What does it mean to be a minimalist? by Lisa Nguyen

Does it mean having a sparsely furnished home? A monochrome colour scheme throughout? Or is it a Pinterest-esque spartan rack of carefully curated clothes? Do you look on longingly wishing your home or wardrobe resembled these enviable, clean, styled images? Or does it evoke feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety or feel like a threat to your piles of stuff? Perhaps the minimalist aesthetic doesn’t appeal to you - it’s too cold, uninviting, and frankly, unrealistic.

Over the last few years, we’ve been bombarded with interior trends flanked with white walls, white floors, seemingly empty rooms with minimal furnishings and decoration; books about the life-changing magic of tidying up; whittling your possessions down to the bare bones and only surrounding yourself with ‘things’ that bring you joy; Instagram accounts and blogs who continually spruik the benefits of getting rid of your stuff. But does it make sense for you to apply all of these ideas in your life - will you be happier with less?

Well the good news is that minimalism doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. There are many different ways that you can approach a minimalist lifestyle and lots of motivations for doing so. You have plenty of freedom to choose the style of minimalism that is right for you.

Essentials only

This type of minimalism focuses on living off of only what you need. The aim of this approach is to go for quality over quantity, ensuring that what you own will last a long time. Owning only a few high-quality items will enable you to rid yourself of unnecessary clutter. You can have one set of very nice dishes that last, instead of multiple sets of cheap ones that keep breaking or you’ve bought because they were on sale or trendy. Go for higher quality, timeless clothes that will give you years of use and help you to express your personality; instead of cheap garments that are poorly constructed or go ‘out of fashion’. Just remember to keep it small - minimal, even. Don’t go overboard, high quality clutter is still clutter. Invest your money in what you need and get rid of the rest.

darlingmagazine.org

darlingmagazine.org

Environmental awareness

Environmental minimalists are concerned with their impact on the world and keeping it to a minimum. Your aim is to try and minimise the amount of waste you create, and to develop self-sufficiency by living off the land a little more. For example, you can make things from scratch (and choosing sustainably sourced/grown raw materials), grow your own food or lessen the amount of plastic you use. Environmental minimalism isn’t necessarily about owning less, but consuming less overall and minimising your impact on the environment.

danslesac.co

danslesac.co

Experiences over belongings

This sort of minimalism is often borne out of necessity and not always from a conscious decision. Often these types of minimalists are focused on collecting experiences and making memories. They are less concerned with material possessions because they tend to weigh them down. This lifestyle is one of adventure and exploration, you will always be on the go. Your belongings are more likely to be packed in bags rather than stored in cupboards. Because of this it is often easier to own less, because there is less to take with you.

lottaagaton.se

lottaagaton.se

Minimalism for aesthetic

Minimalism isn’t always about a lifestyle choice, it can also be purely for aesthetic purposes. This kind of minimalism is all about the visual aspect of minimal living. There is less on display in your home and everything is clean and orderly. However, having less on display doesn’t always mean that you own less (although that can help). Most of your other belongings could be stored away in cupboards out of sight, as long as everything on display is aesthetically pleasing and minimal. Because of this focus on the visual, this sort of minimalism can also tend towards a preference for brand names and luxury items. Once again, it’s all about the aesthetic and design.

dietervandervelpen.com

dietervandervelpen.com

Mindful minimalism

This style of minimalism is an active choice and an approach used to help improve your state of mind. Decreasing clutter and reliance on material possessions can help to clear the mind of stress, guilt and other negative feelings. This style of simple living can help you to be more mindful about how your choices impact your relationships, finances, and the world. It is about designing the life that you want to live and finding joy in the structure and order of minimal living.

elisabethheier.no

elisabethheier.no

Regardless of your reasons, if you are planning on becoming a minimalist you will likely need to start reducing your clutter. One method of doing this could be to throw everything out with the rubbish, but this isn’t the most eco-friendly way. To reduce the amount you need to throw out, you could try selling items, either online or with a good old fashioned garage sale. If that doesn’t lighten your load, you could always give away the rest, either to friends and family, or to Goodwill. Failing that, you try to recycle as much as you can, do the research and find the best way to dispose of your items before throwing them in the trash.

