This chapter aims to elaborate and, to some extent, to motivate and to justify the central analytical construct that informs my work on consumption. The approach is bound to what is termed systems of provision. But what is a system of provision? An elementary definition is that it is the inclusive chain of activity that attaches consumption to the production that makes it possible. The notion is worryingly familiar in common parlance as reference is readily made to the food system, the housing system, the transport system and, interestingly, the fashion system. The last, usually but not exclusively, is associated with some, but not all, clothing but depends for its name more upon the culture of consumption than upon the object consumed. From our perspective, have these simple understandings of consumption as a system more or less accidentally grasped a deeper analytical content? If so, why, how and what?