October is my favourite month as leaves change colour and mark the start of autumn. Except that we don’t get autumn here, only clear blue skies, which is wonderful, considering how it was a couple of horrid hazy weeks before this.
It’s all the more reason for someone like Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg to push the climate change agenda. If half the adults in the world were as conscientious as she is, we would not be in the predicament that we are in now.
However, not everyone believes our environment needs saving. I met someone recently who said that people think him radical for not supporting the green movement. Pictures of straws stuck in a turtle and floating plastic islands are images spread by certain people who have personal motives, he said.
Fair enough, he’s entitled to his opinion. What’s not right, however, are those who have taken to Greta-bashing, mocking and threatening her personally for the way she looks and everything she stands for.
One person even called her mentally ill. Donald Trump, who has clearly made his stand that climate change is a hoax, had his own dig at Thunberg with his Twitter insults.
As more and more children and teenagers speak out for the global movement online, online trolls are coming out of the woodwork – hacking, harassing and abusing them. Some have even made death threats and swarmed their feed with porn.
It’s disgraceful, appalling, and deeply disturbing how some people are reacting – and to think some of them might be parents themselves. Perhaps they think offence is the best defence, because deep down they know she’s speaking the truth.
Stop projecting your guilt onto someone else and do something useful and purposeful, instead of spending energy attacking vulnerable youths online. Enough already with the creepy messages and threats.
Moving along the same lines of environmental consciousness, the trend of thrifting that started earlier this decade doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
My kids, along with their peers, have embraced this trend wholeheartedly, trying to revive retro looks partly because they have become more aware of the impact of fast fashion – and also due mostly to budget constraints.
According to The Robin Report, the resale market has grown 21 times the pace of mainstream fashion brands. As increasingly more young people turn away from fast fashion, influenced by environmental awareness and shopping in digital space, brands are beginning to feel the brunt of it.
US brand Forever 21 has filed for bankruptcy and Swedish H&M, the second largest fast fashion retailer in the world, is reporting less than stellar numbers.
It has also become fashionable to wear clothes and shoes made from recyclable materials. This spin-off trend has ironically pushed up prices, which kind of defeats the purpose of saving scraps. If it costs so much more for something old, we might as well buy something new, no?
The same goes for thrift stores, some of which are being modernised into “curated shops”. Once the vestige of the rich as “curated” inferred top quality in terms of material, style and unique shopping experience, now the terminology is loosely bandied around for second-hand outlets.
Some vintage shops do offer hand-picked selections rather than just mass bundle sales. These curated thrift shops are popular with the young who don’t mind paying more for these clothes.
But wait, aren’t thrift stores meant to be an affordable option for those who are cash-strapped in the first place? Sometimes, in the name of (vintage) fashion and the environment, we might well be thrifting for the wrong reasons in an act of reverse snobbery.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against secondhand goods, and I’ve walked for miles when overseas with the boys just because they saw some thrift shop online. I’m a little fussier about wearing other people’s clothes, but I have no qualms about taking in old appliances or household products.
I joined a community site which advocates sharing used items rather than throwing them out, based on the principle that someone else’s rubbish might be your treasure. In the process, I’ve managed to give away quite a lot of stuff which have proven to be useful to others.
People are generally kind souls. One guy who was down and out on his luck requested for a couple of items to tide him over and was blessed by the generosity of the folk who not only offered him household items for free, but food and services as well.
“Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.” John Lennon would have been so proud.