Shops Reopening

This week marks the reopening of non-essential shops in the UK

Long queues were reported in the most popular retailers, and most media posted images and videos of Primark. Maybe it was where the queues were the longest, but it’s still free advertising for a retailer that is definitely not sustainable.

Consumers seem to be oblivious to reported documentaries about this retailer and other popular hight street brands, proving their ruthless exploitation of people and the environment.

Yes, this extends to subcontractors of even luxury brands, but does not apply to all brands, therefore shouldn’t be used as an excuse to keep shopping there. If in doubt, check Good on You, which attributes ratings to thousands of brands according to their sustainability.

Information was shared on social media, identifying brands that cancelled orders after the pandemic, leaving workers who usually produce their merchandise entirely unsupported, but this doesn’t seem to have an impact on consumers either.

Yes, it’s good for the economy to have long queues of people shopping again but there are negative implications too. In Bicester Village, there was a complete lack of respect for social distancing and most people were not even wearing face masks.

Do these people know about the new coronavirus outbreak in China? This pandemic could be an eye opener about how we choose to live. What happens in a country far removed from our own has implications to our lives and we should care about it.

There’s no mention of luxury brands in the media, but nowadays with an increasingly personal shopping service, this does not mean people are not buying from them. It would be great to know sales figures.

In China, the first Saturday after lockdown registered record sales in the luxury sector. Boutiques are far more spacious and general cleaning standards are much higher than the high street.

Not many people can afford luxury brands, but it’s important to remember it's possible to rent them, if you need to look the part for a job interview. It’s very likely more and more people will be job hunting again soon.

Reuters says “the number of people on British company payrolls fell by more than 600,000 in April and May as the coronavirus lockdown hit the labour market, and vacancies plunged by the most on record.”

Maybe Primark is what most people can afford right now, but do they really need to buy new clothes? Couldn’t they buy secondhand from a charity shop instead? Or from a sustainable brand?

If each of us tries to change our behaviour it could have a huge impact in the world. Think of Greta Thunberg. It’s just so heartbreaking to see people rushing to their old way of living!

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