Our columnist predicts the return of ancient feminine wisdom
Traditionally, women have always been the caretakers of their communities and their culture, ensuring that the children have food in their bellies and are safe in their homes.
In countries suffering from environmental disasters or war zones displacing millions, it is generally the women who ensure the survival of the family by bartering with each other for eggs, bread and seeds to grow new vegetables; make sure the children pass on their clothes when they are outgrown and pass around any books they have.
This has certainly been the mode of survival amongst the African rural women I have worked with and the Syrian refugee women I have become close with here and overseas. It comes naturally to mothers and grandmothers all over the world, regardless of nationality or religion.
As a forecaster of societal patterns, as well as being deeply connected with small communities such as my own small Somerset town of Wincanton, I predict that a new, yet ancient, pattern is emerging in this current post-COVID downturn; that of a circular economy, led by women, that is transactional rather than currency-based.
We were beginning to see the value in placing ethics, trust and community support as priorities in our economy even before lockdown. More and more people of all ages were determined not to allow their consumer patterns to damage the climate any further and top influencers, such as fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, have been posting regular videos all over social media, asking us to stop buying goods we don’t need.
We have seen some businesses, such as the natural beauty company Hayo’u owned by Chinese medicine practitioner and Instagram star Katie Brindle, boom in this current time. She is rightly trusted by her thousands of customers and they know her crystal skin restorers deliver what they say on the tin – or in Katie’s case, her Instagram page.
At my own SEED Store, we have launched on- and offline, a whole range of creative eco-craft kits by textile artist Tamsyn Gregory which offer customers the opportunity of making their own beautiful handmade crochet flowers, vintage tassels and colourful fabric dream catchers to bring life back to their well-loved clothes and enhance their home environment. I believe we will be launching new creative businesses in this ‘new normal’, financing them by bartering services, crowd-sourcing and collaborative trading systems. Now, in 2020 there has never been more enthusiasm to create a new circular economy, where businesses and local enterprises work together in ways that support their families, their communities and the world.
Lynne Franks will be holding workshops on how to create a circular economy in your community. Find out more by contacting email@example.com or visiting SEEDNetwork.com SEED Eco-Craft Kits and Hayo’u natural beauty products can be found at seed-store.org
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