To Buy or Not to Buy – Between Mass Consumption and Sustainability

This article by Sabine Olthof first appeared in Alumniportal Deutschland.  Reproduced with Permission.

Consumption is seductive: the latest smartphone, the most stylish shoes, the fanciest food processor – who does not like to buy new things as soon as a bargain is on the horizon? In the US, this week again is “Black Friday,” a day when crowds storm the stores and elbow their way to special offers. This trend is also gaining ground in Europe.

But where there is a trend, there is often a counter-trend. Why can the products be offered so cheaply? Where and how are they produced? And where do the leftovers end up – in the trash? Groups critical of thoughtless consumption therefore are issuing a call for an alternative to “Black Friday,” a ” Zero Purchase Day”: 24 hours without shopping. They wish to draw attention to waste, exploitation, and the ecological consequences of mass consumption.

The 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations is dedicated to sustainable consumption and production patterns. The challenge is issued to consumers, companies, and politicians alike. How exactly? Read on!

Best regards,

Sabine Olthof, Project Manager
Alumniportal Deutschland