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7 Unexpected Perspectives on Embracing Minimalism

Anti-consumerism versus anti-stuff. In a recent conversation in an anti-consumerism forum, someone shared, “I am curious what other anti-consumerists think about it. I see it as rather suspicious.”

“Because the focus is not much on not buying useless stuff but mostly on getting rid of stuff, it encourages considering the thought ‘this thing might be useful someday’ as somehow stupid. For example, I need some small tool from time to time, look in my rubbish drawer, and find it (old shoelaces, nails, cables).”

“If I were a minimalist, all these things would be thrown away, and I would have had to repurchase them on these occasions. Thus, my suspicion of the movement being pro-consumption. What’s your opinion?” Here are the responses. 

1. Minimalist Aesthetic vs. Minimalist Mindset

Secretly a Minimalist
Image Credit: AlexShadyuk and DepositPhotos

One person said, “There is a difference between a Minimalist aesthetic on social media and a Minimalist mindset.” Another added, “For me, I focus on not buying new things in general when I do buy something, I do it thoughtfully and try to find higher quality items that will last me a long time.”

2. They Are the Same

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Another stated, “I consider myself a minimalist and have difficulty differentiating between minimalism and Anti consumption. They’re the same thing. So, I buy as little as possible, re-use what I can, and throw away stuff that I’m definitely not going to need.”

“Exactly,” a third agreed. “There are varying degrees of minimalism, just like in anti-consumption, but the two go hand-in-hand.”

3. No, They Are Not the Same

woman upset angry frustrated
Image Credit: Krakenimages and Depositphotos

Minimalism is whether you find use in an object or can still use it and repurpose it for things you already have and for something you’re going to buy. So, it’s a lot more individualistic,” explained one.

“Anti-consumption has a more solid ground for its principles, values, and ethics, for things you can buy AND for something you will potentially throw away (if it’s good for the environment or not). In addition, much of it is science-based (consequences of enabling corporations and industries to make one-time-use plastics, for example).”

“Minimalism is based on preferences. For example, it doesn’t matter if you buy a plastic basket than a wooden one as long as you have a use for it. I don’t think minimalism practices the boycott or calling out of any companies who promote, manipulate, or influence the consumer into buying things they don’t even need.”

Minimalism doesn’t discriminate against people who buy lots of food and throw the excess away. On the contrary, it’s more self-centered and self-accountability. Anti-consumption is louder and holds others accountable, even big companies.”

4. Minimalism Is a Good Starting Point for Anti-consumerism

Minimalism blogs
Image Credit: Mavoimages
and Depositphotos

One stated, “Minimalism can be a good starting point for people looking to break consumerist habits. It calls attention to the clutter of modern consumerist life and the stress it imposes on us. But, like all ‘isms, the problem is when its adherents focus too much on the aesthetic of ideas.”

“They lose sight of whether those ideas are internally consistent. As a result, it becomes more about ‘being minimal’ and less about the underlying issues that brought them to the philosophy in the first place.”

5. Minimalism Philosophy Is Fine, but Minimalist Aesthetics Is Not Anti Consumption

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Minimalism as a basic, functional philosophy is fine,” shared one. “But the minimalism where you have spacious rooms with carefully curated beige and white home decor and maybe two days’ worth of provisions in your cupboards is not minimalism at all, and it’s the opposite of Anti consumerism.”

6. Anti-minimalists Are Often Misinformed

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Image Credit: 2mmedia and Depositphotos

“In my experience, everyone I’ve met who was vocally anti-minimalism was either a hoarder or well on their way,” voiced one. It’s also a bit of a cop-out to act like minimalists are telling people to throw out all their tools/useful things when the reality is that when people have a home filled with stuff, the vast majority is garbage and useless crap.”

“Also, if you do end up needing something down the line, there are several steps a person could take first before going and buying a new thing. Do you 100% need the item, or could you use something else?”

“Can you borrow the thing from someone? Can you get the thing on Buy Nothing Facebook groups or secondhand stores? And so on. It doesn’t make them wasteful to not want drawers of items they may or may not ever use.”

7. Minimalism Makes Death Easier on Loved Ones

Top view female housewife organizing bathroom amenities and toiletries in open drawer under sink
Image Credit: Dalivl@yandex.ru and
Depositphotos

“The aspect I like about it is not leaving a mess for the next generation. Anyone who has ever cleaned out the home of a deceased loved one knows how difficult a process this is (physically and emotionally). Having less stuff makes it easier,” a final person commented.

So, what is it that makes you operate. Do you think like a minimalist or an anti-consumer? There’s no wrong answer. We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of surprising anti-consumer beliefs about minimalism. This post was inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Practigal Blog. We love minimalism here. 

More From Practigal Blog: Simple Living: Minimalism in Disguise

simple living
Image Credit: Milkos and Depositphotos

Simple living, or minimalism, is my new lifestyle. It has always been alluring, but it didn’t take hold of me until a couple of years ago. Until then, I was constantly feeling stressed, and I didn’t know why. I didn’t do as much as so-and-so, so I didn’t think I had the right to be as overwhelmed as I felt.

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Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer and a regular contributor to MSN Start, the Associated Press Wire, and Blox Digital. She’s on a mission to teach people how to do, make, and live MORE. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.