In the past 5 years, I’ve lived in 23 houses, in 5 countries, and 4 continents, and if I have learned one thing, it is this: EVERYTHING IS RENTED.
If you buy something for 6 euros/dollars/pounds, and you are able to use that thing for 6 months before it breaks or you are leaving and it doesn’t fit in your back pack, then you have rented that thing for 1 euro/dollar/pound a month.
Technology is both a blessing and a curse. It allows mass production in a way never before possible, yet on an individual level it deskills. Why learn how to make pastry if you can easily buy it from the supermarket? Why learn how to make anything at all then.
Society is built upon exchange; we give our hard earned cash for goods and services. I can’t make cloth, so I pay for it. But what are the conditions of the workers? Does the company pay the workers a living wage? Does the factory employ women and give them economic independence? Does the item require a raw material that people are murdered for? (Iraq and the war for oil, minerals sold by militants in the Congo for Iphones). Can I live without this thing? Can I make it myself? Can I buy locally?
Money is power, and our choices as consumers affect the actions of big business. Guilt and “oh dearism” can make us think “there’s nothing I can do. Both options are bad. Christmas is so stressful. I’ll just buy all the presents from Amazon”.
I believe we can make a difference by becoming aware of global problems, and not accepting how consumerism/capitalism teaches us that buying things is so important. We can make them too, and we can use recycled materials. Every time I make something, it makes me feel happy, satisfied in my own handiwork. The only limit is your imagination.