Be a conscious consumer

despite having a good number of clothes a person is forced psychologically to buy a new set of clothes because ‘fashion has changed’ or there is some sale going on in the market

If the Covid-19 pandemic brought a global health crisis with its repercussions on all walks of life including financial, social and psychological, it came out also with a new definition of good living. The definition is inclined more towards balanced living rather than living beyond limits.
A section of social thinkers are calling the situation emerging out of the pandemic as ‘nature’s correction mode’ to tame the unnecessary speed the people have created in their day-to-day work. Many others call it nature’s way of controlling the side effects of consumerism, which was all-time high just before the outbreak of the pandemic.
“This is called nature’s speed-breaker or simply learning from a situation. There should be some mechanism to check the waste of resources. Despite knowing the fact that resources are limited, there are vested interests who create a false demand for the goods they produce. For example, they will make changes in fashion trends, furniture and even way of eating and wearing, as if a common man does not have the common sense of doing all these basic things on his own. And if he does not follow these fashion trends, he is declared ‘outdated’,” said Amina Salim, an artist and a social thinker.

fashion has changed
“Now imagine a situation in which despite having a good number of clothes a person is forced psychologically to buy a new set of clothes because ‘fashion has changed’ or there is some sale going on in the market. Are we not creating a crisis of resources by just falling into the trap of someone who creates just a false demand which is not at all needed? The same applies to phones, domestic appliances, bags, spectacles etc. It is okay for those who have plenty of money, but the trap is for those who have limited money to spend, at the same time they have the social and psychological compulsion of being in the race to fit into ‘not outdated’ criterion’’, she said.
Senior editor of a leading newspaper in Oman called it a situation in which people are unknowingly put into false competition.

necessary groceries
Despite being very sorry for the situation being developed during the pandemic, he finds it an eye-opener for many. “Many people have started realising the waste, they are buying only necessary groceries, have not gone to buy garments for months and happy to utilise the ‘old stock’ which had many new clothes that were purchased in some sale or the other.”
“I call such waste of resources on unnecessary purchases anti-development. Because the same person who spends mindlessly on things he does not need would have saved for some larger goals like building a house or even sending his children for higher education. Even though the same person has to take some loan to build a house, his loan amount could be less’’, he said to make his point.
Alka Mittal, a CSR (corporate social responsibility) practitioner, called the situation emerging out of the Covid-19 pandemic as a lesson for everyone. “For a person like me, it has taught me to practice generosity at a time when many people have lost their jobs and their near and dear ones. Many businesses have closed, many expatriate parents do not have resources to send their children to schools and many are struggling for survival in this testing time.”
She suggests considering the full cost of purchases; lead a disciplined life to be healthy, do compare between the goods to be purchased their value for money, e.g. are they equally as valuable as what you choose to spend it on; and become aware of the consumerism that has affected all walks of in some way or the other.


Kaushalendra Singh