"And The World Held It's Breath" by Julia Henry (Writer / Stylist / Sustainable Fashion Advocate)

And the world held its breath.....
Have we as individuals and consumers learn't anything from our forced go slow during the past two years?


For every great cultural movement there is a time when the anti-movement arises.
As the world turns, and a new decade begins, many of us hope change is in the wind.


During the last decade priorities have been fueled by self absorbed needs, revolving around an insatiable desire to consume. Want it, then you can have it immediately. Instant gratification is the drug of choice. Buzzing from a shopping high, rock bottom hits when the new must-have item of the moment is sold out. You are inconsolable, this item has advertised a promise to temporarily complete your life. That is until the next must-have item is released.... It probably arrives in stores next week.


2020 is the start of a brave new decade, now more than ever before people are searching for a deeper meaning in their life and lifestyle choices. What happens when you get the new must-have item and it stops giving you that false joy? Where do you look for happiness now? What happens if  you don't even desire or need those things anymore....?


During 2020, Covid19 spread across the world and impacted all of us. Lockdowns were imposed, most retailers closed leaving only essential services open. People worked from home, many lost their sources of income. It was an uncertain and frightening time. Whilst we were isolated in our homes, people searched for meaning and connection to each other, our planet and solidarity. If Covid19 has posed universal questions asked by most people, it's: What is truly important to me? What do I really value in my life?


During lockdown, we were desperate to go outside for daily exercise and use our precious green spaces to connect with nature. To breathe in the fresh air and savour the feeling of freedom being outdoors gives us. Has this lead to nature trending for the masses? Do we still crave and care about nature now we have our freedoms back?


Indoors in covid times, people streamed Netflix; with environmental and health documentaries topping must watch lists. A Plastic Ocean investigated the terrifying environmental impact of plastic waste. Our Planet examines how climate change impacts all living creatures. The True Cost explores the cost of fashion on the planet. Minimalism questions whether less things bring more happiness. Marie Kondo teaches if things don't spark joy, then we no longer need them in our lives, or cluttering up our cupboards.  These widely watched docos helped inform a new audience about the price that must be paid for our entitled and disposable ways of life. 
What is the price of ignorance on our health and the planet?

We have spent the last few decades consuming at a rapid rate, our closets are bulging, our beauty drawers impossible to close, we have so much and care so little about throwing it away. 


How long can we continue to live in this take-make-dispose economy relishing a lifestyle fed by instant gratification that is not sustainable and no longer satisfies?
Is a new dawn of awakening around the corner?


Buzz words such as wellness, holistic health, and mindfulness have been thrown around for years but hold significantly more meaning in our consciousness, vocabularies and the isolated versions of our lives. Over the past two years many people have experienced different versions of their hectic and modern city based lives. This enforced go-slow has us asking what do we really need?


We have the ability and knowledge to make healthier lifestyle choices and changes. 
"We are all in this together" being united by worldwide lockdowns sparked global conversations (mostly via zoom), open dialogue and acknowledgement of the impact humans are having on planet earth, and our willingness to change.

What is our new normal? What can we do as individuals to affect change? Lets remember to each ask ourselves the question: do we want to live and consume the way we were? Or do we want to be curious, ask ourselves when making a purchase, is it a need or a want?  Are we willing to change bad buying habits, now more than ever before?


Now that life has gone back to a new kind of "normal" can we see significant change in our society and cultural values? 


It's was reported that during lockdowns millennials upcycled their clothes, and one of the most searched for terms trending, was slow and sustainable fashion. In our post covid world has this translated into changed buying habits?  


Will this time for thought allow reflection on how much we really need new things and restore a sense of contentment for what we have?.... And for many of us, we are so lucky to have so much.


Whilst the world and our lives were on pause, that held breath allowed space for thought.
Every individual has the power to influence change in our world, how will you choose to use yours?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
Mahatma Gandhi


"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted."

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


Photo :@losttribephoto

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