Conscious consumerism and simple living
In the modern world it’s all too easy to forget nature. It’s easy to have something else to do. It’s easy to overlook the delicate transformation which is taking place in the natural world around us. It’s even easier to drown in stuff, clutter and in our own busy, busy lives.
When our babies were little, it was really hard work to avoid falling into having too much. Birthdays and Christmas we got an avalanche of stuff from really well-meaning friends and family who we love: and without having conversations around how we felt about this idea we would have ended up with a playroom full of pink plastic. Now they are older I’m so grateful my husband and I had these hard conversations. It meant that growing up wasn’t spent endlessly fighting “stuff” (not to say that our place doesn’t get messy – it sure does) but we live in a rural cottage, with low ceilings and beams everywhere so too much clutter shows right away. Add into this mix as a maker I AM NOT TIDY… and I think I can fix any broken object and phew it was hard to keep it simple.
So we came up with a really easy concept: is it under 1m square and made of natural material?
For us that worked.
Luckily load of the people we love already gave the children amazing handmade textiles or toys that last forever: so it just made a really simple add on whenever anyone ask what the kids would like we would say… + so long as it’s smaller that 1×1 and made of natural material.
So why is that important?
Well because as a family we believe that its part of our job, as humans, is to look after the Earth. I read over on Calico and Twine one of my favorite mindful spots on the internet that their care for the earth is rooted “not in fear, but a deep love”: Y E S, beautifully put.
We also work from a position of love: to protect our Earth. I pour my energy into creating beautiful objects that are built to last and I want to surround my children with items that are beautiful and functional. Products that are not quick fashions, but investments that last a lifetime and beyond. We believe in conscious consumerism rather than convenient consumerism.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Imagine if everyone bought one calendar not one each year. Imagine children had toys that their parents had before them. Imagine if no one ever wanted ‘LOL dolls’!
Albert Einstein said: “Look deep into nature; then you will understand everything.” We that’s what we do. The Robin doesn’t fret about having enough, she knows there plenty. Nature doesn’t stay the same: but it does follow tried and tested paths and patterns.
Is living seasonally stuck in the past?
Well we don’t think so. One of the most common corridor conversations I remember from the Kindergarten parents was equipping children for the future: one thing I have been sure of it’s that a 5 year old doesn’t need an ipad and a desk to become a success. I think in the early years becoming who we are, in our own bodies, connecting with the natural world and discovering with our hands, bodies and senses are critical. We must equip children to be true free thinkers: not indoctrinate them to become consumers because that’s the dominant rhetoric of our culture and time.
It’s about SOUL.
The old concept of having nothing in your house that you think not functional or beautiful is core to our family. I make beautiful soul filled, well-made, UK origin, long-lasting goods as my whole world at the moment so the idea that we would not buy with the same ethos is unimaginable. I think if we choose wisely we are rewarded by a calm, loving space that nurtures our family as we grow.
Top tips to simple living
- Tell friends and family what you are doing, set some ground rules for what can come into your home
- Go through and charity shop or gift anything that doesn’t look beautiful or serve a function
- Invest in well-made objects that will last
- What does your child really need? Can to take a minute and think about what the child really needs
- Does it have a place, this was a game changer for us: now nothing comes in that we don’t have a place for in advance.
We love living a simple, slow, seasonal life – it’s hard to fight off the consumerism of the world outside (and sometimes inside) my door. But ultimately if I can teach the children that they can make their own tools, grow their own food, make their own clothes and homes: as well as showing them a natural rhythm to guide them – then really – I hope – they will know who they are, their place in the cosmos, right and wrong and be truly free to choose what they want to do with their lives…. And at the end of the day – that’s my goal.