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.

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

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