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Author: Alison Hulme

This book surveys ‘thrift’ through its moral, religious, ethical, political, spiritual and philosophical expressions, focusing in on key moments such as the early Puritans and postwar rationing, and key characters such as Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Henry Thoreau. The relationships between thrift and frugality, mindfulness, sustainability and alternative consumption practices are explained, and connections made between myriad conceptions of thrift and contemporary concerns for how consumer cultures impact scarce resources, wealth distribution and the Anthropocene. Ultimately, the book returns the reader to an understanding of thrift as it was originally used – to ‘thrive’ – and attempts to re-cast thrift in more collective, economically egalitarian terms, reclaiming it as a genuinely resistant practice. Students, scholars and general readers across all disciplines and interest areas will find much of interest in this book, which provides a multi-disciplinary look at a highly topical concept.

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Frugality, de-growth and Voluntary Simplicity
Alison Hulme

92 7 Ecological thrift: frugality, de-​growth and Voluntary Simplicity Thrift as a tool for de-​growth Discourses around frugality and the environment are by no means new, and voices from across academic disciplines call for thrift from a broadly ecological standpoint, and have done for many decades. Several well-​researched and bestselling reports on the threatened state of the global environment saw public awareness grow from the 1970s onwards. Key amongst these was Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth report (1972

in A brief history of thrift
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Thoreau in the city
Alison Hulme

the end of thrift. However, we may also be living between dominant forms of thrift … we too may be on the verge of a new hegemonic form of the thrift ethos’ (2011:9). Recent discourses on de-​growth and their interaction with certain thinking on post-​development is testament to this. In addition, such thinking is not simply zeitgeist rhetoric without historical foundation –​it has its own history. Furthermore, this history cannot fail to assert the presence of reciprocal humans. The charting of this history requires a proper in-​depth philosophical analysis of the

in A brief history of thrift
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Alison Hulme

of de-​growth as a practical and philosophical stance for tackling this challenge. The conclusion seeks to place thrift once again at the forefront of history and posit it as a genuinely resistant practice that seeks to question the logic behind much of the way society, certainly in the developed world, is run.

in A brief history of thrift
Alison Hulme

post-​ development and de-​growth, which will be explored in more depth in the final chapter in the context of ecological imperative. For now, suffice to say that both de-​growth and post-​development are concerned with removing themselves completely from the logic of growth as necessity and of any imagination of a linear trajectory from ‘developing’ or ‘underdeveloped’ to ‘developed’. As 13 Towards a theory of thrift 13 Demaria and Kothari rightly insist, ‘these worldviews are not a novelty of the twenty-​first century, but they are rather part of a long search

in A brief history of thrift