The New Materialism advocates that we change our relationship with material goods and consumerism. Companies assuage our guilt of depleting our environment by simply giving us more "friendly" materials to consume rather than encouraging a different culture of sustainability through preservation and mending. And why should they? It is against their best interest to provide and encourage minimalism and enduring products. We are capitalist bulimics driven by conspicuous consumption. We run on this hedonic treadmill hoping to fill the holes in our hearts with stuff, because a big portion of who we are, are the stories we tell about ourselves and we believe when the market tells us we are not enough because we do not have enough. This desperation to make ourselves whole in the eyes of our television sets makes us greedy and lowers our ability for empathy. But its a lie. We are not what we buy or how current our things are. We need to break this addiction. Currently it takes the biosphere 18 months to produce what humanity consumes in just 12 months.
A short manifesto (less in more) for: the New Materialism
1. Liking ‘stuff’ is okay, healthy even – we can learn to love and find pleasure in the material world
2. Wherever practical and possible develop lasting relationships with things by having and making nothing that is designed to last less than 10 years
3. Get to know things – before you acquire something, find out at least three things about it
4. Love stuff – mend, maintain and re-use things until it is no longer possible, then recycle them
5. Get active – only acquire something new if you are also learning a new, useful skill
6. Share - look at all your things, think about what your friends might need or could benefit from, and share at least one thing a week