The christian consumer
The rise of TOMS Shoes is perhaps the clearest sign of consumerism’s unimpedable progress. The company, which sends one pair of shoes to disadvantaged children for every pair of shoes it sells, has perfected the potent combination of social welfare and brand identity. But since at least the rise of the fair trade movement in the late 1960s, consumers have been repeatedly reminded of the moral dimensions of their purchases. At its best, TOMS attempts to engender ethical deliberation within the dominant consumerist mentality of our day. Yet in The Christian Consumer: Living Faithfully In A Fragile World, Laura Hartman sets out in a different direction. In attempting to articulate an “alternate ethos to that of consumerism,” she seeks to hold on to the moral questions of consumption without reducing our purchasing decisions to “styling the self,” which invariably happens in a consumerist ethos.