Minimalism is a very personal choice for all who choose to embark on the lifestyle. It’s important to find a style that fits your needs and goals. It isn’t all about depriving yourself and going without, it’s still important to enjoy your life and interests within your minimalist lifestyle. Sometimes this can be difficult because hobbies can require a lot of equipment (e.g. crafting) which can create a lot of clutter and take up space. A great discussion on how to achieve a balance between your minimalist ideals and your hobbies can be found on the Minimalists blog. The key is to find the balance that works for you, and most importantly, that you are a living a life that brings you joy and fulfillment.

No matter what your reasons for taking on a minimalist lifestyle are, the important thing is that you are reaching the goals you set out to achieve. When you are deciding to give minimalism a go, it’s important to also decide on what it is you’re hoping to achieve. Whether it be wanting to clean up and declutter your home, trying to minimise your impact on the environment, clearing your mind and decreasing your stress, or all of the above, minimalism can be a useful method to achieve this. Keeping your goal in mind during this process can help keep you on track and motivate you to continue. At the end of the day, it is you that decides what your minimalist life looks like, and how it works for you.


ENOUGH babe: Lauren Hung of the blackline by lauren by Lisa Nguyen

You may have seen across our socials lately our love affair and crush on Lauren Hung, creative director behind 'the blackline by lauren'. After lots of texts and emails, we had the absolute pleasure of stealing her away into the studio during a visit to Adelaide for some downtime and a chat. Read on to find out why we love having Lauren as part of the ENOUGH community.

ENOUGH x the blackline by lauren for White Ribbon Australia

ENOUGH x the blackline by lauren for White Ribbon Australia

Lauren, we've read that 'the blackline by lauren' came to be after the culmination of events that made you question your career path, figuring out what made you feel alive and shifting your job satisfaction from yourself to the environment and benefitting society.

How has this vision evolved since you quit your corporate / fashion gig?

Did I even have a vision when I began? To be honest I don’t think I did! I was in survival mode and areally only thought calligraphy would tie me over for a couple of months while I found a “real job”. I think the ever-evolving job and the fact that I’ve relaxed into the constantly changing landscape of it has really informed and shaped the vision. For example – I got offered the opportunity to run a calligraphy workshop at West Elm Bondi Junction a couple of years ago, and realised from the experience that there was a market and an opportunity there – and I’d never previously considered running workshops. But now I’ve run workshops across the country for three years and it’s been really successful.

Contrary to most business owners I don’t have a business plan (yet); I don’t like to get stuck in written plans. I’m very adaptive so I re-jig ideas as I go. The vision I have today will very likely change. There is only one thing that remains, and that is my commitment to creating a job that gives back to the community and maximizes my potential & strengths.

What has surprised you (good and bad!) the most about running your own business?

Argh so much! This isn’t my first business so some things came more naturally this time (Major Perk!) Touching on my last comment, the greatest part has been forming a brand culture and role that works to my strengths; not having to squeeze myself into a generic job description. If I discovered something wasn’t my jam, I delegated it, and that is a luxury I appreciate most employees don’t have. It has also been the perfect space to find myself in, to learn, grow and rebuild myself as I left my last job feeling completely lost.

As for the bad, I think it was discovering that as a creative, when you make your therapy into a full time job it effects your relationship with it – not necessarily negatively but monetizing anything you love requires some hard decisions and boundaries. I say this because I pulled every single creative outlet I loved into my business only to discover that my life & my ability to relax outside of work was jeopardized. Some things that you love are supposed to remain just for you.

What's been the most exciting project or collaboration to-date?

I don’t know if I can answer this! I love the relationship – building aspect of my business and collaborations have been the physical output of incredible relationships. It’s like asking me to choose between my best friends. If I had to mention one, I’d say working with Megan Gale and her team was pivotal as it ingrained on my heart the importance of staying humble. Despite all her success, Megan is delightful, approachable and I had an incredibly rewarding experience with her.

