Restricted consumption in a “you can have it all” world.


Example of a modern day “capsule wardrobe”. (source: decoist)

Capsule wardrobes.  Smart cars.  Whole30.

In the land of a million (or more) choices, people are choosing “less”.  Why?

-To find refuge from the deluge of marketing messages to buy more?

-To rebel against “the system”?

-To make a political statement?

-To protect the environment?

-To identify as a revolutionary?

-To search for more stillness, more peace?

Trends such as the rise in minimalism indicate that people are looking for a break from our consumption-heavy culture.  Individual reasons vary, and I’m sure the list above is non-exhaustive.

I’m curious about this because I’m in this camp; feeling exhausted from all of the options of the many things I’m encouraged to want.

Western wealth makes room for a relatively boundary-less environment.  The muscles of discipline, focus, and intentionality wither.  The abundance yields boredom.  So we create systems to place boundaries on our boundary-less environment.

We thirst for discipline, focus, and intentionality.  For entertainment from our non-consumption.

Capsule wardrobes.  Smart cars.  Whole30.

These challenges to live smaller, more contained, more compliant… can be noble and freeing and statement-making.  But I’m reminding myself that the choice for less is ultimately for the able.

2 thoughts on “Restricted consumption in a “you can have it all” world.

  1. You make a good point. They do say that having less choice makes it easier to make a decision. I hadn’t thought of the role choice plays in minimalism, but I have to say that since becoming more minimalist, I have preferred stores that offer fewer options.


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