The world is increasing its pace. Technology develops at the speed of light and what might have seemed innovative today may already be water under the bridge tomorrow. We buy, we consume and somewhere along the line we dump – and let’s face it: The majority of the things we buy – we end up tossing. Hardly anything that we owe makes the 20 years mark anymore. Luckily, the word “vintage” made its way into our consciousness. The only way an item or piece of clothing can make its way into our heart, becoming a long-term companion, is when it is “vintage”. The only time we do not crave for that very-new thing that was recently released or launched on the market is when it’s so kinky and vintage that we love its odd and old existence. So during our life we do not only consume a ridiculous amount of goods, we also create an enormous amount of waste. Waste that we called possession; waste that once was “so in”. Waste that made us feel better because we thought it displays our personality.
Owning little is the new Chanel 2.55
Luckily, while this may be the most wasteful and extravagant period of mankind, it is concurrently the most sustainability-conscious. So while there are companies designing the most ridiculous and unnecessary product packages, there is a large group of bloggers and activist promoting a humble lifestyle – MINIMALISM. Suddenly, humbleness is a way to express your personality – not possessions. Owning little is the new Chanel 2.55 – and that is great! It is great because we will reduce our overall footprint. Learning to be happy with less is a way of going back to basics. Even if it is hard to believe, there was a time before technology and even a time before cars and haute couture. I might not be able to prove this, yet I think it wouldn’t be an entirely bold claim if I assumed that people at that time had the same ability to be happy. That would inevitably lead us to the hypothesis that happiness does not necessarily relate to any kind of possession. So if we don’t necessarily need all these things in order to be happy, what does that mean? It means that we can easily do without them.
The minimalist lifestyle is exactly about this. This does not mean that you have to sell your car, burn your socks and live life naked in a cave, but it DOES mean that you actively reflect on what you buy, possess and most importantly – use! Let’s face it! Most items we own can be replaced. None of them have a real meaning. As such it is important to note that the things you do keep are either extremely useful (e.g. laptop to study) or very sentimental/ beautiful (e.g. a dressing table from your mom). All the other things that don’t make it on the list are simply not worth spending money on. All of this serves the overall aim of living a more sustainable lifestyle, avoiding too much stress and becoming happier. Especially for someone like me, who travels a fair amount, it is hard to possess a lot anyway. After I left Moscow I realized that I left with just as much as when I came to the country years before. Of course I did buy a bed and a table for my room, but those are necessities for your daily life. Even though I did not own much I still had to leave behind some books because of the suitcases’ weight. It feels good to know that I can pack my belongings in two suitcases and that I am happy with that and I think for Jessica it’s the same. Maybe it was a little bit harder for her to leave some of her belongings behind after moving, but most of the things she truly cares about are here (including me 😉 I rather buy a pair of high quality shoes that last, than have a whole cupboard of shoes. I rather have ethically produced jeans that cost more and last longer than expensive fast fashion brands that support cheap exploitative labour.
I appeal to everyone to reconsider your consumption behaviour. Nobody’s perfect and no one can change their lifestyle overnight but we can all contribute to a better world and that DOES start with our own possessions. Most of you will be surprised of how relieving it might be to own little. So while it is easy to talk about it, I found some inspiring pics and blogs helping to engage in a Minimalist lifestyle. Declutter your life and home now and try to practice renouncing! For the advanced minimalists amongst you guys – you can start applying this procedure to all aspects of life – declutter your relationships, your goals, your groceries everything you want and start simplifying your life today! I hope you guys enjoy and maybe think about this a little. I am as much on a minimalistic journey as you guys are – so let’s do this together. See you in the next post! S
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