is about feeling good. It says something about you as an individual, that you place quality over quantity, and prefer handmade over manufactured. The origins of things matter; products have a story, they’re soulful, ethical and intimate, the personality of the maker is present.

Slow consumption exists more in the real world; visiting a farmers market instead of ordering food online, buying from a maker you found through a friend (or great marketplace!) Tech still plays a big part, just in a different way; every day I fall in love with new makers I find online and obsess over their stories and creations!

Just as there’s a push to be more mindful within our thoughts and habits, so too we should become more conscious with purchasing. In a world where life is speeding up, we should live slower; taking the time to appreciate where things come from, their origins and the process by which they came to be. How are you consuming today? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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