Picture of a minimalist room I am delighted to see a change in the way people born at the turn of the century are treating consumption. Coming from India, I was shocked to see consumerism and its effects in the US. My first thanksgiving mall run left an unsavory taste in my mouth. However, I have admit that I gave in to the allure of these shiny nice things myself on a few occasions.

Prateeksha and I recently saw a documentary called “Minimalism” on Netflix. A coming of age story of millennials who wanted to break out of the corporate modeled purchase patterns for individuals and sought to live a simple life. I highly recommend watching it.

As a producteer, I see this trend playing out in few different areas.

  1. People adopting the share rather than buy approach (Uber, Airbnbs of the world)
  2. Changes in the way people in the early part of their career are approaching employment. Turns out over a 3rd of the millennials have a side gig and there’s a lot written about how holding multiple jobs will be the new normal.
  3. Shifting purchase patterns - i.e. users moving away from items to experiences. Travel sites provide the best examples here.
  4. Micro homes instead of multi room mansions. I know lots of folks who optimize for proximity, decluttering, contemporary living over traditional ideas of homes.
  5. Simplifying decision making by cutting down on the numbers of decisions one has to take. This involves restricting clothing to a few neutral colors, using virtual assistants in products like Google Home, Nest, Smart homes and even uberization of cooking, handy work, filling gas and design.
  6. Larger push towards sustainability and fair trade - be it a push for vegetarianism, or shunning brands utilizing sweat shop labor.

In response to my somewhat cynical worldview about population growth, a friend of mine had once said, “more number of people means there are more smart people to solve problems of overconsumption, climate change, resource conservation etc”. I’m optimistic about that statement and also confident about changes such as this in looking to a sustainable future.