When many things are uncertain, it’s a strange thought that some companies have flourished during the lockdown. Yet, with priorities changing as we stay inside more, and our daily routine consisting of a trip around the block, we want different things to suit our new needs. As such, there are many companies who have naturally become indispensable, and those who have adapted their methods to fit.
Perhaps the most obvious on this list is Amazon. An internet delivery service which sells its own products and thousands of others. They promise quick delivery, even faster for a price if you use Prime. They are the go-to for most households because of this accessibility. You think of something and it will arrive at your door the next day. However, there are repercussions for this new reliance on an old service.
The excel of Amazon limits competition and shuts out small businesses. Moreover, the easiness of deliveries means the speed and overuse of these services has a negative impact on the environment. If we no longer go down to the local shop for the things we need, there is an increased output of carbon added to the process of purchase when buying from an online service like Amazon.
They have recently begun showing an advert promising to improve their environmental impact, but the question remains; what irreversible impact will this have on other businesses when the lockdown is over?
Another delivery service which has grown during the lockdown. With more people working from home, the sale of loungewear has excelled and fast fashion websites, like Missguided, In the Style and Boohoo have filled the gap. Now that jeans are out the window (I haven’t worn any in months) quality has been lost to quantity. It has become more important for fast fashion websites to follow this trend and mass-produce jogging bottoms and lounge pants. Products like these are easily produced and there is an environmental impact, also.
Not only the carbon output of delivering these products but equally there are questions about the treatment of workers who make these clothes and the poor quality of the clothes themselves mean they are nearly impossible to dispose of and will likely never fully deteriorate or be recycled.
Netflix and Amazon Prime are not unknown in popular culture, but their subscriber count must have increased since lockdown as we spend more time inside. However, the profits are not singularly given to one streaming service. Actually, the thriving competition between streaming services, with new ones opened every month, profits are divided between – and bank balances.
This is an area which has profited, and we don’t really mind. They help people to stay healthy and happy in lockdown. It has helped smaller influencers make their mark; Joe Wicks is one example. Yet now every company has jumped on the fitness app train.
It is typical that smaller creators begin a trend and bigger companies profit from it. It seems every other advert on TV is either for fitness or food – and as Christmas is coming soon, we could use all the workout videos we can get.
This is perhaps a more obvious one if you’re a student but software which allows people to speak face to face has excelled in lockdown. Though this is a positive aspect in many ways. It allows families and friends to interact and helps people feel a little less lonely.
This a more dangerous profiter of the lockdown. Now that companies and people desperately need PPE to remain safe, the sale of PPE has sometimes become a point of contention even in government.
Many cannot go out to buy PPE and turn to online services, however, without being able to see the actual product before it is purchased, you can’t always know the legitimacy of the company. Many questionable businesses have begun selling PPE. They are not certified safe enough to protect a person from COVID-19.
Be mindful of the websites you’re buying from, even Amazon can yield some questionable product results. Check reviews first and know your statutory rights.
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It’s important that when we return to ‘normal’, we support small businesses safely. They work hard and support the community through their work. It will also be a great opportunity to get back out into the world and support our neighbours.