Consumerism vs Hygge

The more I embrace hygge in my life the more I am turned off by consumerism. This year, Black Friday just felt repulsive to me. It’s the MASS purchasing of things people neither really want nor need but the cash gets spent anyway because “it was cheap”. Ugh. Being a bit of a (mild) “eco warrior” adds and extra layer of distaste to all the unnecessary “things” that people buy on the spur of the moment when the ‘SALE’ sign gets flashed in front of their eyes.

Most people, ourselves included, have a house packed with “things”. We have everything and more that we need,  we probably have most of what we want and we won’t use half of what we have. Yet still we spend more money and add more material goods to our vast collections.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against buying new things and spending money. I’m just against it when it’s unnecessary.

This year I’ve really pulled back from this mode of consumerism. This year I have really asked myself if my purchases have really been necessary before making them. When I have parted with my hard-earned cash, I’ve tried to buy quality and locally made, supporting local businesses and other entrepreneurs with my purchases. I know how much that support means. Check out Mixter Maxter and Hillary Grant Knitwear. Or our very own neighbour VT Knits! Buy from ethical companies who make their items as eco-friendly as possible in both production method and end product. Here I am sporting my favourite slouchy hat from VT Knits and my favourite gift from Christmas last year, my Patagonia waterproof (earphones were second hand). Patagonia use recycled fabrics to make their clothing and they repair damaged items. Check their website for full info.

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I’ve bought second-hand which is hugely satisfying because you can save SO much money and if you’re buying from a charity shop, you’re giving something back too. I have also spent money on ‘new’ items where they support charities, such as Rachel Thomson’s “Made With Love” tote bags, made from donated fabrics and fabrics purchased from charity shops with ALL money raised going to help dogs in dire need of rescue from terrible situations. Most of the things I have purchased from her are to be gifted (except one bag which was bought with the intention of being gifted but…. well, nobody is perfect!!).

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Hygge is not about spending money and buying lots of ‘hygge’ items for your home to create that warm, cosy and safe feeling all us hygge lovers crave. It’s about making the most of what you already have, it’s about upcycling, recycling and reloving. Hygge is also very much about crafting and making your own rather than spending money on brand spanking shiny new perfection. But more about that in future blogs.

For now, why not try to use what you already have a bit more. Tart up that which seems plain. Save up and buy quality, support local makers and businesses even if it costs you a few more £… you know it’ll last longer than the one that costs £5. Learn to love things long time not short-term. Go second-hand. Support a charity and make your purchase worthwhile. And enjoy your “things”.

What do you think? Please leave your comments below!

Happy Hygge-ing,

Kirsten

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