Although the origins of minimalism are specific to art movements, its current interpretation encompasses an entire lifestyle. The term, in its new life, has proved to be a source of controversy in our culture. “Minimalism” has turned into a buzzword and critiqued as a fad. But, if you dig deeper, there is so much more to the popular word. While the style of minimalism can look the same for many, it doesn’t have to.
The Minimalists, an expert duo on all things pertaining to the movement, have broken down the term on their site: “Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.” Co-founders Joshua and Ryan apply minimalism to every aspect of their lives and are committed to keeping excess at bay. However, you don’t have to be an expert to find an escape from our maximalist-minded society.
The trend towards minimalism is directly linked to the rise in our materialistic culture. Fast fashion, delivery services, and rapidly changing technology have made it possible to have almost anything with the push of button. This extreme convenience, along with clever advertising, have left us feeling like we constantly need more things. Minimalism attempts to fight this process. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is not only a trendy thing to do right now, it’s a way to take back control of your life. This doesn’t mean that you can only wear neutral tones and decorate with succulents from now on; rather, it’s a chance to become reacquainted with your values. Having too many low-quality options can lead to the rising depression and anxiety that we see in our country today. We’re no longer grounded in our values, but caught up in objects we’ll only use once or twice. Most importantly, letting go of the idea that you must have it all is a process, and different for every person. For some it may mean buying one less item a week, for others it could be intentionally carving out more time for friends, and for others it’s diving deep into the #slowfashionmovement. Living with less is all about changing your mindset about consumption. It doesn’t mean that you have to have a spotless life.
Minimalism pushes us to think about what is most important to us, and that is what Swap Society aims to do every day. Here we hope to give you a space where you can let go of the old, and swap in the new. You can still drench yourself in prints and have a different outfit for every occasion, just don’t hoard it in your closet all at once. We hope that having this site gives you the opportunity to keep your focus on the things that matter. We’ll worry about the rest.
Audrey Stanton was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Los Angeles. She has attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, London College of Fashion, and received a BFA in costume design from the California Institute of the Arts. Audrey is deeply passionate about conscious fashion and hopes to continue to spread awareness and love for ethical consumption. Visit her blog audstant.com and follow her on Instagram for lots of #slowfashion inspiration!