“Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.” -Henry David Thoreau
Minimalism is the art of being more with less. Contrived mantra aside, the key aspect of minimalism lies in finding what is important to you. Minimalism is about simplicity by living with the basics. In essence, minimalism is the removal of distractions and the emphasis on things we value the most. A minimalist lifestyle would entail possessing as little as possible, as opposed to modern consumerism which demands consumers to purchase as many things as possible. Minimalists tend to focus on living in the moment and being conscientious.
While not a direct reaction to fast fashion, minimalism does help to reduce unnecessary consumption by forcing us to pare down to the basics. The conscientiousness that minimalism promotes aids us in being careful with our possessions. It also works to keep us grounded while removing us from a consumerist culture. By extension, minimalism helps us to reduce our carbon footprint.
A concept that derived from minimalism is that of a capsule wardrobe. In a similar vein, the concept of a capsule wardrobe also helps us to get back to basics. Instead of a large, varied inventory, proponents of a capsule wardrobe encourage people to own only a few key pieces. The focus is on using basic pieces to mix and match to create a myriad of outfits. Instead of chasing new trends, capsule wardrobe users emphasise having a classic look that won’t go out of style. As such, the number of clothes we need and the number of clothes that we buy is minimised. This gives us more room to splurge more on long-lasting quality pieces.
To learn more, click here to watch a documentary on minimalism.