11/06/2009

Austerity is the new black…

Business, Current Affairs, Insight, Perspective

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Austerity is the new black
Austerity is the new black

I don’t know about you, but I am seeing a real resistance to anything wildly ostentatious, overly blinging or downright wasteful. The expansiveness of recent years divorced us all, with zero alimony in 2008 – like a severely wronged, disenchanted, now ex-spouse.

I recently attended the launch of a new restaurant in London. Fabulous décor, attentive service, sublime food. The only glitch? The portions were way, way too generous. Silly generous – so silly that half of each plate either went to waste or into a doggy bag. The saving grace. At least we could take our leftovers home and feed ourselves for the next day or two. There are many countries where doggy bags and BYO (bring your own bottle of wine) are par for the course, and who knows, perhaps we will start to see more of this in London establishments.

I was chatting to a Texan friend over the weekend – she was complaining about the waste when traveling first class. Sleeper suits issued to first/upper class passengers are binned after use – it costs more to launder used suits than to produce new ones. Oh, and once opened, the wash bags go in the bin too. She may well be one of the few left traveling in style, but in her own personal protest to wastefulness, she now takes her own Juicy, lip balm and moisturiser.

And with Martin Weale, director at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) this week stating, “So far as we can say, the recession is over” (UK), is there any chance that the new austerity is over? Somehow I think not. The world, as we know it has changed inextricably forever in ways we are yet to comprehend. And with it, an altered perception and a self-regulating awareness of how we go about living our lives.

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