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Currently Browsing: Clothing

The ‘green tech’ future is a flawed vision of sustainability

Below is my new article published in The Conversation today, co-authored with Josh Floyd. The original article can be viewed here. What does your vision of a sustainable future look like? Some people imagine a scenario whereby technology solves the world’s most pressing environmental problems. In this world we all drive electric cars and have solar panels on our roofs that power our air conditioners and... read more

Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it

Yesterday my article “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually like it” was published in The Conversation. I’ve reposted it below: What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This... read more

Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a creative work of fiction – a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ – in which I bring to life a simple living community that became isolated on a small island after the collapse of industrial civilisation. Looking back from the future, I describe the economy, culture, and politics of the... read more

My Post-Electric Washing Machine: The Deindustrial 2020

Introducing my post-electric washing machine, which I call the Deindustrial 2020. It’s of the future, not the past – although it does look rather like the old-style, Medieval 1450. It was made for only $2. As you should be able to see from the picture, the Deindustrial 2020 is made up of two hi-tech elements, a black plastic tub (which I salvaged from the side of the road), and an old crutch (which I... read more

The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down

Below I’ve posted the introduction to my new essay, “The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down.” This essay, which I feel is the clearest expression of my views, summarises the critique of growth economics and then describes in some detail what I consider to be the most promising alternative model – ‘a sufficiency economy.’ The full essay can be read... read more

Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class: Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’

Below I have posted my new Simplicity Institute Report, “Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class: Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption.'” The report has also been published with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and the PDF is available here. 1. Introduction How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen – deal... read more

Just Enough is Plenty: Thoreau’s Alternative Economics (Audio Lecture and E-Book)

I’ve recently started teaching a Masters of Environment course called, “Consumerism and Sustainability,” through the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. Last night I was privileged enough to deliver a lecture on Thoreau, and I have attached an audio file of part of that lecture if anyone would like to have a listen. I have also attached an e-book called ‘Just... read more

Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture

Continuing the July series of publications, this post consists of an essay called “The Voluntary Simplicity Movement: Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture,’ which is soon to be published in the peer-reviewed, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. This essay, which is based on a collection of earlier posts on this website, is... read more

Clothing, High Fashion, and Voluntary Simplicity’s Alternative Aesthetic

The historic purpose of clothing, as Henry Thoreau pointed out, was to keep us warm and, in time, for reasons of modesty. Today its dominant purpose seems to be fashion and the conspicuous display of wealth and status. People can, of course, spend thousands and thousands of dollars on clothing, if they wish. But simple livers tend to ‘dress down,’ wearing functional, often second-hand clothing.[1] Such... read more
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