Sat in the winter gloom, the rain pounding on the windows of my house in north west London and locked down for another week, I can't help my mind from drifting to when "normal" will return again. Able to meet for a coffee, browse in a shop, party the night away. There will be a time when this will all become a distant memory and part of the history books.
But I can't also help but wonder what that future will look like. What will our shopping habits be like? Has Covid accelerated its future? For someone with an online store which is producing a line of ethical, sustainable silk accessories, it would be strange not to be pondering such questions.
CHANGING TO SUSTAINIBILITY
Having watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix, I am wary of not exaggerating the news feeds that come my way on social media. From the people I follow and the stories that interest me, is there a real push from consumers to move away from cheap, throwaway items or is it just the diet I am being fed?
There is proof, though. According to a survey in 2020 from the Capgemini Research Institute’s report, Consumer Products and Retail: How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences, sustainability concerns are now influencing consumer behavior among more than half the population.
So, it seems like more and more people want to know where their products come from and what impact they make. That's one of the reasons why we believe in Silx so much.
SELFRIDGES PROJECT EARTH
During the autumn, when shops were open (remember that?), I went to Selfridges. It's a store I have visited a lot over the years, more often than not just to browse and marvel at some of the items that often feel unattainable. But I went with a purpose back in October. To visit Project Earth.
For those that don't know, Project Earth was launched in August 2020, the store's five year sustainability plan. Anne Pitcher is the managing director of Selfridges. Pitcher's pitch is this; "I think the pandemic has changed everybody's thinking forever. People will care not only about how you do business, but how you place people and planet at the heart of your thinking".
Selfridges has introduced clothing rental (Rent Your Wardrobe), a second hand fashion shop (Resellfridges), beauty pack recycling and a "concierge" to help organise product repairs.
I loved exploring the areas. From upcycled bags, trainers and clothes to vegan and cruelty free beauty products. You could kit yourself, your wardrobe and your bathroom out, knowing the products and the materials will have low impact on the environment. In our next blog, we'll be getting an inside view from one of the owners whose brand features in the store's Project Earth. Watch out for that!
SWEDEN'S RECYCYLING SHOPPING CENTRE
In Sweden, they've gone a step further and they've been at it a while. Since 2015, a recycling shopping centre (ReTuna) has been open near Stockholm. It's cleverly located next to the city's recycling centre, so there's no shortage of goodies for them to pick from.
With people dropping off damaged items like clothes, electronics, furniture and bikes, they're repaired or upcycled and sold again. There's also new goods and products to buy which are all sustainable and the food court dishes up organic and eco friendly meals.
Maybe one day soon, if you're in Stockholm or Oxford Street, you'll be able to buy your Silx organic silk accessories there! For now, you'll just have to stay online!