Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do we have things?”
Sure some things are essential and play a very functional role to our lives and daily well-being but why do we make purchases the way we do and own the things we own?
I can’t remember how I stumbled upon The American Edit but I was captivated by its core message, and what the podcast represents. In essence, The American Edit is about supporting the “made in America” product label and American indie designers and curators. The website and podcast discuss about everything that relates to the brand/shop-in-question and the mindsets, habits and practices of those who drive the brand. It’s so fascinating to enter the world of those who live such considered lives and are completely conscious about their decisions before taking another material item back into their home. Price points are generally not the main focus. Instead the brands and people featured on The American Edit fuss over things like quality, aesthetics, community, equality and environment, which is so good for me as I’m beginning to dip my toe into that world. In fact, I was so hooked to those concepts that I downloaded all of the podcast episodes that I didn’t have the chance to listen to and played them on the plane to and back from Malaysia a few weeks ago.
Whilst I love the idea of supporting smaller brands and curating my wardrobe with only pieces that I love and cherish, I also need to be at peace with the fact that high street does have a place in my life. It is certainly not rocket science and nothing in this realm needs to be black and white but it is a struggle when it comes to finding a balance between my desires and reality. Some people have the financial capability and immense willpower to only invest in things that are handcrafted and ethically sourced but some just don’t. Some people could live minimally and some just crave for variety. I for one do not belong in both extremes but hover along the continuum depending on the stage of life that I’m in. I really appreciate the positive and eye-opening beliefs that some people base their lives around (and would love to someday be like them) but right at this moment in life, it is already a win for me to recognise some of their great lifestyle choices and ideas as I try to implement them in my life.
Take the above linen shirt for example, my fascination and love for them really only came after I heard a couple of podcast episodes that mentioned about this hardwearing material. I was overjoyed when I saw an array of them at Uniqlo and have since worn the striped beauty a few times. Some people may classify Uniqlo as “cheap” but I really do find their quality amazing. Although they’re far from being a small brand, I love many things that they do and have maximised many of their basics like cotton tees (see here, here and here for a few eg.) and underwear. A conviction for the brand is what kept me going back over and over again.
So after this fairly long spiel, I guess it’s fair to ask once more “Why do we have things?”