Netflix’s new program, “Tidying Up”, hosted by Marie Kondo is taking Australia by storm. The ‘KonMarie method’ of culling household items, books and clothing is inspiring the public to de-clutter their homes of unwanted items, with the end goal of achieving minimalism. Charities are being inundated with donations. Is this good or bad?
On the one hand, many charity stores have seen a growth in quality and barely used items being stocked for thrifty store lovers. The CEO of St Vincent de Paul, Jack de Groot, has noted a rise in good quality items that are being donated to the charity, and a 38% increase in donations in just one year as of January 2019, at which point St Vincent de Paul had received approximately 50,000 kilos a week of used clothing.
However this contradicts the ‘KonMarie method’ as it is moving many good quality items to second hand stores, and not actually removing them from circulation.. Also, with the surge in donations of quality products, comes an increase in street dumping of poor quality items to be picked up by council clean-up, which can clog stormwater drains, contribute to street pollution, or endup in landfill.
Ultimately, the sustainability of the nation rests on consumers being aware of the quality, source and cost of products, and the impact of this on those around us in the long term.
Ms Kondo’s de-cluttering, minimalistic lifestyle encourages sustainability while cleansing the home and mind. One of KonMarie methods is discarding items that you hold onto in the hope that one day they will be of use. However, re-purchasing items that you only discarded weeks or months ago can become expensive and vexing. It seems that minimalism is geared more towards the affluent as it is more a ‘lifestyle choice’ than aesthetic.
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