If you have been following my blog for the last year, you would know that I have given a lot of thought to minimalism and simplicity – from automating my work clothing by developing a work uniform, participting in minimalism challenges, and moving overseas which required a significant reduction in stuff. I had come face-to-face with my consumption habits, and it was not always a flattering picture.
I am always on the lookout for products that simplify my life and allow me to move away from disposable culture and adopt more sustainable consumption practices. Unfortunately, as soon as you move from cheap, throw-away items, the price of these products seems daunting and it is sometimes hard to decifer what is worth the investment.
I thought I would share the 5 products that I use daily and have brought me so much joy, that have stood up to my rigorous abuse, and are now staples in my life.
1. Passion planner – I have always been a planner fanatic, and this is the best planner I have ever had in my life. I love how it allows me to organize my life, balance work and play, reflect, and dream. It has helped me organize my seemingly-endless to-do lists but it has also cracked open my creative doors, encouraging me to draw, colour, and write.
2. Lamy fountain pen – One pen to rule them all. I am an over-buyer of office supplies. In an effort to reduce my consumption of plastic and also to reduce my carelessness that has resulted in losing innumerable pens, I invested in this pen. It has a beautiful writing feel (smooth and juicy). I have been using it for several months now, and it has held up remarkably well to my constant abuse.
3. Nudie jeans – Shortly after arriving in the UK, I had to replace a pair of blue jeans. I took my normal approach, headed to H&M and bought a pair of inexpensive jeans. However, I noticed within a few weeks, they were already showing signs of wear and I knew it would only be a matter of time before they had to be chucked out. Spurned on by the site Buy Me Once, I decided to find a pair of jeans that was well-made and rugged that was built to last. That is how I came across Nudie jeans. The ethos of the company was very attractive.
WE DON’T BELIEVE throwaway and jeans are words that belong together.
Just the opposite, jeans are a piece of clothing that ages and grows more beautiful with the wearer, and are worth wearing out and mending.
Nudie jeans start with high quality, organic materials, the company offers free repair services, they sell second-hand pairs (offering you 20% off on a new pair if you bring in your old ones for resale), and finally, they recycle worn out jeans into new ones and other products by cutting and milling the old pairs into cotton pulp to use as raw material for new things.
Also, in the care directions, Nudie advises against washing the jeans. It is giving me no end to the measure of enjoyment that I don’t have to wash my jeans. I LOVE any product that means less laundry and encouraging the idea of embedding the awesomeness of life into the jeans
Your jeans might not be new any longer but they are most certainly more unique, beautiful and full of character. Regardless of your lifestyle, your jeans has become a log of the time you spent wearing them – you might even have a few anecdotes referring to different stains, abrasions, or scrapings.
Completely convinced, I popped by the shop and paid the many ££ for a pair of black jeans a few months ago, and I am completely won over. I am relishing breaking them in, they have a great fit, and they are holding up impeccably. I am really looking forward to the (not-too-distant) death of my last pair of disposable blue jeans to be able to adopt my next pair.
4. Coach wallet – As my last “luxury” purchase before starting my PhD, I bought a beautiful leather wristlet. Unfortunately, the liner was defective (tearing almost immediately). I was in contact with Coach, and finally received a response offering to replace it. While it was a bit of a process, I am such a huge proponent of companies that stand behind their products and sometimes spending the extra money can be justified if this is the case. I now am thrilled with my sunny yellow wallet, which reminds me of daffodils, happiness, and everything good. It is the perfect size to fit my phone and other essentials.
5. Society6 phone case – Speaking of phones, I suffer from the modern affliction of having my cell permanently affixed to my body. My two previous phones were protected with Society6 covers, which are tough and beautiful. The art work is submitted by independent artists, who receive a portion of the proceeds from each sale. You can even add your own pictures/artwork and have products made of your own stuff! It is super cool (here are a few pics I have uploaded). When I upgraded to my current phone, I had resisted purchasing another of these cases, because it was expensive. Instead, I bought the super cheap ebay option. However, after my phone died a premature, distressing death, I realized that I should pony up for a rugged case. Soiety6’s tough cases are spectacularly beautiful and so unique. You could definitely find something that fits your style, life, or humour. I also have the laptop skins for both of my computers, (this and this) which have protected my machine from the scratches and gouges that come from travelling around town with me. Have you found any everyday essentials that you swear by? Would love to hear about them. Also, stay tuned for my favourite adventuring things!