How will we remember these times? This year has undoubtedly been one of the hardest most of us have ever faced. But will 2020 be remembered as the scariest year of our lives or a time when we got serious about making change for the better?
Here at Territory, we hope we are at a turning point. Even when things seem hard, we see the possibility of an ambitious shift to a new way of being in the world. Including a new way of relating to our economy and creating a new form of capitalism; an economy that allows us to reverse the destruction we caused and use market forces for good. So how do we make this happen?
As the economy slowly comes back to life, we need to collectively decide what kind of economy we want to go back to. One that only works for a few? Or one that can work for all of us? This isn’t a decision only for policy makers. It is for every one of us.
This conversation often feels tired, haven't we been here before? Haven't we tried? And without real progress? Amazon reigns, we halfway recycle, we consume more than we need, and nothing seems to change. But this pandemic has truly given us a chance to build back differently. Let us not lose this opportunity. Things don't change until they DO, and the time for change is now.
So what does a country or society look like when sustainable practices are implemented at scale? In a wonderful podcast series on reimagining our economy after Covid, Ezra Klein has hosted a series important conversations including how we decarbonize our economy, the philosophical debate about our current system and most important, asking the big question: what is an economy for anyway?
These conversations really got us thinking about economics and society, including what a caring economy might look like. It is an ambitious and holistic vision of an economic system that prioritizes people and the environment, not just profit. But aside from big, ambitious policy change, there is a tremendous amount we all can do in our everyday lives.
We own four times the amount of consumer goods that our parents did. There is a fantasy that obtaining all these things will bring us happiness—yet, as well all know, that happiness is momentary at best. But what we can do is buy better, buy less, and purchase goods that are connected to a slower, more sustainable way of being, instead of making buying decisions solely based on convenience. Being a part of this new community of consumption values and respects all the people and our planet in the supply chain.
So in 2020, we find ourselves at a crossroads—a time where either path is open to us. We welcome all of you to join us in a values-based movement to reconsider what our economy is for and then help start to build it.
And if you want to read more on this topic....
The True Cost of our fashion industry (and home goods!)
Photography by Ana Paula Fuentes