One of the world’s most famous trend forecasters, Li Edelkoort has given a totally different outlook on coronavirus – the deadly strain that has completely turned the world upside down by crashing the economy, restricting travel, social distancing, deaths and country-wide lockdowns.
“I think we should be very grateful for the virus because it might be the reason we survive as a species,” said the 69-year-old Dutch.
While speaking at the Design Indaba, a conference in Cape Town that was held last February, the intuitive thinker explained that Covid-19 would be a sobering reality that will slow down the world’s abusive consumerist appetite and jet-setting habits.
Edelkoort, who in the last few years came out with an ‘anti-fashion manifesto’ believes that after going through this massive pandemic – we will come out of it as more conscientious humans.
“We need to find new values—values of simple experience, of friendship. It might just turn the world around for the better,” the fashion sustainability crusader told Quartz.
She also added: “The virus will slow down everything. We will see an arrest in the making of consumer goods. That is terrible and wonderful because we need to stop producing at such a pace. We need to change our behavior to save the environment. It’s almost as if the virus is an amazing grace for the planet.”
Gaining popularity over the last 45 years because of her successful consultancy to global brands with the likes of Coca-Cola, Nissan, Armani and Google, Edelkoort is well aware of how these new travel bans affect businesses.
There is also the crucial role of China, which has been on total lockdown throughout the majority of 2020 being the main supply chain for most companies all over the world.
“People will try to do things via Skype, but that seldom works. We are already two months behind, which means summer-themed goods won’t be delivered or will arrive too late to be sold,” she said.
But after all the months trying to contain this pandemic, utopia looms, Edelkoort explained. Covid-19 will definitely be opening new opportunities for business and innovation, much like the outcome of the the bubonic plague when it started an era of labor reforms and medicinal improvement during the Middle Ages.
Being confined into each person’s town and city could most likely fosters a cottage or chalet industry revival and a higher point of sale for locally made goods, she says.
“There are so many possibilities. I’m strangely looking forward to it.”
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