‘The secret of business is knowing something that nobody else knows’, Aristotle.
This sentiment by one of history’s most notable philosophers is disturbingly true. The ability to recognise trends, create them, and market them, is a monopolised power utilised by the biggest business in the world.
For the majority of the world, including myself, we are consumers who fall prey to these trends. Whether it is through targeting through social media platforms, or whether it is the next best web show, consumers have a tendency to become invested in several new trends.
This is most evidently exemplified through online streaming platform. With Amazon Prime and Netflix effectively dominating the market, the sheer number of online shows, the quality of those shows, and the large genre of shows available has established a loyal customer base. Netflix’s subscriber rate stands at a current 148 million and Amazon garnering up to 95 million. These numbers are expected to rise as we approach the winter months, as the tendency to travel outside decreases, especially because the UK is predicted to have its coldest winter yet.
This trend is translatable into the food industry. The long-line of supermarkets and corner stores only makes it too easy to buy food. This is truest of the larger stores, highly applicable to Tesco’s dominating market share. Whether it is delivered, sent, or bought, the justification of buying sustenance replaces the conscious guilt that most of it will turn to waste. The Independent states that the UK wastes approximately 14.3 million tonnes a year, thus, indicating that mass consumption, exacerbated by the growth of the ‘Boomerang generation, is a negative side-effect of a problem that most are unaware of, or, choose to ignore.
Not only is consumption limited to online trends and food fancies, but the clothes off are backs are indicative of over-consumption. As the clothes sector is the second-largest polluter in the world and the relative ease of ordering from your favourite store, it is no wonder that 51% of shoppers prefer to purchase items online.
Mass consumption, a psychological phenomenon that is successfully propagated by the business world, is a polluter in itself. To tackle it, a heavy dose of self-realisation, environmental appreciation, and moral understanding may be needed. It is not to say that all mass consumption is bad or must be ended, but it needs to be thoroughly curbed.