Describe your perfect day

At work it’d be one where I have lots of different work on (A few experimental projects, some bread & butter work and some collaborations), lots of light in the studio, good tunes and flowers on my studio desk. I work well with fast-turn around times but it’s even better when I can work through things at a leisurely pace.

Outside of work, the perfect day includes morning light or drizzle, coffee in bed tucked up with inspiration, exploring somewhere new, farmers markets or day-trips to the country. I don’t need much – just a day of being immersed in beauty and soaking up inspiration and I’m set.

Your blog documents many beautiful collaborations. How do you like to collaborate?

I think the best thing about collaboration is that it challenges you to do things differently. I don’t have a set method with collaboration as I believe the magic happens when I sit down with the other creative / brand and allow their direction and strengths to inform what we’re going to do. Often this forces me to do something I’m not familiar with or haven’t tried before. The best collaborations have been those that have been ongoing and continued to evolve. For that reason I love collaborating with brands like Vaughan Baker as the collaborations have forced us to adapt, evolve and try new things with one another outside of our normal spheres – we’ve hosted a workshop together, we’ve collaborated on ceramics together, we’ve now made artworks together with the beautiful handmade paper she’s supplied – and with Mel of Vaughan Baker and creatives like yourself Lisa, I know that the collaborative relationship will always be like that; dynamic and open.

How do you spend your down time?

It always comes down to new things for me. I love wining and dining with friends in new spots, entertaining, trying new exercise regimes, reading, hiking, recently cooking! It’s constantly changing as I get over things quickly! And if I’m not doing that, it might be surprising considering how social my work is, but I’m actually introverted and need to refuel by having some time alone so that also happens.  

At ENOUGH, we're huge advocates for self-love. What's your favourite way to indulge in a little bit of self-love?

I had to think about this for a while as I could only think of things that I do very occasionally in the busy mix of running the business – travel, day spa treats etc. But on a daily basis, I’ve indulged in self-love by looking after my skin. I’ve learnt a lot about skincare whilst working for luxury brands and made it a priority to invest in good skincare products like La Prairie & The Beauty Chef to keep me glowing. I also invest in my eyebrows – Honeytusk Eyebrows in Sydney keep me looking sharp – and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done as it means I can be ever-ready to take on the world without make up; which saves me time and gives me an inner confidence that I need to take on the world.

What's your advice for aspiring movers and shakers?

Step out of your business and view it from the standpoint that it’s a self-development adventure – no matter what you do then, no matter what happens, you’re growing and developing yourself into a better human being. I know at the end of the day the blackline is developing me positively as a person, as a leader, as a team member. And a great attitude can be applied to any business, any role and any opportunity. Your business shouldn’t be your be-all, end-all.

What are your future plans for 'the blackline' (and yourself)?

Ah the ever-changing beast of future plans! I really can’t say – I obviously have some bare-bone plans for the future but I feel like I’m in a really interesting transition period both career wise and personally so it’s hard to say; and with so many different opportunities coming my way, I’m just as interested to see how it all unfolds!

Words to live by

This is a very hard question to answer in my line of work. I’m constantly posting my current words to live by on instagram. But I’d say that there is one philosophy I live by that shapes everything else – and that is the importance of investing in relationships that build me positively and committing to always growing as a person; and that is an ongoing commitment and not something that just happens by chance. If you’re getting around incredible mentors, reading, listening, building relationships with like-minded people and making sure you give back to them in return – wisdom won’t fall on deaf ears and you’ll find yourself supported and discerning with the types of words you’re going to let sink into your soul, and the type of words you’re going to let wash off you.

Check out the ENOUGH x the blackline by lauren charity works (all proceeds raised will be donated to White Ribbon), blog post | to purchase.

ENOUGH’s top 6 Netflix documentary recommendations by Lisa Nguyen

Who doesn’t love a good Netflix binge? While I love spending my down time getting outdoors or catching up with some friends for coffee, sometimes a Netflix session and a cozy cup of tea is warranted.

