Wednesday, August 12, 2009

disposable culture

From the Utne Reader:

There’s no doubt the recession has spurred interest in living more affordably—cutting back, scaling down, and doing more with less. There’s just one hitch with the prevailing frugal ethos: A fair number of penny-pinching Americans have confused thrifty with cheap, bargain hunting in discount shops that rely, for example, on low-wage labor or disposable design.

Taking a page from Ellen Rupel Shell’s Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, Noreen Malone expounds in the American Prospect: “Houses won’t last and clothes won’t be handed down because we no longer ask that they be built for the long run. . . . We might be cheap, but we’re no longer thrifty. In fact, even if we recover that instinct, we’ll have left ourselves with gaping holes in the reusable products ecosystem.”

In a nutshell, an Ikea couch makes an unlikely family heirloom. And the longer cheap culture prevails, so ebbs the flow of quality goods to thrift stores and reuse centers.


Oh so true. Press board dressers and gyp rock do not good quality furniture and homes make!

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