The most gratifying thing of all is love. Love for yourself and others is and always will always be the driving force of nature. Loving yourself means caring about your wellbeing, making sure your NEEDS are met and coexisting with those around you. Our fundamental needs can be met in so many ways and in the most creative ways. We are continually learning how to properly love ourselves by providing outlets that give life some sort of meaning. Outlets such as music, sports, nature, family/friend time and the most dear to my heart, fashion.
The clothes we wear and our purchasing motives help us find somewhere that we belong. It gives us the opportunity to outwardly show the personality within us at first glance. As and apparel merchandising major I can easily agree with Kate Fletcher in that “fashion, at its creative best, is one of the most powerful and direct expressions of personal aspirations, individuality and belonging.” It is such an interesting thought when we think of clothing, we think of our closet as a fun extracurricular activity that we are constantly updating or a “fun extra”. In most cases this is true, but without clothing we would be walking around naked! We would actually learn to accept others based on a persons soul. As I glance through Max Neef’s needs matrix, almost every single need and qualifier (being, having, doing, interacting) is in some way meeting emotional needs. Loving yourself by meeting needs such as leisure-peace of mind and loving others by interacting (give and take) subsistence- social settings. Yes, we must love what we wear but clothing also meets subsistence and protection needs. Clothing can physically provide warmth and protection along with personal expression.
Learning to live in moderation is the most sustainable practice we can ever achieve. Money does not make the world go-round. As Fletcher tries to explain to us she clearly states that an increase in wealth leads to the decrease of happiness, decrease of health, decrease of time and increased stress. By defining the loves of your life whether that is a creative hub, feeling like you belong or growth, we also must be aware of boundaries. With clothing or money being both a personal and social satisfier (your number one importance) it also creates a magnet for manipulation.
“You never know what is enough, unless you know what is more than enough” –Windell Berry
There were some perfect examples of this that were presented during the LOLA show this week. “Tiny Homes” is an amazing invention that provides low impact on the environment and designed specifically for you. I would really like to think that the owners of these homes have experienced excess in their lives. These homes seem to be relatively affordable yet give buyers a wonderful opportunity to live on the bare minimum of life. At the exact moment that the tiny homeowners realized they were experiencing “more than enough” they began to practice “social resiliency”. Their surrounding had to change, leading to adaption in their own environment. Although no law had changed, the law of their life had officially turned to moderation.
The western world was built on consuming and the failure to acknowledge this leaves a deep motivation unconsidered. Not considering your basic needs and the needs of those that you coexist with leads you down that road of unhappiness. Clothing in the end will not be the reason you love yourself, rather it just amplifies. This epiphany leaves me wanting to be challenged more, to live simply. I wonder if there are plans out there? Are there plans of moderation, sort of like a workout plan? I would assume these plans would consist of little by little every single day getting rid of “fun extras”? Maybe I will invent my own 🙂 Until next week!