Consumers: We Don't Want More Stuff

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 07:46 AM

By Elliot Jager

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A survey of consumers from around the world reports that half said they would gladly live without most of the stuff they own.

Some 67 percent said they annually junked unneeded possessions; about 70 percent said they thought overconsumption was bad for society and the planet; and 65 percent concurred that it would be better if people shared more and owned less, according to Engineering News.

"The New Consumer and the Sharing Economy" survey was conducted by Havas Worldwide, a marketing firm, and was released in South Africa on Tuesday.

Most people agreed that current economic models were not working. While consumers know that consumption drives the economy, many said that they try to purchase "sustainable" products. By 2050, many city dwellers agreed that they would be sharing rather than owning a car.

Andrew Benett, CEO of Havas Worldwide, said in a statement the study showed consumers are moving away from mindless consumption. People are getting involved in the entire consumption cycle – not just purchasing brands produced closer to home by companies that treat their workers well. "They are practicing 'less is more,' and savoring their 'less.'"

He said companies could build their brands by establishing reputations for good behavior.
The findings come from an online survey of 10,574 people aged 16 and older in 29 markets from Argentina and Australia to the United States and Vietnam.

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