what if nobody bought new stuff? [day 56]

“What if nobody bought new stuff?  What would happen to the economy?”  This was a question asked by Thom yesterday, and I might add, a very good one.

First let me say that I appreciate the people that have enough money and are willing to pay for new items.  Without them, people like me would have no used stuff or second hand stuff to buy.  We would have to resort 100% on dumpster diving?  Not sure what the full impact of that would be for thrifty types, but it would sure change things.

Our economy is built on plastic and filled with air.  When I started on this soapbox yesterday saying that “…it has to collapse someday…”, I was quickly corrected by Jerod that the proper word here is “deflate”.  So, in my opinion, the economy will ‘deflate’ at some point.  We can’t possibly continue like this long term.  I’m not an economist or a fortune teller, and I don’t know how this will happen, but it will.  It makes me want to stuff money in my mattress instead of investing it.  (note to criminals: I have not actually done this so don’t break in and look in my mattress)

Whether the Awful Inevitable Radical Economy Deflation (AIRED) happens fast or slow, and the amount of negative impact it will have could be lessened by everyone just being a little bit intentional about the way we shop.  We have the ability to support good retailers and not support bad ones.  I know all of this sounds radical, and maybe somewhat like a conspiracy theory, but could it happen?  Yes.  If you think something different, please comment with your thoughts.

In the mean time, here’s a few simple things to consider when shopping.  You can help make a difference.

  • Know where you’re buying your stuff. Is this retailer using unfair labor practices or are they paying fair wages?
  • What is a retailer doing to be green and help conserve resources? Green energy, materials and business practices are clearly evident if you do a little research.
  • Do they give back to the community? If so, support them.  No business has to do this but many choose to.
  • Is this something you can buy second hand? You could save money and keep things from going in a landfill.
  • Instead of buying an item, could you borrow it? Sharing things you don’t use frequently will give you less clutter and save you money while building community.

If you can find items that aren’t supported by Ed Hardy, you’ve done well!  LOL, sorry, I couldn’t resist typing that.  ;)