With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that schools return to in-person classes in the fall (even with everyone masked), kids are likely bursting out of their pandemic cocoons. They’re ready to see and be seen in real life—and they’re eager for new looks and new stuff.
In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, U.S. back-to-school spending is expected to be at an all-time high this year, jumping 42 percent from 2019 with an average increase of $59 more per family than last year.
Together with the extra online shopping we’ve been doing (Amazon reports its sales increased 37 percent between 2019 and 2020) adds up to a boost in manufacturing, shipping, and returns to feed consumer demand. And that can have a huge effect on the environment.