With the launch of our new online store Fairlings, we thought it would be a good time to discuss an important topic, consumerism.
Update: we have since closed down Fairlings, which you can read about here. The conversation about mindless consumerism is still something we care about, so it’s still worth reading this post 🙂
If you’ve been a reader of our work for a while, you know how much we care about paring down to the essentials and eliminating the rest.
Combine this philosophy with compassion for people, animals and the environment, and you have yourself a minimalist vegan.
The core of our message is the intersection of minimalism and veganism, which naturally falls under the umbrella of another buzzword, mindfulness.
Aspiring to live mindfully is a great ideal, but also has its share of challenges.
Challenges stem from the internal battle of consumerism.
Consumerism is what drives commerce. Our thirst for more is what advertisers try to exploit for profit. It’s mostly why we have become so disconnected from where our products come from, to the point that our decisions are literally destroying lives and the planet.
Well, that’s if you subscribe to mindless consumerism. In other words, relatively making purchasing decisions purely for your own benefit.
However, it’s not all bad…
If mindless consumerism is consuming for yourself, then mindful consumerism is consuming for yourself and others.
Let’s look at some hypothetical case studies.
Example 1 – Mindless consumerism
Anita is casually browsing through her Instagram feed and see’s an ad pop up in her stream from a large women’s fashion retailer, promoting their latest line of winter coats.
Anita loves the affordability and style of this brand, and even though she already owns multiple winter coats, she convinces herself that she needs a different coloured jacket to break things up. She clicks on the link and is taken to a collection page on the brands’ website.
She instantly spots this gorgeous long burgundy leather jacket. It’s on sale, so it was obviously meant to be!
She pays for the jacket and excitingly waits for it to arrive in the mail.
Next winter season she repeats the same process. Anita is pleased with herself. She bought a luxurious jacket at a reasonable price, and all of her girlfriends think she looks great in it.
To many people, this is a mindful decision.
However, as you dig deeper, it becomes apparent that this is not an act of mindful consumerism but instead an act of mindless consumerism.
For that jacket to be available for sale animals were slaughtered, workers were underpaid, unnecessary chemicals were used, and the environment suffered. All because Anita found a bargain at her favourite fast fashion store.
Example 2 – Mindful consumerism
Jamie does not buy clothes very often and has a tight rotation in her wardrobe.
However, it’s becoming apparent that Jamie needs a coat for winter because she literally has no other options.
Jamie considers herself to be a mindful consumer and takes shopping very seriously. She wants to find a jacket that of course looks nice, but is also vegan, fair trade and eco-friendly. She’s also happy to pay more for it if it’s better quality and lasts longer.
She proactively looks online and offline to find her ethically made jacket.
After a few weeks of looking she comes across an ethical fashion retailer in London. All of their garments are made in Europe and are cruelty-free.
Jamie is ecstatic to find a retailer that has the same ethical values as her and goes on to order her high-quality jacket at full price and told all of her friends to consider shopping at this store.
She feels good because she solved her wardrobe problem while dealing with the least amount of damage to others.
Jamie ultimately stays true to her values.
A mindful store for mindful consumers
The feeling that Jamie had when she found this ethical fashion store is the same feeling we want to create when people shop at Fairlings for essential everyday items.
And with the site going live today, I hope you don’t mind that we give our store a bit of a plug. Because frankly, we’re proud of it and we think it can make a significant difference in the world.
Fairlings is a store for mindful consumers. Proactive people who act upon their own accord and are not persuaded to make reactive buying decisions because of advertising and social pressures.
Fairlings is a brand that believes in compassion. Compassion for people, animals, and the environment. That’s why we’re always working to connect high-performance products that are fair trade, vegan, eco-friendly, and organic with the mindful consumers. The store at this stage is only shipping Australia-wide with us looking into expanding to other parts of the world in the future.
Each product has been religiously tested by multiple people to ensure that you only get the best quality. Beyond performance, we are picky in our curation of products and each brand we work with must tick many boxes concerning values and ethics.
Only the essentials
Simplicity is at the core of Fairlings. Unlike most retailers, Fairlings will only stock one product for each specific need. For example, you’ll only find one kind of drink bottle or one type of toothpaste as opposed to multiple items for each product category. These products may change over time if something better comes along. In the end, it’s about finding and supporting the best, nothing more and nothing less.
What does the name Fairlings mean?
The name was influenced by the life-changing documentary called EARTHLINGS. The main premise of the film is that all beings are Earthlings and should, therefore, act compassionately towards each other.
This documentary is what inspired us to turn vegan overnight.
In addition to animal welfare, Fairlings is about being fair to people and the environment. Fairness is about justice and respect for one another. This is how the name came about.
So are you a Fairling? If you are, check out our store and let us know what you think!