"The things you own end up owning you"
This quote rings true when you want to move apartment or studio and suddenly need to hire removal men and a huge lorry to help with your mountain of clobber. The same for when you want to just sod it all and travel the world but remember that the flat you own needs the mortgage paid so the stuff filling it up needs to be moved out so someone will rent it and fill it with their own piles of stuff.
Possessions hold you down, enhance gravity’s pull ten fold, make it hard to move with the weight of them all on your back, and they may even squash you to death (if you were to pile them on top of yourself). However, they do seem to make your stay in one particular spot more comfortable and convenient. This pursuit of comfort and convenience is only one of many reasons why we accumulate stuff until busting point. The fact that we live in a consumer culture has a lot to answer for: we buy because we like it, not because we need it. We buy because of the voice in our heads saying ‘’People have seen me wearing that top already, so I need a new one’’. We buy because things are cheap and because we can.
After travelling a little round Africa, I decided to downsize dramatically. Seeing people with nothing but the shirt on their backs, and desperation on their faces really affected me. The thought of having so many things of no use made me feel guilty, extravagant and wasteful. I sold many of my possessions, ‘charity shopped’ others, and I’m sorry to say the rest ended up in my old bedroom room at my mum’s house (sorry mum) if it didn’t come with me to Israel, where I decided to move after falling for an Israeli I met in Africa!
I decided I needed to change something, and I started with myself, ‘with the man in the mirror’.
I started consuming less: I buy clothes only when I need them. And, importantly, I only buy from places that don’t use and abuse their workers, that use materials considered environmentally friendly, and I frequent good old charity shops for recycled clothing.
I’ve also extended this ethos to my business. I only want to make things that will be of use and that will be used over and over again until they wear out. This brings me to a main feature of the clothing I make: I want the life of the product to be as long as possible so we throw away less, and so we need far less.
I can sleep well now that I consume less. However, having started 3RD ROCK and hence a fashion studio, I do seem to have more ‘stuff’ than ever before. Lets hope I can find a way to keep it to a minimum.
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