Death of Retail & Naked Ladies

Short post this morning on the deaths of many retail stores recently in the U.S. First, I really feel for the people who are losing their jobs, and in many cases, their retail businesses. This is painful and scary for them, and I wish stability for all the people affected.

In the bigger picture, the retail industry has simply got to get smaller. It (with help from all of us) consumes way too much of the earth’s limited resources. We in the U.S. are 4% of the earth’s population, consuming 25% of what the earth has to offer. And the research by Juliet Schor and many others is clear that added layers of consumption after our normal needs are met brings very little additional happiness.

That said, I’m keenly aware we have to consume things in order to live. And I admit I struggle with my own addiction to used — isn’t the euphemism ‘pre-worn’– clothes (see Unclothing the Horse and Juliet Schor). I played this out with more fun than usual yesterday when I bicycled to a Naked Lady Party. We all brought clothes we no longer needed, tried things on and brought new-to-us outfits home. I’m wearing one now, it’s beautiful. My point is that we need economic transformation, including an emphasis on community and sharing resources. We don’t need a return to how the retail industry used to be.

And to cover my biggest retail experience of this or any decade, I’ll write later this week about the new car Thor and I are actually buying and bringing home, after all our extended debate. (Want to purchase a pre-used 1993 Nissan Sentra)

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