We – design journalists Ingrid Sommar and Susanne Helgeson – have written the book Köp dig fri!, published in February 2012. A translation would be Buy yourself free! with the subtitle On design, survival and consumption. But since the book doesn’t exist in English (yet … ) we’ll be using mainly the Swedish title here. In the blog we’re following up on the themes of the book. A short presentation:
Objects are important – they play a role in all our lives, both for the sake of fairness in the world and for our ability to live in it for the long term. We should not – and cannot – stop making and buying things. But it is high time that we began caring about the difference between good objects, whose production and qualities we can stand behind, and bad objects that are just rubbish.
Old and once-excellent slogans like “beauty for all” and “wear out and throw away” have been transformed into dreadful mottos like “incredibly cheap” and “buy and toss out”. We need new and functioning concepts about what good consumption and good design might consist of in today’s global world. And we need them now.
Such a change is not primarily a matter of shopping less, following a specific stylistic ideal, or manufacturing everything in our home countries. Rather, it is about ethics, transparency and debate. And that we must once again start to demand and value quality. Buying ourselves free does not mean escaping responsibility but rather the exact opposite. It means being prepared to pay the full price for ethically fair consumption.
Translation: Fenela Childs