The March of the Minimalist

‘Stuff’ gets a bad rap.

Our oceans are choking from it. Our landfills are crammed with it.

Our lives are consumed by the pursuit of it.

But can we be happier with bigger, newer, shinier stuff?

Probably not.

Cue the ditching of stuff and the rise of the minimalist.

The minimalist manifesto

The minimalist movement has influenced every aspect of our lives.

From fast furniture to fast fashion, many Australians have decided to live with less in an attempt to eradicate the stress that having excess ‘stuff’ can create.

But it’s not just the personal stress that minimalists want to avoid. It’s the environmental impact.

Australians throw away an average of 6,000kg of clothing every 10 minutes. E-waste is growing three times faster than any other type of waste in Australia.

Even the stuff that clogs up our working day has fallen prey to some minimalist pruning.

Author and architect of the 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss, encourages us to eliminate the unimportant stuff from our work schedules, engaging in only those activities that produce the desired outcomes.

Create loyalty through experience

The minimalist approach to shopping has changed the way many brands interact with their customers.

Successful brands engage with customers through digital content and more intimate and authentic shopping experiences, both online and in-store.

Make less, sell more

Limited product range + social media brand storytelling = increased desire in consumer.

The minimalist consumer doesn’t want to wade through a hundred versions of the same mass-produced item in different colours.

Brands that introduce an element of scarcity into their ranges are more likely to appeal to minimalist consumers.

Reuse, recycle

Flat-packed furniture legend, Ikea, has recently trialled a scheme where it ‘recycles’ furniture returned by customers at drastically reduced prices. The customers who return items that will be on-sold receive a store voucher.

Not only does this score Ikea some serious minimalist Brownie points, it also allows the company to make money from products it has already sold.

For brands seeking to engage the minimalist consumer, focusing on quality, not quantity and on customer experience is the best way to start.

Although at its heart the minimalist movement is all about less, there’s certainly more of them than ever before.