1. Thrift stores: Thrift stores are getting more donations recently due to fast fashion and the increasingly popular decluttering method of Marie Kondo.  

“But even as thrift stores are gutted by other market dynamics, the ones that take donations have also been bolstered by another revolution: The rise of fast fashion. Clothes are getting cheaper. People are buying more of them, faster; and now, getting rid of them apace. Charity shops in England have started turning donations away, the Telegraph reported, because people keep buying £2 shirts and getting rid of them after a single use. “The whole industry is based on us buying more than we need,” Mary Creagh, Labour MP and chair of the Environmental Audit Committee in the United Kingdom, told the Telegraph in November. “And not valuing an item of clothing when it comes to the end of its life.”

That’s where Marie Kondo comes in. She reminds people to acknowledge that inherent value; and at least starts to challenge them to think more about where its second life should begin. Partly, this is the great irony of her theory of austerity: Decluttering is what happens after you’ve accumulated mountains of goods, and it’s most freeing when you know you can replace whatever, if you really need or want to. It’s as much a product of the fast-fashion moment as a reaction to it.”

Read the full article on Citylab: The ‘Marie Kondo Effect’ Comes at a Weird Time for Thrift Stores

 

  1. Demonstrations: The yellow-vest protests reveal the general unhappiness of the French, compelling its political leaders to engage the citizens in dialogue.

“As part of the national debate, citizens can register their concerns in cahiers de doléances, or grievance logs, a practice first put into use during the French Revolution. An online forum that polled citizens’ concerns showed a vast range of issues: Some wanted to change unemployment compensation, or increase taxes for the rich and on second homes, or proposed the elimination of bank fees; others were upset that the government had reduced the speed limit to 80 km an hour. For his part, Macron asked his constituents to consider which public services they wouldn’t mind reducing. That’s something of a taboo in France, where citizens of every political persuasion rely on the state for all manner of support—the exact opposite of American-style mistrust of government.”

Read the full article on The Atlantic: The Yellow Vests Are Going to Change France. We Just Don’t Know How.

 

  1. Urban transport: Creative incentives to reduce morning train congestions in Tokyo are increasingly gaining attention.

“Around 7.2 million people use Tokyo’s mammoth metro system every day, with some lines suffering notorious crowding during commuting hours.

Among the worst affected is the Tozai line, which is now trying to entice users to take trains before the worst of the morning rush hour starts.

If it can convince at least 2,000 commuters to take earlier trains over the next two weeks, Tokyo Metro – the company operating the line – will offer each of the early birds free tempura.

And if 2,500 people complete the challenge to ride into work earlier every day over the period, they will each get a free bowl of soba.

If over 3,000 commuters get on board, they’ll get a combo – soba and tempura – for their trouble”

Read the full article on Channel NewsAsia: Use your noodle: Tokyo metro offers free food to ease crowding

 

Picture credits:https://unsplash.com/photos/pJPGCvLblGk