Does it really spark joy? Why tossing things out is just another consumer trend
According to a German proverb, “Order is half of life” we’re all busy sor-ting, folding, organizing, decorating … and what we like most is throwing away the things we have in order to make room for new ones. Once upon a time we flaunted everything we’d accumulated; now we boast about how much we get rid of or keep neatly folded up in sterile boxes in the apartment. In the process, these orgies of pitching out – fueled by best-selling authors and internet swap meets – have created a gigantic cycle of goods that’s turned us into unpaid salespeople for the online giants.
What influence has the sustainability trend had on the fashion industry? Do we quench our thirst for consumerism by shifting it to the flea market? Is it all right to brag about not buying cheap clothes while twenty percent of the German population is affected by poverty and social marginalizati-on? And can we even still see the political disorder outside of our own four walls?
Journalist Maria Wiesner of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung examines the hype around cleaning out and proves her point: throwing away is also a consumer trend. Her book is an entertaining analysis of economic, social, and historical aspects of our cleaning behavior, as well as an appeal to cul-tivate a relationship to objects that values, but doesn’t over-value them.