Most of the literature on the voluntary simplicity (VS) lifestyle has come from the popular press and environmental activists, who tend to take a rather philosophical and moralistic stance. Although several academics have discussed the concept, it has had little mention in the marketing literature. Recently, a detailed commentary has considered the VS lifestyle from a social-science perspective. Although this lifestyle type has been gaining attention, the literature reveals there is no clear understanding of this way of life. Different authors have different opinions about what should be at the essence of what constitutes VS lifestyle behavior. Our research seeks to address this problem by gaining a fuller understanding of voluntary simplifiers in relation to nonvoluntary simplifiers. Thus, this article reports on a study of 53 one-hour interviews that contrasts and compares these two groups. From the findings, it was revealed that there are indeed certain differences across groups that could be of particular interest to marketers and academics. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.