This is the second part of our two part series, paired with last week's article Less But Better
Last week we covered one of our favourite concepts to help both ourselves mentally, and our planet - less but better. We discussed how consuming fewer, yet higher quality and longer lasting products will improve both our lives and help our planet. This is a great place to start, but there is a catch to the less but better mentality - it can cost a lot.
Maybe you want to have fewer, nicer things but you can’t exactly swing $100 for a pair of selvedge jeans, so reluctantly you purchase the $30 pair. Even though you know the $100 pair will last longer and likely be less expensive in the long run, the upfront cost can still be too much.
In addition to this, I feel that sometimes a ‘less but better’ mentality can be skewed as an excuse to splurge on expensive items without considering if they are actually higher quality and will last longer. You might purchase a top of the line phone with good intentions of ‘less but better’ but in reality, phones age, screens crack, the OS stops being supported, and eventually you’re forced to upgrade in a few years whether or not it’s a top of the line phone. Now this isn’t to say that ‘less but better’ doesn’t apply to technology, but more so that it should be a choice made with careful consideration as opposed to simply splurging on what is most expensive.
This brings us to this article’s title - Less But Yours which is a method for having a ‘less but better’ mentality without having to purchase the most expensive products.
Our concept for Less But Yours is that even though a product might not be the best of the best, you treat it as if it is. It’s yours - it’s a special item that you take care of, that you cherish, and that you keep going as long as possible. Those $30 dollar jeans aren’t just a pair of pants that you reluctantly bought because you couldn’t afford the $100 pair. They’re your special pair of jeans, a pair you cherish and respect. You wash them less often and more gently, you hang them to dry, you patch them when they get holes, you take care of them and treat them as if they were a $500 dollar pair of jeans.
The photo to the right is of one of our favourite pieces of furniture (and the focus of an upcoming workshop). It’s a solid oak dresser we bought off craigslist for a grand total of $50 - the catch? It was well used and quite dated, with its shiny brass handles and golden oak hue - the trend of choice for the late 70’s and early 80’s. But over the next couple weekends we worked hard and refinished it (which is what our workshop covers) and transformed it into a beautiful, modern piece of furniture. More than that though, because we put so much work into it, it has become something more. A special piece of furniture that we helped create, and wouldn’t trade for anything.
Now it’s important to remember that they’re all just items, just stuff, and it’s all temporary. You shouldn’t ever value items anywhere near as much as you value relationships, friends and family, or the myriad other things that are actually important in life. But less but better and less but yours should instead offer freedom. Freedom from craving the latest and greatest gadgets and toys. Freedom to enjoy the important things in life.
Imagine a life where someone comes to you and offers a million dollars to replace all your items, and you look around at all your stuff - carefully curated, taken care of, and special in its own way - and you respond ‘No thanks, I’m good’