This week, thousands of people will converge on McCormick Place in Chicago for the annual International Home and Housewares Show where they will see all the latest innovations in home appliances and trends in home fashion. While the show is not open to the public, the housewares will soon show up in stores–which means they will show up in ads and sale papers and ultimately your house. (At least that’s what the 2,000+ exhibitors at the show are hoping.)
In 2014, Americans spent $47 billion on small appliances, non-electric housewares and home fashions (Source: the NPD Group), a 1% increase from 2013. For the second year, blenders trended up significantly. And most people do not purchase new items because their old appliances no longer work, but to upgrade to something they perceive as “better”.
Imagine what we could do if we opted to keep our old, perfectly functional, toasters and blenders for one more year. Imagine if we chose to spend 10% less ($4.7 billion) on kitchen gadgets to make sure others have a kitchen.