We closed our St Peters shop just over two weeks ago in response to COVID-19 and we're happy to report that our wolf pack is safe, virus free and working diligently to produce your online orders without delay.
The world has fundamentally changed since then as governments scramble madly to avert the economic disaster barrelling down the slipstream of the health crisis – and though we’re not yet out of the woods, we do know the virus will pass.
For our collective mental health we feel it's important to begin thinking about what the world looks like after lockdown and what changes are likely to survive long after the virus is contained.
Source Visual Capitalist
COVID-19 UPDATE: OUR FACTORY REMAINS OPEN FOR ONLINE ORDERS.
Revenue is definitely down but so far we’ve been one of the lucky ones here at Citizen Wolf.
Twin decisions made at the end of last year have placed us in the best possible position to ride out the crisis – namely closing the Haymarket shop and investing heavily in our website and Magic Fit® technology precisely so you didn’t need to come into store to buy custom-fit Tees with confidence.
We're also on a waiting list of local manufacturers wanting to help the NSW government by pivoting our production into Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help with estimated shortages. Sadly progress seems glacial considering the scale of the crisis but we're ready, willing and very much wanting to help.
Whilst the various stimulus packages here in Australia are very welcome and will help many businesses stay afloat (including our own), there’s no denying the next few months are going to be extremely tough.
Many of our favourite cafes, pubs, restaurants and brands will sadly not survive, and after we finally do manage to flatten the curve we’re going to emerge into a permanently changed reality.
It’s up to us to decide what this Brave New World is going to look like.
“Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around... [when] the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.” - Milton Friedman
Although it seems the entire world right now is magically flush with cash / having a 30-day free trial of socialism, the stimulus taps will turn off and it’s in the ensuing void that we’ll see what ideas have been ‘lying around’ Canberra.
If there’s one lesson to draw from the last 40 years of neoliberal economic doctrine it’s that good crises are never wasted by those in power with a right-wing tilt and flexible ethics.
There’s every chance we emerge into a world defined by increasing inequality, increasing environmental destruction and a further dismantling of the welfare state that has defined liberal democracies since the Great Depression.
If you’ve got 8 minutes, this video by Naomi Klein outlines it neatly:
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
And it’s our sincere hope that we use this opportunity to create that world for ourselves, our children and more importantly for those that have been left behind in the dust-bowl towns along the capitalism highway.
THE FUTURE WILL BE MORE CONSCIOUS.
Regardless of which ideas that have been ‘lying around’ get picked up by ScoMo, what’s unequivocal is that people are going to be far more conscious about what they buy and why post-COVID.
Behaviour change is usually exceedingly difficult and notoriously slow. The exception to that rule would seem to be during crises when seemingly inconceivable change happens all of a sudden and with very little inertia.
Thinking about buying only as much toilet paper as you actually need right now so that there’s some left on the shelf for the next person might seem trifling, but the cognitive framework of considering others before you buy is now ingrained and unlikely to subside quickly.
In the context of fashion, we believe there will be a shift towards considering more than price and ego when buying clothes – ethical, environmental and also geographic issues are going to play a bigger role in purchase decisions.
Lucky for us that’s exactly what we’ve been selling since Day 1 at Citizen Wolf – that a better way of making clothes is possible: ethically certified, 48% less carbon emissions per garment and made locally in Sydney using Aussie-made fabrics that keep jobs in this country.
We call it ‘smarter casual’. Harris Farm Markets (who we love) have the same ethos and call it ‘value with values’. Semantics aside the message is the same – we all have enormous power by voting with our wallets to create the world we want – and now more than ever that impact is likely to be amplified as conscious consumption moves into the mainstream.
Horrible as COVID-19 will be, let’s make damned sure we come out the other side creating a better world rather than simply remaking the fundamentally broken version we blindly accepted up until just a few weeks ago.
Main image credit: Henrique Campea for the New York Times