As mentioned in 10 Youth Trends 2023, 67% of Brits aged 16 - 34 would like to live in a socialist economic system, while 75% agree that climate change and the British housing crisis is the fault of capitalism and 72% support the re-nationalisation of energy, water and public transport (IEA, 2021). In the same year, 50% of Americans aged 18-29 believed the existence of billionaires is bad, versus only 19% of those over 50 (Statista, 2021).
In our 2023 Look Ahead, we explored the question Is Consumerism Dead? Climate-conscious sportswear brand Patagonia played into the movement by giving the firm away to nature, while other services aim to abolish ownership, such as UK-based service Library of Things and fashion rental platform Loanhood.
Anti-capitalist discourse is infiltrating publishing with books like American politician Bernie Sanders and journalist John Nichols’ It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s The Climate Book (2022), British author Martin Wolf’s The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism and Canadian historian Quinn Slobodian’s Crack-Up Capitalism. Within pop culture, the Eat the Rich trend is visible through popular HBO shows The White Lotus and Succession and 2022 film The Menu that critique the overwhelming power of wealth and resulting toxic class differences.
To respond to evolving consumer attitudes towards consumerism, consider this trend as an evolution of values-based branding. We’ve traced this shift since our 2016 Macro Trend The Currency of Dissent, showing the longevity of these growing anti-establishment beliefs.
For more on anti-consumerism, see episode 108 of our podcast Future Thinking.