The past few months have been a time to re-evaluate his life. They not only work at home, but also at home and their bodies, tidying up, getting fit and tidying up everything. They have tips on how to structure our days as we marry our souls.
But that year wasn’t like that for me. The large pile of clothes and shoes in the corner of my room remains unsorted. These are things that I cannot live for and I cannot live without. Marie Condo asks if an object brings joy. My answer is whether the object provokes a story. An old dress can evoke memories of returning the favor, even knowing you may never wear it again. How can you throw away a shoe you can’t fit into, but that’s not just heels, but a golden ticket to a world you want to visit again one day? Deed and treasure.
There is madness that clearly underlies all this. Seriously, when will I wear heels again? Do I even want a highly respected person in a bathrobe in the corner shop. An advertisement pops up on my screen for something called a homemade dress – before you get to underwear. I don’t have a terrace so everything looks fine, like Palm Springs. This is a big, wide dress that we usually call a muumuus or a kaftan or even a beach blanket. Here they are, they condone weight gain and are a little more casual than pajamas.
In this crisis, everything I “put on myself – I don’t care what anyone else thought” turned out to be a scam. It turns out that people who dress themselves don’t bother with dressing at all. How many coworkers just get annoyed with Zooming up and down for the rest of the day?
All this caused a fashion crisis, or rather the retail sector. Fast fashion seems increasingly unsustainable as the “stuff” changes every three months. It’s not that people have forgotten the pleasures of dressing in our recession, so many “fashions” – especially for young people – seem bolder and irresistible even when turned down at a low price.
Oxfam’s September Second Hand was just getting started. We want us to commit to buying used goods within 30 days. “Every week 13 million items of clothing end up in landfills in the UK,” he said. When I finally tidied up my room, it was 14m away.
I love this campaign because it really breaks the madness. They say we can look great in old things. We don’t need to update our clothes and looks endlessly. The consumer’s logic says the opposite: You can never have enough. If you buy one more item, all the better.
The pandemic changed all that, but politicians don’t seem to understand how much the consumption cycle has changed. There’s no point telling yourself to go back to the sandwich chain or grocery store out of patriotic debt when we find a small business that suits us better. Many of us also find that we don’t need all the things we have thought about.
The shopping shift from shopping to entertainment – “retail therapy” – is one of modern life’s most unfortunate drawbacks. Do people ever look happy in these big malls? Even as a social activity, shopping is completely compartmentalized. We consume to maintain our individuality as if this is our true purpose in life – but it is happening en masse. We are in a completely passive relationship with what we want: clothes, food, or household items.
The gap between what we consume and where and how it is produced has long been established, but it is a small gap during a pandemic. Not in what many see as Puritan environmental lectures, but in recalibrated and reassessed relationships with local, independent, community-based businesses.
If the idea of getting back to normal leads to useless spending rather than tackling more sustainable trends – diversions, home improvements, secondhand shopping, small business support – I don’t want to get back to normal. The main roads of our homogeneous city had to be diverted long before the coronavirus.
The desire to dress will not go away. I predict a new romantic reconstruction in which the creative generation will fall in love with great effort. You don’t need a chance to get dressed; You will be the opportunity. It can sit next to a hug in casual clothes. Maybe we actually wear what we really feel good about, also to work. Radical.
“What consumerism really is, at worst, is getting people to buy things that don’t really improve their lives.” Who said that? A French Marxist in the early 1970’s? No, Jeff Bezos.
What makes your life better is very personal. You can actually find them online. Or you can find it in the pile of clothes at the bottom. If something good has come at this terrible time, it is time. Reconnecting with our material existence, a meaningless pause in consumption. “If it’s hard, it’s hard to shop,” they said. Well that’s not true anymore if ever.
It’s hard to find, if we’re lucky, we actually already have a lot of what we need. We don’t need to add to the pile.