Less is more: the sustainable potential of minimalist families

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Minimalism is an increasingly popular lifestyle movement in western economies that involves limiting one’s possessions to a bare minimum. Despite the rising popularity of the minimalist movement, and its sustainable potential, literature specifically pertaining to minimalism is currently still emerging, and literature regarding minimalist parenting and children is in its infancy. This chapter considers how children’s objects (particularly babies’ and toddlers’ objects) provide a challenge to minimalism, and a wider sustainability agenda, due to the inherently transitory nature of children’s things, where items can be quickly out-grown or go out of fashion. It explores the need to consider any sustainable potential of minimalist parents and how the practices of non-consumption may be applied to children objects - as minimalist practices of reduced consumption potentially offers an effective sustainable solution to the generation of new children’s objects (and subsequent waste), by avoiding the throughput of objects in the first place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Ethical Consumption
EditorsMarylyn Carrigan, Victoria Wells, Karolos Papadas
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781802202021
ISBN (Print)9781802202014
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2023


  • Minimalism
  • sustainable consumption
  • children's consumption
  • toys


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