Expats in Vietnam favour ethical consumption as a lifestyle

Published:  19 Feb at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia
As Vietnam’s economy continues to grow, expats in the country are rejecting the trend towards conspicuous consumption.

After having been asked to comment on the rise of consumerism in Vietnam, a majority of expats responded they were focusing more on admiring things of beauty rather than striving to own them. Others said they were more than happy to shop at the wet markets, buying produce from the growers themselves rather than from impersonal, large supermarket conglomerates where everything looks the same. One mentioned that smart consumerism means buying ethically, both from labour and environmental perspectives, adding that supermarket goods might well be the products of child labour and a lack of respect for the environment.

Another pointed out that, some years ago, the majority of foodstuffs purchased in Hanoi were simply wrapped in leaves rather than being covered by cling wrap and presented in a plastic bag. Several expat respondents said consumerism is now out of hand across the world but even more so in Vietnam, suggesting consumer education is necessary in order for buyers to make better choices. Another comment received from a number of respondents stated the acquisition of ‘things’ is all important nowadays but is not the answer.

One Australian expat said she tries hard to live a minimalist lifestyle and is also a vegan as she’s determined to reduce her use of food industry products. She reuses and recycles as much as is possible, avoiding buying new items until it’s really necessary. Rather than walking around a mall in her spare time, she walks in a nearby forested area, saying it’s far more relaxing and keeps her in touch with the real world. She’s also very aware of how the consequences of consumerism affect the poorer populations in rural areas.
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