Monday, 7 March 2011

The Bloomsbury effect

Picking up on one of this year's trends, I was overjoyed to walk past the People's Supermarket on Saturday afternoon and see it looking so fresh and vibrant.

Two things strike me. One is the fantastic sense of cohesion engendered by these local, cooperative initiatives. The sense of well-being goes way beyond the individuals who are contributing and benefitting directly. I feel good just knowing it exists - and thrilled that I could see it, smell the goods, squeeze the fruit.

Secondly, trends take time. I might say 'this year's trend', but this idea will be around for a while, and will take time to actually take effect. Arthur Potts Dawson, the live-wire behind the enterprise, has worked enormously hard over a prolonged period to make it happen. It was March 2009 when he first got coverage in the papers, and must have signed up to make the TV series at around the same time. The series that finished on Channel 4 on 27th February was filmed over two years. So he was picking up on a trend then, and with the opening of the store, propelling the wave forward.

I suspect the appreciation of local, reduction of waste and a collaborative approach to making things cheaper/affordable are ideas that will get bigger and more influential over the next few years.