FOMO, Sustainability and Minimalism

When we live in a world where we not only see our friends wearing a new top we can see a hundred people on the internet also wearing a new top. And that sometimes, with no surprise, can make us want a new top.

This is why even when I really wanted to be more minimal in what I owned I always felt the pressure to buy, the pressure to have something new, to almost keep up with the trends or to just ensure I wasn’t missing out on anything. Turns out I’m not missing out on anything at all. The clothes from the high street sat alongside my other high street clothes and just blended in. My favourite finds and purchases have been the ones that I just saw and loved immediately when out shopping not the ones I saw someone else already had on social media. While this can work in some cases most of the time with fashion for me, it doesn’t. Sometimes of course I will see something I love but you can bet I love it because I’ve actually owned or do own something like it already so don’t need another.

The terms ‘keeping up’ and ‘missing out’ can be quite loose. Who am I keeping up with? Do they even know I’m trying to keep up with them? When I do who am I showing this to? Are they impressed or neutral? Am I adding pressure on them to keep up with me? It’s an endless cycle of wanting more and more when we don’t actually want more stuff (and we don’t really want to part with our money for it).

A couple of years back I was adamant that I wanted to become a minimalist but the more content I consumed around fashion, beauty and homewares the more I wanted to buy. I still do consume the content now but I also know how to check myself now. Do I need it? Will I use it? Will I regret spending money on it in a couple of weeks? If I still want to buy it after that then great, it will be a sustainable purchase for me and I won’t regret bringing the item home.

Back then it turns out that while my heart wanted to minimise our things and become clutter free and really value the things we did have, my head was getting FOMO. I didn’t want to be left behind, I wanted new things. I wanted to ‘keep up’ with the people I was seeing on social media. You know the ones who get gifted a lot of items, who have the money and the space to take all of these items in. It took me quite a while to figure out that my heart should actually be leading the party and not my head which could have actually lead me on a tricky path of debt and too much clutter.

It comes down to thinking, how do I actually want to live my life, what items do I value and what is my style?

Without question I still love shopping. That’s not going to change but what is is that I know my style. It’s not trend led, it’s not fast fashion, it’s not the hauls that influencers show on their channels. And I don’t feel like I’m missing out if I don’t buy anything that they’re showing.

Although I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist I can say that I now only purchase things that I know I’ll get proper use out of, that I’ll value and that will last which really is what sustainability and minimalism is all about.

Let me know your thoughts!

Photo by Jade Pogson Photography

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