Voluntary Simplicity and the Ethics of Consumption

Deirdre Shaw and Terry Newholm
Publication Date: 
: The increased levels of consumption that have accompanied our consumer-oriented culture have also given rise to some consumers questioning their individual consumption choices, with many opting for greater consumption simplicity. This link between consideration of actual consumption levels and consumer choices is evident among a group of consumers known as ethical consumers.
Ethical consumers consider a range of ethical issues in their consumer behavioral choices. Particularly prevalent is voluntary simplification due to concerns for the extent and nature of consumption. Through the presentation of findings from two qualitative studies exploring known ethical consumers, the relationship of consumer attitudes to consumption levels, and how these attitudes impact approaches to consumer behavior, are discussed.