By Lieu Thi Pham | November 28, 2012
MELBOURNE — Last month, two Australians moved into a pre-fabricated, architecturally designed, sustainably built apartment craned onto Melbourne’s Federation Square, dressed in nothing but their underwear and bathrobes.
Meet the New Joneses — a social experiment in new consumption.
For five days the couple, Millie and Adam, were asked to buy nothing new. They had to borrow, swap, rent, and source everything they needed — second hand.
Conceived by Tamara DiMattina, a Melbourne public relations professional, the aim of the New Joneses was to get people thinking about wasteful consumption. Though short-lived, the campaign gained widespread exposure in local, national and global media.
The New Joneses is a product of DiMattina’s bigger Buy Nothing New Month (BNNM) initiative — an annual campaign which asks people to pledge via the website to buy nothing new in October, challenging them to buy only second hand, fix, reuse, recycle, swap, and share or rent necessities.
Phi Beta Iota: Imagine the impact if businesses took “nothing new” as a given, and accepted responsibility for leasing everything, cradle to grave. The unemployment rate in the USA is actually 22.4% using all relevant measures. Middle class citizens have begun to discover thrift stores (in the Washington DC area UNIQUE is the best). A change in consciousness is occuring, far beyond the 50 million Cultural Creatives, approaching a new 100 million Independents and moderates. We need to stop doing the wrong things righter and start doing the right things. That includes the elimination of corruption and waste.