An elegant sufficiency

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Guilt Free Shopping?

Yesterday we had business in Swindon, so took the opportunity to pay a visit to the outlet mall there to "invest" in a large piece of Le Creuset we've been intending to buy for some time. The promotional signs all had this "Guilt Free Shopping" tag, which both of us felt rather uneasy about.

Why might we feel guilty about shopping anyway? Because we're buying something we don't need? Perhaps. But hopefully we've thought about what we're buying and as far as our own buying habits go, I think we're past too many impulse purchases. Maybe it's because we might be tempted to buy something we can't really afford, which I think is far more likely to be the cause - in which case is the Mall itself really right to absolve us of such guilt?

I'm going to get uncharacteristically puritan here and say that I don't think shopping should ever be guilt free. Most of us have far too much "stuff" anyway - I count myself as top of that list - and whether the guilt is induced by financial, social, ethical or any other conscience, I think we should never allow our shopping to become totally guilt-free.

All of which is illustrated by the fact that we have no idea just where we will store our new (very) large Le Creuset casserole.
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  • Hmm, food for thought! I'd like to think that I mainly shop responsibly and ethically but of course the truth for almost anyone in the top 90% or so of the Western world is that we buy far more than we really 'need' to live from day to day.

    By Blogger Seahorse, at 4:33 pm  

  • Interesting post Gill. I know I spend far too much on impulse and on useless "stuff". It's amazing how as I'm unable to leave the house our expenditure has dropped this month. It would be nice to think it would continue in a similar vein.

    By Blogger MandellaUK, at 5:46 pm  

  • Like Mandella, I have found that staying in more leaves more in my pocket. I buy compulsively far too often, nothing very expensive, but it's surprising how it all mounts up.

    By Blogger Digitalgran, at 10:29 pm  

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