It’s hard to believe what an astounding impact this simple decision would have on my personal and business future. Below are the words from a 3 year younger me (who seems like a completely different person), as I unknowingly alter my path in life.
For those of you wondering how Upholstery Art & the business ethics of an.ti.quate came to light - here is the beginning. Every small step taken towards an environmentally conscious mindset, the closer I feel to living my soul purpose.
I hope you enjoy the beginning, and I look forward to experiencing and sharing the coming chapters...
A Stuff-less Mind (maybe Mind-set)
I have a dream ~ well...ok it’s more of a goal or a challenge but it just didn't have the same ring to it.
My beloved business is of course everything upholstery - from interior design to fabric and structural work, and all aspects in-between. Not only does this allow me to unleash my creative mind on countless wonderful pieces of furniture, it also makes me uber proud and over-the-moon-excited at the fact my customers are making a sustainable choice. With their conscious effort, and my assistance, we are saving yet another product from contributing to our ever growing land fill.
an.ti.quate certainly started as a love for upholstery and interior design, yet has quickly evolved into so much more. With a strong passion for creative design, sustainability and making an effort to reduce our footprint in this wonderful world we live in, it is now top of my priorities. I thoroughly enjoy challenging my perception everyday on 'stuff'.
What is 'stuff'? 'Stuff' is the complete contents of that cupboard you haven't opened since you moved in. 'Stuff' is the entire new wardrobe you bought yourself but still feel like you have nothing to wear. 'Stuff' is also the bargains you scored, that you didn't actually need, but bought because the big red and white sale signs hypnotised you into doing so.
So in efforts to create a stuff-less mind or way of thinking, I am spending the next 12 months of my life, completely 100% dedicated to reducing my footprint. This will be done in many ways, but first focusing on how to change our general perception. The amount of 'stuff' produced and shipped worldwide is astronomical. We now have this throw away attitude to so many things that could really be avoided. And where is 'away' anyway? We are really throwing it to...someone else's problem.
For next 12 months I will not buy anything brand new. Everything must be recycled, reused, salvaged or second-hand.
When I thought of this challenge for myself, I enthusiastically explained it to my Dad "...this will be great, EVERYTHING must be second-hand!!!" He replied with "...oh I hope you have enough underwear to last a year." (insert awkward realisation face here).
So let’s get the ground rules out now - If it's food, safety or hygiene related, then it’s probably not the smartest idea in using second-hand, however I will make every possible effort to reduce my impact on the planet with any purchase I do have to make.
I'm not going to lie - when I decided this was my year ahead, about 15 seconds later I actually thought 'oh I better start it next week as I still haven't got around to buying a hair straightener yet.' FAIL. It is seriously that easy for your mind to convince you that you need something. This is one of the growing problems in our society - the short lived 'joy' in seemingly needing to buy unnecessary items for it to then be discarded like the 'stuff' that was 'needed' before.
Now I'm not saying that a hair straightener is unnecessary. It's certainly a luxury item, however us natural frizzy heads should still have the option of looking styled for the dance (...the dance?! Seriously, how old am I?!). What I am saying is that if little Lucy was lucky enough to get a new straightener for her birthday, she may want to resell her now out-of-date edition. If she can't resell last year’s edition, she's hardly going to hold on to it to pass down to the grandkids in 50 years (as they may very well be born genetically modified with perfect hair). Let's be honest, the dated straightener is heading straight to landfill to hang out with last year’s iPhone (totally recyclable by the way), and all the antiquated furniture (mega sad face!).
I invite any or all of you to take little steps in creating a future to make our great grandchildren proud. If we stay accountable to ourselves and the impact we have on the planet, we can make a considerable difference to what lies ahead for us. I'd love to hear any tip or tricks you may have and will certainly share them (as well as the nuts and bolts of living with my new found stuff-less mind) in the coming blogs.
Just a heads up to my family and friends ~ this includes presents. So if you're thinking of getting married, having a baby or a birthday...maybe wait a year (haha kidding!). I promise so much more love and effort will go into any stuff-less gifts I give, than any store bought equivalent could ever have!
P.S. Little Lucy's hair straightener works a treat