Have you seen the Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard? a small clip appears in my " target="_blank">Retail Therapy Redux-ion that was shot last February during London Fashion Week. (The tube stop sign to Somerset House and Fashion Week one way or the other way to the British Historical Museum, is real...as too was running into that Maoi or Easter Island statue when I took a wrong turn in that Museum)
For the full "Story" as well as insight into cosmetic toxins, plastic bottles etc. these short illustrated videos explain some complex things that remain hidden under the daily surfaces.
The Waste Makers by Vance Packard or Stuff, the Secret Lives of Everyday Things, are a couple of good books that examine what and why we consume "Mass Quantities" and some basic resource use/abuse issues.