Yes, it is ethical to consume, because it is okay to like good things. There is nothing unethical about liking a lot of things, as long as the person also helps others and also supports charities. Consumerism has other problems, like hoarding and clutter, but by itself, there is nothing wrong with buying nice things.
Consumerism is ethical because everyone must consume something in order for us to stay afloat economically. The point that others are trying to say is also true, that in today's society, people typically consume too much. The key is to remember that everything is good in moderation. With this being said, we must live within our means and not overspend. When consumers overspend, the economy only gets worse. Overall, many people do tend to stay within their limits. There will always be people who go to the extremes and overspend and that is what makes people think of consumerism being unethical. They are thinking of the people who go above and beyond their means to live in luxury.
In order to survive, we all have to be consumers. Consumers drive the economy, whether it's through purchasing food, cars, or fancy electronics, and without consumerism, others may not be able to afford basic needs such as food and shelter. However, consumers need to be careful not to consume simply for the sake of consuming and live beyond their means while exploiting others' resources.
Not all consumption is ethical, but consumerism can be ethical. Consumption can be done ethically if the consumer is conscious of motivations as well as the source of the item being consumed. Is it a fair trade product? Is it environmentally sound? Am I consuming because I really need this product or am I just having fun shopping and happen to be able to afford it?
I don't think anyone could really make the argument that consumerism is unethical. Is it sometimes not the best thing to watch, when people trample each other on Black Friday? Sure. But the truth of the matter is, consumerism is simply people buying what they want, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Most of the people in the northern hemisphere have it good-constant food on the table, enough money to support yourself and family, etc. But other people around the world do not have these luxuries. They sleep in the open , cannot provide for theselves at all and die by the thousands. All this money we spend on the latest phone or tv could be spent helping these people. And what? We spend $300 0n a phone that has 4 more GB than the previous one? A 0.1% increase in processing speed? The point is, all this money that goes to waste could save human lives. And one of them could be the next Einstein, cure major diseases, save the Earth. Are you really going to let thousands of people you could have helped die because you want a better iPhone? Consumerism has become such that we mindlessly go about our daily tasks, numbed to the rest of the world and their pain. So the next time you want to buy a phone, remember, you can use that money to save lives.
Consumerism in moderation is not bad, Like many things in the universe it can be ethical, but when factored in with human greed and its often self revolving mentality its an extremely dangerous ideal. Consumerism mentality has spread from the west to the whole rest of the world and with it has brought corruption to both the masses as well as the planet. It produces a desire to want what one often cannot afford and puts one into the revolving system of "Do what you must (most times a single minded and wrongfully taught education) to be able to get a good job, work in this job to be able to afford the luxuries of consumerism, spend the money you make on furthering the luxury standard of your lives." Meanwhile the work and learning stifles creativity in most cases, creating drones out of humans and harming their physical and mental health. All of these conditions providing a perfect breeding ground for corruption; The need for an education for a job allows for people to be taken advantage of by the education systems, colleges charging outrageous prices that most of which do not go towards your education or school, the colleges themselves becoming businesses with advertisements found everywhere that your subliminal mind picks up on and then sways towards. I have been to college campuses where you'd see Pepsi advertisements on the walls, sewer grates, light poles and so on. This then leads to the workplace, most often a location and job that puts you into a certain routine and environment that stifles creativity, does not give openings for one question everything around them and eventually goes so far as to becoming a program inside of the brain through the constant routine to a point where one walks through the day in a haze, not even needing to look up and see where they are going. Through such things mental health begins to wear down and "illness" of the mind and even the body arise. This leading into man created medications and remedies that are often merely just a form of sedating the problem and not fixing it; done so because those companies make far more money in the long run having you need a consistent supply of their medical product rather then curing it. Pills for Depression are handed out like candy instead of the problems being fixed at the root. Through this rise in wealth to these companies comes corruption in the political process, representatives of the people being payed off to pander towards whats best for the companies that finance them under the table rather then what their people truly need; an entire documentary has been produced on this called "The Revolving Door". All of this breeds from consumerism, and that is not even touching upon the drastic effects that consumerism is having on the environment or the human conscious as well as the advancement of certain sciences.
While we are a country of consumers, and of generally ethical people, I think that the level of consumerism that we have hit in recent years has trended into the area of being unethical. We are a nation of people who trample others on Black Friday, and that is wrong.