Do I Really Need This? Pressing Pause On The Materialistic Escalator.
I think that we can all wholeheartedly agree that the last few weeks have been a very new experience. Whether we are the ones courageously at the frontline, caring for people, looking after children, stacking shelves in the supermarkets or those of us who are following the guidelines and limiting our time outside and missing the hugs from family and friends who aren’t under the same roof as us.
Out of this experience, there have been wonderful shifts towards some back-to-the-roots type stuff. Bread making, board games and time with close family. For me, there have also been moments of reflection and evaluation. Those times when you stop in your tracks and think, “How did I get here? Do I really need to be doing this?”
One particular thought came to me with weird synchronicity, as often the most worthy ideas do. I thought this thought, then randomly chose to listen to a podcast and this exact topic came up (without any clue in the titles) and finally, my oracle card of the day turned out to be Gaia -with one of the main messages being looking out for and caring for the world; relishing the simple, natural things in life.
My thought was this:
There are many things that I have been believing are essential to buy, which, when you are not able to buy them any more, cease to be actually that important. You find you can do without them.
Now, this is a slightly odd topic to be broadcasting when I am passionately involved with an Etsy retail business that I love with all of my heart. I do spend a significant portion of my day listening for the tell-tale ‘cha ching’ of a sale, then telling all of our team about it (no matter what time of day or night!), wrapping orders, talking to customers and of course, photographing items to make them appealing to buy.
Our whole success as a small business depends on people wanting to buy our things.
So I will come back to this bit at the end as perhaps it feels contradictory.
During this period of lockdown, where certain things have been hard to buy, supply chains have been disrupted and what we have been in the habit of buying has been shaken up, we may have discovered that we haven’t been able to buy the things we usually would. For me, (apart from the initial loo roll mad PANIC), it was things like my favourite face cream. Once the waves of ’oh-my-goodness-how-will-I-manage-without’ subsided, I began to look for substitutes from what I already had.
In most cases, I found that items at home could be doubled up and used for many purposes. I didn’t need to go and find a different make of cream. I didn’t need to have it shipped out in (probably) lots of plastic packaging. I could just let it go.
It is so tempting, especially online, where everything is so immediate, to one-click buy at an alarming rate. We might be the types of shoppers who buy with quite a strong likelihood of returning it if it’s not quite right. But when you stop for just a moment, even if you add it to your basket and see if you do still really, really want it in three days time. There is a strong chance that you will not end up buying some of those things. You won’t be encouraging the use of all of that packaging, those miles on the road to get it to you. There’s a breath in the middle there. A pause, where the world drops its shoulders with a thankful sigh.
Now, in the spirit of full transparency, I think that there will be a time when I will buy my favourite face cream again. I don’t need it for now but I like it a lot. There are however, lots of items languishing in baskets of my favourite clothing stores. Some of them might stay there, some of them might make it to my door, but I feel a lot better knowing that in my small way, I’m easing off a little on the pressure that we are putting on our beautiful, luscious and very precious Earth.
...and as I said I would: To revisit the possible contradiction of earlier...
Our mission at Wild Home will and has always been, to encourage ethical, thoughtful shopping. Our products couldn’t be further from mass-produced if they tried. The sale of each one makes a real, tangible, money-in-the-pocket difference to each of our artisans. From the outset, we have ensured that our packaging is either 100% biodegradable or recyclable with no plastic in sight. It is because of this, that I can share my thoughts with you and still feel proud and warm-and-fuzzy about how I spend my days with my WH team mates.
So on that note, I ask you to share with me (in the comment section) what you have taken a pause from - either consciously or not. Are there things that you find you just don't need as desperately as you once did?
...and when you're next needing that shopping 'fix', maybe consider...
See you next time xx