The Unconsumption Project

 Journal Wp-Content Uploads 2011 10 Img 9883

Our friend Rob Walker, author of Buying In and a contributor at Design Observer, has spun off another brilliant branch of the Unconsumption Project:


The Unconsumption project that I co-founded, which is based around a group Unconsumption Tumblr and focuses on mindful consumption and creative reuse, has embarked on a really cool side project that we're calling The Uncollection. On some level it is an experiment in "branding" used stuff -- breathing new life into old things with the (snazzy) Unconsumption logo. We're not selling anything, of course (Unconsumption is a strictly volunteer effort) -- it's a "brand" with no products.

Basically Clifton Burt designed the logo, and we put it under a Creative Commons license that allows others to use it. And we've invited a series of very cool crafter/artists to do just that -- and to offer how-tos as well. Tiffany Threadgould, Diane Gilleland, and Betsy Greer are among the participants so far, and most recently Garth Johnson (Extreme Craft) did a rather astonishing project that put our logo onto some secondhand art deco plates. The Uncollection so far is here.

There's more to come, but meanwhile I am now officially trying to drum up attention, because we want people to submit their own Uncon logo (re-)uses to our Facebook page.

The Uncollection


  1. Cute logo, but look at those plates.  If you saw one of those, without knowing the significance of the logo, wouldn’t you assume the cart was supposed to be right-side up?

  2. “Unconsumption” is not non-consumption. Instead of consuming cheap new crockery, you are consuming expensive new art supplies.

  3.  Rebranding already branded things in the name of consuming less?  Sure, why not. 

    But does it seem a little tacky?  Like a video screen cap from a news program that’s already watermarked with the local station, then re-water marked with the national news program’s logo, then posted on a website that slaps its own logo on, and reposted on a different site that slaps a different logo on…  You end up with an accumulated cruft of branding that obscures the original image, diminishing its usefulness.

    In the case of these plates, they’ve rebranded them directly on the eating surface, where the new logo is likely to chip off or leak toxins into your food.  Again, the excessive re-branding diminishes the object’s usefulness. 

    Why not un-brand things instead, in the name of unconsumption?  Sandblast off all the brand cruft and resell?

    1. Why not just buy used stuff from charitable organizations and/or destitute people’s yard sales, and not give a crap what brand it is? Or, if the brand is such an irritant, yeah, scrape it off? In any case, why resell it again?

      1. Oops, I guess I didn’t read the original post very carefully.  For some reason I’d got it in my head that they were reselling these.  :P

  4. This not-consuming thing has really taken off over the last few years, hasn’t it? They must have tapped into something pretty deep.

Comments are closed.