British Manufacturing

British Manufacturing
British Manufacturing

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Will our behaviour change once it is over?

Before March 2020, the UK economy depended on our passion for spending, buying things and experiences. Could this change, and, if it does, what would be the impact?
Retail was suffering in any event, but will we have kicked our addiction? Zoe Wood asks someone good questions in her piece in the Guardian. 
There is then the evening economy. Can it possibly survive with social distancing? After all, what is the point of a young person going out if they can't be physically near to another? What is the point of spending money on fashionable clothes, if there is no one to see them?
I see it as a sort of money go round. We spend some of our money on essentials; the proportion with depend on income and dependents. The remainder, to the extent there is any, can be spent on things and experiences. Those who sell or provide these, then earn and so the money goes round again. It is an economy that consumes relatively little in the way of raw material; the thing that is bought is mainly added perceived value - so the fashion designer, the marketeer, the shop designer and fitter
The raw material may make up a small proportion of the item, but it is significant in two particular ways. How it is produced: so cotton, often seen as the good guy compared to artificial fibre, demands some 1800 gallons of water for just one pair of jeans, and in a world short of water this is unsustainable. The other part of production is labour, and there are endless accounts of workers being paid derisory wages and having appalling working conditions. 
Change may be happening. The leader in the Guardian of 8 May 2021 speaks of a move to enjoy second hand clothes. 
Britain's industrial revolution was built to a great extent on cotton; can second hand clothes be a part of a second revolution?



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