What are companies' impact on the social and environmental issue of Overconsumption?
The overconsumption of resources at a faster rate than the system’s capacity to replenish them depletes natural resources and increases environmental damage. Excessive consumption worsens climate change and increases pollution while contributing to over 90% biodiversity loss and water stress. Overconsumption is also detrimental to consumers’ health.
Consumerist tendencies, fueled by over-present and targeted advertisement, have been linked to “lower levels of personal well-being”, depression, and anxiety, as well as the loss of social fabric. Research shows advertising “goes as far as lodging itself in the brain, rewiring it by forming physical structures and causing permanent change”, going as far as to influence behavior.
At Impaakt, we delve into the impact of overconsumption driven by the following industries: “Apparel, Accessories & Footwear'', and “Advertising & Marketing''. It is important to recognize that many companies operating in these industries profit from overconsumption by employing marketing strategies that encourage it. For instance, the fashion industry frequently pushes consumers to buy new clothes, accessories, cosmetics, etc., to keep up with the current trends.
Further, fast fashion brands make cheap, fast-produced clothing of lower quality and longevity, meaning the customer will soon get rid of them, only to repurchase quickly. Advertising companies also play a significant role in overconsumption. Companies spend large amounts of money on advertising, encouraging repetitive consumption, increased visits to the shop, and impulse buying. Some of the big spenders are the same ones benefiting the most from overconsumption. Advertisers manipulate consumers to purchase more by tapping into emotions like fear, desire to fit in, passing off products as new and inventive, and leaning on people's aspirations.
The main impacts include
- Unnecessary expenses
- Social and psychological damage
- Waste Pollution and GHG emissions
- Predatory material sourcing, and depletion of natural resources