Consumerism and Planned Obsolescence

Jan 4, 2018 | 0 comments

Jan 4, 2018 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments

Consumerism and planned obsolescence

Consumerism is an idea described as a process by which consumers tend to purchase goods or services in an increasing way in terms of consumption and most cases on luxuries products. As suggested by Espejo (2010) consumers develop the continuous spending spree on goods and services over a period. In a case scenario, when one spends his or her entire monthly salary in purchasing new and modern clothes and foot wares. That change of wardrobe is not necessary, and priority but one still affords to have the clothes and foot wares. Consumerism, therefore occurs when such a person would spend the entire salary on changing his or her wardrobe.

The planned obsolescence, on the other hand, means designing a product for consumers that will become obsolete after a set period such that it becomes unwanted in the market. According to Woolf (2004) the process of planning enables the product attract enormous sales and high returns within the set period. The role played by planned obsolescence in consumerism is mainly to increase sales volume of a product within a period and to avoid further investments on research and development of the same product. Moreover, the opportunity cost of engaging in planned obsolescence outweighs the cost incurred in renovations and re-designing of the product (Fitzpatrick, 2011).

For instance, when the software application programme is developed as a product ready for market launch, it captures a design with a period let’s say annually then it collapses and expires from use. It is programmed that with time it becomes obsolete. Such is a scenario how planned obsolescence can be incorporated into a design and is referred to as programmed obsolescence.



Espejo, R. (2010). Consumerism. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press

Fitzpatrick, K. (2011). Planned obsolescence: Publishing, technology, and the future of the academy. New York: New York University Press

Woolf, A. (2004). Consumerism. North Mankato, Minn: Chrysalis Education