Some of my favourite things about Netflix are the amazing and insightful documentaries available. If you’re familiar with ENOUGH and the team, you will know that we’re huge advocates of sustainable and ethical living; it’s at the core of the studio and affects all of our business decisions. In saying that, we know there is always something new to learn, so I often find myself when scrolling through Netflix looking for a great documentary that is going to remind or teach me in a new way.

I’ve found some amazing ones recently that I wanted to share with you. Here are ENOUGH’s top 6 doco recommendations on Netflix.
 

Chasing Ice

Synopsis: Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Mission Blue

Synopsis: Mission Blue follows world renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle on her personal mission to save the ocean. Sylvia Earle - scientist, explorer, visionary - has spent over 6 decades exploring the ocean and the creatures who live there. Mission Blue documents Sylvia's efforts over 3 years as she takes on the greatest challenge of her remarkable life: a personal mission to reverse the destructive course our species is on before it's too late.

Minimalism

Synopsis: How might your life be better with less? Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things examines the many flavours of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.

Sustainable

Synopsis: A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.

Terra

Synopsis: Terra looks at the natural history of mankind and our existence on Earth. It looks back on the unique journey of a species which, among millions of others, has evolved and emerged from the many phases of our planet’s growth. As it progresses, we witness a number of remarkable and individual characteristics of certain life-forms.

How do we wish to interact with other species that live around us? The power of Terra resides in this very question. This documentary will show how our own image and representation of nature has always been decisive in human history, and how it can still change the course of events to come.

The True Cost

Synopsis: This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
 

We always love a chat here at ENOUGH, so if you have any questions or just want to chat about any of the above, come in to the studio or drop us a line.

The Harsh Facts by Lisa Nguyen

It's no secret that at ENOUGH we're big advocates of living an ethical, organic and sustainable life. There are many ways in which we can make a positive contribution to the world and for our community. At ENOUGH, we're taking lots of steps which will hopefully lead us in the right direction including stocking incredible organic and sustainably sourced products from OWAY and Mr. Smith; sourcing our goods locally and from equally sustainable businesses; as well as partnering with Sustainable Salons Australia to ensure all of our waste products don't just end up in landfill.

What really motivated us when developing our offering were some of the harsh facts we discovered when researching recycling, consumption and modern lifestyles. We believe education is at the heart of change (and hopefully, always for the better!) so we've pulled together some pretty shocking facts (we think so anyway) that may help motivate you to shake up your lifestyle and become conscious about what you're putting in or on your body, as well as the effect of our behaviours on the health of the environment.

Did you know?

  • Australians are among the top producers of waste in the world.
  • We produce approximately 50 million tonnes of waste each year - that's an average of two tonnes per person, and growing.
  • The Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year.
  • Four million tonnes of food ends up as landfill; enough to fill 8,400 Olympic sized swimming pools. That's approximately $3,800 worth of groceries per household, each year.
  • Thirty-five percent of the average household bun is food waste.
  • One in five shopping bags end up in the bin.
  • Reusable bags need to be used at least 50 times in order for their environmental benefits to be realised - so don't forget them next time you go shopping.
  • Almost 14 billion plastic single-use soda bottles, water bottles, and other beverage containers are used by Australians each year.
  • Australian homes are notably some of the worst at conserving water in the world.
  • The King River in Tasmania is the most polluted source of water in Australia; this is largely in part, due to the mining industry.
  • Upwards of 85% of Australian households contribute to water pollution (knowingly and unknowingly), by improperly disposing of garbage and waste.
  • Eighty-five percent of marine birds in Australia are impacted in some way by marine plastic pollution.
  • Land pollution makes up over 80% of all marine and freshwater pollution in Australia.
  • Sulphates - the detergent typically found in products that foam - are easily absorbed by our skin, and builds up in major organs like our heart, liver and brain.
  • PPD, a chemical commonly found in hair dyes can cause severe allergies that result in closed eyelids, and in some extreme cases, can cause hives or even anaphylaxis.
  • Australians produce an estimated 140,000 tonnes of e-waste each year, but only 4% is recycled.

