Earlier this year, those of you with school aged children may well have received a letter or email from your children’s school referencing the School Strike for Climate. Perhaps the school decided to support this movement, or perhaps they recognised the sentiment but wanted to put in place a supportive initiative of their own that didn’t give kids ‘an excuse to bunk off school’. Regardless of how you personally felt about School Strike for Climate, it was clear that school aged children had seized the media agenda, and we all sat up and took notice.
Or did we?! It is entirely possible that grandparents and their peers around the UK were wondering what all the fuss was about. Actually, it would seem that this age group, at the opposite end of the spectrum to the school strikers, are possibly more in-tune with sustainability than those of us in the middle.
All these points of difference demonstrate that older shoppers are quietly drawing from their experiences in the past, in contrast to the more vocal call for change among the younger generation. Whilst the media regularly talk up the more thoughtful GenZ/ Millennials, perhaps it’s time to also consider the thoughts of those in the UK who grew up in the post war era of real austerity, when there literally were no options but to buy seasonal, wonky produce; before plastic became mainstream; and before it was cheaper to throw away fashion than mend it.
We’re not talking about the backward-looking nostalgia that seemingly influenced a proportion of voting decisions on Brexit. Instead we are talking about real experience of the shopping and consumption habits that better reflect the natural cycles of our environment. Applying some of the simplicity and common sense of those days to the frenetic world that is 2019 would be of real value.
There’s nothing better than mixing up a bit of real-life experience with youthful aspirations to find a solution – now there’s a challenge!