At some point in the evolution of society we moved from "I think, therefore I am." to "I consume, therefore I am.". The wellbeing of the world is measured in growth of how much we buy. Consumption promises happiness but never delivers, instead we are left with an ongoing desire for more.
Access to more products is increasing daily but so is our disconnect with our communities and families. We are fast realising consumption and wellbeing are not directly related. Conscious consumption is on the rise.
In a world of excess, clutter, stress and disconnect, returning to natural simplicity is not just a trend, it is the Natural Movement.
9 Reasons the Natural Movement is growing.
We don't go 'natural', we return. Natural is where it began. We believe there is a natural alternative to all our daily consumption needs, and we are not the only ones.
Every day, increasing numbers of people are turning to more simplicity, more transparency, more natural alternatives. People are realising the secret to satisfaction lies in buying less and doing more. Trends like minimalism, organic and natural products, diets of only natural whole foods and supporting local are becoming global phenomenons, but why?
1. Concern for safety.
People are becoming frustrated with the lack of transparency in manufactured consumer products. Labeling laws do not require full disclosure of ingredients or their origins. Listed ingredients often include terms and chemicals that are unfamiliar and not understood. Opting for natural products is a priority for an increasing number of people. Information on impacts of product recalls and use of harmful chemicals or manufacturing practices travel freely and quickly so stories of accidental consumption of household products by children are frequently passed on. People are increasingly weary of what they and their families are exposed to.
2. The quest for good health.
A diet of natural foods maximises vitamin and nutrient intake. This is an undisputed fact. With increasing numbers of people developing negative reactions to additives in products, the search for alternatives is gaining traction. We are realising it is possible to reduce exposure to dangerous detergents, artificial preservatives, colorants, flavours and hidden refined sugars, and so people are starting to question what they buy and use.
3. High levels of personal debt.
After years of living beyond their means, people are finally starting to make changes. More and more are choosing to simplify, downsize and declutter to get out of the crushing cycle of debt and the mantra of doing more with less is gaining acceptance. More are starting to consciously choose to understand better, so they can buy less, buy more purposefully and save more.
4. Concern for the environment.
Rising prevalence of campaigns like "The Last Straw" are no accident. People are becoming more aware of the damage consumption is doing and the need for environmental protection. As society consumes more the problems with waste and resource depletion worsen, and more and more people are actively choosing to participate in making a difference by paying attention to what we can do at home to help the environment.
5. Increasing social awareness.
People are born with an instinct to help and do good. From as young as 12 months old children will show instinctive signs of an unquestionable willingness to help. We are more aware of poverty and injustice and less willing to support industries or products that are seen as part of the problem. More people are willing to take a stand to support organisations which do social good.
6. A desire for more connection and community.
There is a growing trend to support local community-based businesses and producers. Farmers markets and small-scale producers are regaining popularity, with more families regularly connecting with local traders. We are slowly rediscovering the rewards in this closer, more connected way of consumption.
7. Chaotic lifestyles and rising stress.
Life is more chaotic and busy. People are searching for options to reduce stress and create more freedom and time. As increasing numbers of people move towards a life of natural simplicity, we are realising that freedom, time and clarity are some of the benefits of this Natural Movement.
8. The realisation that there is more to life than possessions
There is a growing trend of conscious consumers challenging the claims that the next purchase will bring satisfaction. These people are beginning to seek happiness and fulfillment in other areas: relationships, social causes, and significance.
9. The quest for meaning and significance
"The production of many useful things creates many useless people." Karl Marx.
The current generation has seen more technological advancements than any before it. Our societal balance has shifted from a reliance on ourselves to a reliance on companies and things. Basic skills like cooking, mechanics, building, and gardening are no longer passed on through generations. We automatically outsource these simple skills, without realising the impact on our sense of independence and self-confidence. More people are questioning this move. We are slowly rediscovering the intrinsic rewards that go with learning, creating and understanding what truly serves our daily needs. More of us are realising our sense of fulfillment starts with the small things.