Pretty startling, hey? By making lots of small changes in our daily lives, we hope it ends up having a big impact (i.e. like reducing our carbon footprint, deterring from unnecessary consumption, and being considerate and mindful of what happens to the byproducts from the production and consumption of products and services). If you want to be part of the change, come into the studio and have a chat - because we work better together as a community.

The 30 day Minimalism Game by Lisa Nguyen

The 30 Day Minimalism Game was designed by The Minimalists, set to help you and your friends or family members break-free of your cluttered, over-consumptive lifestyles. The rules are simple, each day you get rid of excess items in your life: day 1 = 1 item, day 2 = 2 items, and so on. You can imagine towards the end of the month it can get quite challenging. In total you’ll vettisen 465 items from your life.

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5 ways to live your best life by Lisa Nguyen

enough-studio-5-ways-to-live-your-best-life-blog.jpg

At ENOUGH, we’re always on the lookout for ways to make our lives better and more enjoyable. We believe that happiness is not a finite resource; we can make changes in our lives to create more happiness for ourselves and also give as much happiness to those in our lives and community too.

We’ve put together a list of 5 simple ways to live your best life (it was tough whittling it down to 5 - we’ll be sure to share more tips in the future). These are all small, micro changes and can be done on a minimal budget and with little effort.

  1. Minimalism.
    We’ve expanded on our approach towards minimalism in our blog “The 30 Day Minimalism Game”, but we are true advocates of minimalist living. We believe that our modern lives are focused on overconsumption; whether it be the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and even the way we binge watch TV series - it’s all about getting things quickly and in large volumes. Living this way means we’ve managed to accumulate a lot of stuff that clutters our lives physically but can also be really emotionally taxing. We encourage you to live with less by asking yourself if you really need what you’re about to buy or consume, or whether it’s just a want. You’ll be surprised at the deep sense of freedom you’ll find by letting go of material possessions and becoming rich in experiences instead.

  2. Going chemical-free.
    Now this is probably the hardest out of these five ways to live your best life as it requires you to make a monetary investment. The first step is to make a plan. Don’t go and throw out every chemical product you can find in your house - replacing it will cost you a fortune. Start by making a list of what chemicals you use in your home on a daily basis. This includes cleaning materials, make-up, skin care and food items too. Secondly, do your research and find sustainable and organic products that work for you. You’ll be surprised at the breadth of products that is actually on the market these days, or even the amount of DIY cleaners and beauty products that you can make at home from simple, natural ingredients. Finally, make a plan to phase these products out gradually. Perhaps you want to start by buying organic and cruelty-free groceries, before replacing all the cleaning products, and then looking into your beauty products. Remember this is a lifestyle change and you shouldn't expect to make it overnight.

  3. Look for the positives!
    It might sound silly, but you can actually train your brain to look for the positives in situations, as opposed to the negatives. Just like playing the piano or learning a new language, practice is essential. A great way to help train the brain for the better is to think of three positive things that happened to you during the day before getting into bed each night. Creating and practicing this habit will strengthen your ability to naturally start looking for those small wins during the day and you’ll start noticing more of the positives you may have missed previously.

  4. Get into nature.
    At ENOUGH, we’re big fans of taking a break and getting outside whenever we can. Mother Earth is so magnanimous in her beauty and getting out and taking a moment of silence in her presence is incredibly beneficial. Make a conscious effort to go for a 20 minute walk each day surrounded by as much greenery as you can, or even better, get out of the city on the weekends and get off the beaten track. You’ll be surprised at how much more energetic and relaxed you’ll feel by getting additional exposure to natural light and fresh air. Make it a truly immersive experience by putting down your phone and soak in what nature has to offer.

  5. Slow it right down.
    We hate this “disease of busyness” that people seem to have these days! Everyone seems to always be rushing - whether it’s deadlines, getting to dinner, getting the latest gadget - it’s all too much. It’s so important to plan personal time off with the same level of intentionality that we use for our professional lives. Putting you first and looking after your basic need for rest is so important, don’t let it be the last thing on your list.

If you have questions about the above or just want to talk to us more about how you could live your best life, come into the salon and have a chat. We’re also keen to swap stories and talk about how we can best support ourselves and our community.