I have been bombarded all weekend with email after email after email from stores about huge black Friday discount codes and saving coupons….then I couldn’t help but get a little frustrated with how much society has transitioned to focus on material goods to bring us happiness and stuffing consumerism down our throats like it’s no big deal. Turning a blind eye wasn’t an option here, I super wanted to discuss this on my blog and start a conversation to understand how and what others think about this subject.
Why do we shop so much…is it to fill a little void inside of us to make ourselves happy? I am not going to lie here and say that I’m innocent. There was a time in my life when I was a huge shopaholic and just bought to buy- not because I needed these things, but because I wanted to have them in my closet, even though I sometimes never wore what I bought. I was young, stupid and reckless. Do I regret it? Not really, because I have learned throughout the years how to shop smarter.
Getting into the fashion industry and working in it for a few years, you start to learn and understand the whole process of mass production and (now) fast fashion. And to be entirely honest, I found it sickening. To have collections come out 52 times a years, rather than 4 times a year (as it used to be sometimes before the huge boom of globalisation) is revolting and quite offensive to the environment and to the manpower that goes into the production process. I have learned the stories of the industry and I no longer shop for things I don’t need and better yet, I have turned to my primary love; vintage!
We do not realize how much crap we put onto this planet and how much damage we are causing. Social media is showing us that in order to stay cool and to be special, we have to have the newest gadget, or the newest pair of shoe or the newest style of jeans. But truthfully, we don’t need these things to make us happy. Minimalism is actually very interesting and liberating. You don’t feel restricted nor suffocated by everything that is in your home or your surrounding. We have become so focused on defining who we are through material objects. It’s like what we do no longer has meaning but rather what we own that makes a difference. It’s sad when you truly think about it.
I hear a lot of people talking about the 333 project and of capsule wardrobes and I find it quite fascinating. Since moving to Palestine, I have been forced to declutter my wardrobe and well…my entire life…and just focus on what I need and what I feel is important. I have donated a lot of my clothes to friends and family and sold quite a few. This process truly taught me a valuable lesson…and also, living here in a little city, where there are no malls and no big focus on purchasing the new “it” item has made me realize that I don’t love shopping all that much (as I thought I did). Having little clothes doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, on the contrary, it should be a challenge to be more creative with what you own and learning the tricks of mixing and matching pieces. I also have maintained that concept of minimalism in my home as well, I don’t have 10 types of cup collections nor do I have 99 plates. I have what I need and it feels light and it feels great!
I find this speech from President Jimmy Carter quite interesting and in fact, so on point:
….and a little tad bit scary. Reminds me of all the hauls you see on Youtube..I mean it’s nice to see people succeed but honestly, like where do they put all the stuff they buy and how can they wear everything they own? Don’t they feel overwhelmed?
Oh! And! I have never been one to shop on boxing day, or wait in line when there are massive sales or go crazy on black Friday. But just for kicks, I tried it once with my sister to see what it was like and we told each other, never again! I don’t quite see the point. It’s not about quantity but about quality. So purging is healthy and when you stop being so attached to materials good, you then have the time and freedom to enjoy your life and tackle bigger dreams and working on turning them into a reality. Don’t know why, but Walking Away from Craig David is playing in my head right now (LOLZ).
I am not saying we shouldn’t shop at all, I am saying shop smarter. Sometimes, less is more…
What do you guys think?