Commerce Keeps the Economy Going

The most important aspect of every business must be about the impact on our planet. Unfortunately, our economy is built on commerce. That applies to everything. Technology has impacted everything from golf clubs to ski boards, so you want to buy the latest and greatest. Styles reflect the times. Women no longer wear jackets with large shoulder pads, and men’s suit lines have also changed. Who wants to be still wearing outfits circa 1990?

I have saved many items over the years that have returned to my repertoire for a night but not daily. I appreciate those who shop at vintage shops for the “reuse” model. They are helping save the planet by reusing and re-wearing. It is still a commerce transaction, but it is unclear how many would wear everything from the days of yore. Once in a while, you do need a new pair of sneakers.

Every item, clothing, and golf clubs has to figure out how to reuse the materials in these items over and over again. Melt them down, bring the materials to their original state, and make them again. Products, people, and styles evolve, and consumer behavior is tough to change.

There are many who have tried to make less of an impact on our planet, such as my friend Lauren Singer, who lived a zero-waste life for years. New companies like Nextdoor allow us to gift our neighbors with items, one persons trash is someone else’s treasure.

We love things, we love treating ourselves, and climate change is something we must all care about. That is why I am a huge fan of companies like Evrnu, which takes old clothes and breaks them down to their original molecules to create new fabrics. Those new fabrics are beautiful and were made with old materials, but still create what the economy needs: consumerism, which is not only about the payment for the product but also the people who get paid making the product.

Changing consumer behavior is hard, and it impacts the economy. What would be interesting is if all companies could be built with a focus on a circular economy by taking materials down to their primitive stages and reusing them for the products of today.

That is one of the reasons I do not understand why budget cuts in NYC would cease compost. These are the types of initiatives that must blossom. Short-term costs for long-term gains. We all need to start thinking like that.