The Art of Simplicity
In this day and age of social media, we are constantly being fed information, whether we like it or not- Information that encourages feelings of ‘lack’, be it lack of material goods or certain social milestones, all of which are ultimately designed into tricking us to buy more. This ‘buy more’ culture feeds economic systems like fast fashion, which ultimately entraps us in a vicious circle of buying and buying, keeping us stuck in the feelings of ‘lack’, forever discontent or worse, even insecure. The end results? An overflowing wardrobe, a cluttered home and ultimately a discontent, cluttered mindset.
Many psychological experts believe that one’s work environment and living spaces directly affect their state of mind. No wonder then, more and more people today are turning towards a more simple, uncluttered approach towards organizing their homes and offices, in order to ultimately achieve a more Zen state of mind. Tidying consultant Marie Kondo became an overnight sensation with her Netflix series ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo, coaching people into the art of organizing their spaces with her unique KonMari Method. Her key technique involves discarding things that no longer ‘spark joy’ or ‘speak to your heart’. Her philosophy is a hoarder’s nightmare, as it insists in only filling your home with things that either serve a practical purpose, or add a profound sentimental value to your space. Anything that does less than that is unnecessary and must be eliminated. Although simple, her ways were lauded by people across the globe, with many people claiming that the KonMari technique radically changed their lifestyle, allowing them to be more focused and productive.
Indeed, in an economy that feeds off our insecurities and incites us to continually keep consuming and hoarding, the act of being content and joyous with ourselves, our imperfections and our few belongings is a beautiful act of rebellion. Another philosophy that encourages us to not accept our flaws, but incorporate them into our beauty, is that of Wabi Sabi. This Japanese school of thought recognizes that all things are transient, and that an end goal of perfection is rather unrealistic. Wabi Sabi celebrates beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. This is a simple yet groundbreaking idea to embrace, given how social media and pop culture today constantly encourages us to aspire to almost impossible standards of perfection, basically setting us up to fail.
Philosophies like Wabi Sabi not only encourage us to embrace our own imperfections and see them in a new light, but also can help us in adopting a newer, more conscious approach towards fashion. First of all, it makes us appreciate handcrafted items, true luxuries with their unique imperfections, unlike mass manufactured goods that are boringly alike in their perfection. A second, more subtle impact would be teaching consumers that instead of discarding one must learn to repair the tiny wear and tear on their garments, or upcycle them into new products. A little rip here and a stain there don’t necessarily devalue the garment, instead they enhance its beauty by adding character and giving far more sentimental value to the product. In the future, more and more consumers will prefer owning products with conscious stories and sentimental value, rather than mass marketed goods that maybe ‘brand new’ but have no personality whatsoever.
But how does one exactly practice the art of simplicity? Does it simply mean minimalistic silhouettes, a neutral colour palette and a decluttered home or is it deeper than that? The true essence of simplicity can be truly adopted when it is applied in a more holistic sense and approached as a lifestyle rather than being simply an aesthetic. Here is Ekkdora’s comprehensive guide on how you can begin mastering the art of simplicity!
Whether its pieces from your wardrobe or people you follow on Instagram, eliminate everything and everyone that fails to bring you joy or inspiration. When we declutter our lives, we make space for better things which are more in alignment with us.
- Think before you buy!
Before your next purchase, ask yourself if you really need it, and whether it will bring any profound value to your life. The idea is to minimize impulsive buying habits, and move towards more conscious consumerism.
- Back to Nature!
When we prefer organic and less processed items for food, why not the same with fashion and other things? Opting for natural, organic and handmade things is a surefire way to cultivate simplicity.
- Invest in quality over quanity!
The idea is to minimize hoarding by investing in few but long lasting and high quality items that really reflect your personality and can be styled in a variety of ways. Basic, versatile pieces in natural fabrics are your best bet for this purpose.
- Reuse, repair and recycle
A garment can last you decades when handled with proper care. Learning basic skills such as sewing can also help you in lengthening the life of your clothes. Once old and unwearable, garments can be upcycled into bags, cushion covers etc.
- Practice Mindfulness
Last but not the least, the key to a simple life and a calm mind is to be mindful of your thoughts, words and actions. Make all your decisions by weighing pros and cons, and whether it causes more general harm or good. Clean eating, regular exercise and meditation can all help you in gradually becoming more mindful.
So what are your views on the idea of simplicity? Got any tips on how to lead a simple life? Let us know in comments below!