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Does a Minimalist Lifestyle Promote Sustainability?

Have you ever thought of utilizing the resources to its optimum?  Do you prefer the needs over wants?  The question is apparent in this era of consumerism. Enterprises attract the consumer to buy products through their innovative marketing strategies. However, businesses alone are not responsible for mass-consumerism. GDP growth, change in consumer behavior, increased income, […]

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Have you ever thought of utilizing the resources to its optimum? 

Do you prefer the needs over wants? 

The question is apparent in this era of consumerism. Enterprises attract the consumer to buy products through their innovative marketing strategies. However, businesses alone are not responsible for mass-consumerism. GDP growth, change in consumer behavior, increased income, and other factors as well contribute.

The global middle-class is predicted to reach 5.3 billion by 2030, leading to increased purchasing power. These changes are expected to shift in consumption patterns and rising demand for resources. Production of innovative goods has made people’s lifestyle easier than earlier. However, we are unknowingly overconsuming at an alarming rate. For instance, the fashion industry has massively grown as people are purchasing 400% more apparel as compared to 20 years ago. 

Overconsumption is one of the major causes impacting the environment. About 20% of global industrial water is used for textile dyeing, affecting the water supply. Moreover, hazardous chemicals are used to produce clothing from synthetic materials that are harmful to the environment. Similarly, it takes a massive amount of resources and energy to produce and transport the products. Based on the study –“Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption” found that household consumption is accountable for up to 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. 

Taking sustainability into priority,  it is high time for us to question our lifestyle. Should we consume less? Is a simple and minimal lifestyle answer to address it?

Although the minimalist lifestyle has grown recently, its history dates back to the 1960s as an art movement. Today, the concept of minimalism has extended beyond art and practiced as a lifestyle. Relating minimalism to sustainability, it shares some similar grounds.  The minimalist prefers the product that meets their needs rather than wants. Likewise, the concept of sustainability also revolves around meeting the needs of the present and not affecting the conditions of the up-coming generation.

Minimalism helps to develop a sustainable culture by being intentional purchases focusing more on essentials.  Marie Kondo’s – KonMari Philosophy of keeping only those items that spark joy to oneself is also getting momentum among minimalist. Furthermore, minimalist prefers to own less but durable items. Thus, the consumption of resources is automatically less as well as limiting unnecessary purchases. A decrease in consumption results in a decline in demand for resources consequently decreases in mass-production. Additionally, it will diminish the amount of pollution coming from harmful emits. With reduced consumption, we are also reducing the waste in landfills and also minimized carbon footprint. 

Minimalism solely is not an answer to sustainability. Other numerous underlying factors promote sustainability. All the minimalists might not have sustainable consideration. However, minimalism can be a stepping stone to add some. It can help people to reflect on the purchases and change their buying behavior. With decreased consumption of low-quality goods, it could influence businesses to produce durable and high-quality products. The concept of a minimalist lifestyle might contribute small towards sustainability rather than having no impact.

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