I recently learned that Forever 21 — one of the largest retail stores near my old home — permanently closed during covid-19.
It wasn’t a surprise.
That Forever 21 had crushing rent. In the millions from what I recall.
Many large brands face the same insolvency now crippling J. Crew and Neiman Marcus.
Covid-19 completely ruptured retail — especially retail that depended on mass production and consumption. There were huge investments to rent, production, and labor.
And now that’s majorly halted.
Besides my umbrella, i’ve spent little on clothing since lockdown.
Part of the reason is financial. But really, any small attempt i’ve made to purchase has been met with delay and frustration. Mail service is worse than usual.
But it’s also clicked that I didn’t urgently need things like that scarf, after all.
Solitary living can help narrow our focus. What do I really need? Not much.
And not just clothing.
We can grow our own vegetables, install our own decor, sew pajamas for relatives. Creatively living can blossom.
Maybe after covid-19, despite our materially blind culture, we will begin to see.
By habit, we can begin to appreciate self-sufficiency, re-think labor, and invest in quality when we do need to buy something.
Yes, my views may sound manichean. Maybe too optimistic.
But I hope covid will dissemble our long-failing economic and environmental structures. It’s up to us to realize.
Then can we move forward.