Guide

page : 15 | chapter : 9 | volume : 16

– MINIMALISM –

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”- Socrates

Being brought up and living in one of the most luxurious cities in the world, it seems that I have gradually adopted a similar way of living. Although many of us may not be able to afford high-end brands and expensive trinkets, we seem to find ourselves being drawn into the system, regardless.

Have a walk down Dubai’s Boulevard or any mall, really, and you should be able to witness a live catwalk; just about everyone you see there is carrying the latest LV Speedy and strutting around in Louboutins or Tory Burch flats. It’s actually pretty impressive but it can get tiring with time.

Not only do many people compete for the strongest car or the most unique house design, they also try to stand out with everything else that they own. This ranges from clothes to accessories and even exotic animals. Living just for such things shows little to no conscience behind that lifestyle, in my opinion.

While I enjoyed the occasional splurges and shopping sprees – I realized that I was beginning to run out of room for keeping things that are more relevant to a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle doesn’t just mean eating organic, working out and having proper sleep; it also means not overindulging in materialistic things.

This is why I decided to start implementing the following steps to living a more minimalist and socially conscious lifestyle:

Stop

Stop buying clothes with the excuse of: I can give them away or just donate them to charity – “No one wants your old clothes (Europe Newsweek).” Hyper-consumerism refers to how we (in a capitalist society) purchase things that are unneeded but are instead bought from being under pressure; like the modern social norms and trends.

Calculate

Start investing in your choices, such as: having a minimal wardrobe (Joojoo Azad). Minimal doesn’t mean being boring and sticking to traditional ‘staple’ pieces – there are so many ways to express yourself in what you wear and it can be in many styles and colors. I’m excited to figure out how I will articulate my wardrobe around my favorite and most functional clothing items.

Discover

Have a walk around your house/ room and decide on the things that you would take with you if you had to leave NOW. Can you fit those things in, let’s say, two suitcases? Once you have done that, start exploring the uses of every item. Maybe it has more than one purpose, maybe it uses up too much space, or just has no value to you anymore.

Observe

Contemplate what brings value and convenience to your life. Take a look at those things and think about the “why?”. Once that has been established, think about the effect of those things on the environment/ people/ animals. Do your research and don’t be ashamed to take a stance.

Refrain

There is an overwhelming beauty in simplicity that I never saw before. I also started to appreciate the space that I discover when I decluttered. By preventing yourself from buying unnecessary things, not only do you save space but also money. You would be surprised and you will feel rewarded.

On another note: If the subject of consumerism in the fashion industry intrigues you and you would like to know more, head over to this post and from there make your decisions based on what you see.

Featured image is by Sarah Dorweiler and is used for illustrative purposes only.

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