'Waste Not, Want Not' at the Museum of Brands
A timely exhibition, 'Waste Not, Want Not' at the Museum of Brands, offers wartime hints on beating the credit crunch, or as they put it, 'tips to beat the recession and the destruction of the environment'
We can learn a lot in these credit crunched times from wartime sustainability advice issued by the government to ensure everyone on the Home Front was reining in unnecessary consumption. Throughout WWII rationing was crucial, as resources were scarce, imported goods were the target of sabotage and the danger of being starved into defeat was very real. These days sustainability chimes with environmentally conscious concerns, and conspicuous consumption is definitely out for the spiralling numbers of people directly affected by the recession. ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ at the Museum of Brands exhibits 300 items which were a part of everyday wartime life: advisory leaflets, propaganda posters, adverts and specially packaged branded goods.
The exhibition wasn’t planned as a response to the credit crunch. ‘It is really about sustainability rather than economic downturn,’ explains museum manager Anna Mellows. ‘However, being more sustainable with packaging, both as suppliers and as consumers, has clear economic benefits, so for us to tackle this subject now is certainly timely. The difference between now and then is that in the ’40s there was a collective effort to save the country money to help the war effort, now we’re trying to save individually, but collectively trying to reduce the carbon footprint for this country.’
‘Waste Not, Want Not’ runs Jan 22-Nov 28 at Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, 2 Colville Mews, Lonsdale Rd, W11 (7908 0880). £5.80, concs £3.50, children (7-16) £2, family ticket £14.
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