Getting and Spending

In the latest issue of his newsletter, Om Malik writes about consumerism being one of the harder habits to beat.

But there is one demon I have not been able to conquer, an addiction that is worse than nicotine: consumerism. For the past four years, every year, I make an effort to get rid of things and buy less. It is not easy to do — the machines of desire work constantly and are powerful. I looked at my own spending trends, and I am at about 25 percent of where I was four years ago. I have bought much fewer things and gotten rid of an average of 10 things a month. And yet, it is not enough.

There’s a reason I refer to myself as a “aspiring minimalist” in my bio. Acquisition of material goods can be a difficult thing on which to scale back. For one, it’s such a general goal to tackle, unlike even something such as improving eating habits. Though you may cut back on a certain area of discretionary spending, such as a hobby, it can be harder yet to spend less on what seem like necessities, like clothing.

Malik addresses quite a bit of the piece to clothing specifically. He refers to the amount of clothing that goes to landfills after not being sold. H&M alone has burned $4.3 billion worth of excess inventory. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if H&M burned 99% of their clothing, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

Robert Rackley @rcrackley
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