The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism
by Aja Barber
A call to action for consumers everywhere, Consumed asks us to look at how and why we buy what we buy, how it’s created, who it benefits, and how we can solve the problems created by a wasteful system.
We live in a world of stuff. We dispose of most of it in as little as six months after we receive it. The byproducts of our quest to consume are creating an environmental crisis. Aja Barber wants to change this—and you can, too.
In Consumed, Barber calls for change within an industry that regularly overreaches with abandon, creating real imbalances in the environment and the lives of those who do the work—often in unsafe conditions for very low pay—and the billionaires who receive the most profit. A story told in two parts, Barber exposes the endemic injustices in our consumer industries and the uncomfortable history of the textile industry, one which brokered slavery, racism, and today’s wealth inequality. Once the layers are peeled back, Barber invites you to participate in unlearning, to understand the truth behind why we consume in the way that we do, to confront the uncomfortable feeling that we are never quite enough and why we fill that void with consumption rather than compassion. Barber challenges us to challenge the system and our role in it. The less you buy into the consumer culture, the more power you have. Consumed will teach you how to be a citizen and not a consumer.
Paperback | 304 pages | Balance | 2021
Writer and consultant Aja Barber hails from Reston, Virginia, and currently lives in London with her husband and their two cats. Consumed is her debut, a treatise on the intersection of fashion, climate change, and social justice. After publicly announcing that she would not use fast fashion companies to sponsor her social media presence, Aja is now considered to be an expert voice in this space. You can find some of her writing on Instagram, and more of it on Patreon, where readers support her work.