Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Throwaway Society

We buy more stuff and throw it away faster than at any point in our history. The House of Lords has criticised the British fashion industry for contributing to a throwaway society. A Science Committee report today attacked 'fast fashion' outlets such as Primark for selling clothes so cheap there is no incentive to repair them.

Similarly buying a basic television has never been so cheap, relatively speaking. In the past, people would call a television repairman to fix the telly if it was broke. Nowadays you would pop down to the high street to buy a new one - which probably doesn't cost more than you're old one did five years before.

"Our attitude to technology has changed from using something until it breaks beyond repair, to constantly replacing it because something cooler is in the market," says Tom Dunmore, editor-in- chief of the gadget magazine Stuff.

Mark Strutt, senior campaigner at Greenpeace, says: "We consume vast amounts of electronic goods and throw them away. Mobile phones are a classic example, where they are more or less designed to be thrown away after a few years. Another prime example is the MP3 player, which does not have a battery that c be changed or recharged."

This thought came whilst taking one of my regular West End trips, as I always leave with something to write about. Although the way things are going Primark will soon have killed the high street. Yes I am saying this now in gest, but I wonder in five years how false that statement will be.

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