High inflation and expensive energy “disrupt” consumerism. | So Good News


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Evelyn van Zeeland, Eugene Franken, P.G. In a weekly column written by Kroger, Kathleen Gabriels, Karina Weijma, Bernd Maier-Leppla, Willemijn Brouwer and Kolinda de Beer, Innovation Origins tries to figure out what the future might look like. These are columnists and sometimes guest bloggers Martin van Andel, all are working in their own way to find solutions to the problems of our time. So tomorrow will be better. All previous articles here.

Dutch daily Financieele Dagblad laments that consumers are losing their appetite for, say, a new TV or Nike shoes. That leaves logistics warehouses full of laptops, clothes, furniture and electronics. I really need to know what is being “destroyed”.

This strikes me as good news for sustainability and circularity: less energy and raw materials consumption and longer use of existing items. Also, I once learned in an economics class that lower consumer spending leads to lower inflation. This is doubly good news.

Less growth

A “Great Recession” is said to be coming. Economic growth is at risk of falling from 4.6 percent to 0.7 percent next year. We seem to have collectively fallen into a pattern of thinking that this is debilitating, threatening and problematic. These negative connotations seem to leave no room in our economy, media, and consciousness for the benefits that people and the environment derive from this development. It’s not even a contraction of the economy next year, much less growth.

These overflowing warehouses show that we are constantly creating products before (and even without) demand for them. No one wants to say no when you’re in retail because it costs more money than selling excess stock or doing a throwaway sale. So, once again I was dreading Black Friday, the orgy of consumerism that our modern society is trying to perpetuate.

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