Back to Basics: Sustainable Consumption and the Economy of the Future

Some major retailers are forecasting lower sales projections for this year. From budget-focused businesses like Walmart to higher income marketers like Macy’s and Nordstroms, retailers are reporting that customers are spending only on the essentials. These lowered sales projections are blamed on several factors: continuing high unemployment, low-wage paying jobs, part-time work, and an increased payroll tax. Is there another message in this news? Could some shoppers be going back to basics after years of binge buying, through a combination of necessity and choice? This moment could an opportunity to consider sustainable consumption as an asset to shape the economy of the future. A smarter, more sustainable consumerism should open a path to sustainable profits, one based on fundamentals and need rather than too-easy credit and conspicuous consumption.

John Howell, Editorial Director