Could we ban the consumption – of almost everything? My utopian ideas… *trigger warning*

Let’s just presume that the system at hand is messed up. That the politicians and the organisations works hand in hand to serve the interest of capitalism and economic growth.

  • What is the minimum amount of things we need? – My utopian idea

Disclaimer: So, this will mainly just be a stream of consciousness and many people have better and much more thought-through ideas on this topic. I would love to find out more!

  1. Need: We need housing. Transportation. Food, clean water, electricity, heat, waste systems, sewage. Clothes. Technology*. Medicine.
    • Housing – Current best solutions: tiny living or community living. (Tiny house, Eco-villages or urban eco-housing)
    • Transportation – Bicycle, walking, bus*, tram*, car-pool.
    • Food – Permaculture, community grown vegan food.
    • Clean water – Boiling water? Spring water?
    • Electricity – to start to follow the natural rhythms of the sun (quite difficult here up north) and using 100% renewable energy (solar, wind, wave)
    • Heating/cooling systems – I know too little – but maybe tank + solar collector?
    • Waste systems – Living zero-waste would only demand composting… realistic?
    • Sewage – First off – have a system where only ones “business” goes into the toilet, and where we would use water instead of toilet paper (like in some parts of Asia)
    • Clothes.. would be fixed when broke. And limited to natural materials, such as non-dyed cotton, hemp and linnen. Locally-made accessories in wood, metals, stones, or glass could be something to add. Could potentially support ecological wool for colder seasons, although I’m a vegan.. but not as the industry looks like right now.. or I’m not entirely convinced…  Right now, however, is the best choice to reuse by buying second hand, no matter the label or material.
    • Technology – if we digitalised all books, music, notes, and had internet + a tablet (obs – not the most environmentally friendly way – but sustainable?)
    • Medicine – the system is inevitable – we need medication still – taking care of our bodies, stressing less, eating well (vegan <3), and exercise would bring down the need to some extent

If this theory would hold, to simplify, we would still need a government to provide:

  • Security, law, & enforcement
  • Hospitals
  • Professional education for the areas mentioned
  • Sewage systems
  • Roads
  • Public transport

Corporations would still have to provide:

  • Cloth of linnen, cotton, & hemp
  • Tablets, software (IT)
  • Broadband (communication)
  • Medicine
  • Natural raw materials: glass, metal
  • Some limited commodities (bicycles, solar panels, machines, equipment and materials for production of mentioned organisational and governmental systems)

Clearly, a decreased population would also help, by people making the choice of having no, one or two children, and adopting. Death-help to elderly that have lived long and happy lives and that now wishes to sleep in for good would also increase quality of life and decrease population size since medication advancement can keep people alive much longer than what their bodies and minds are made for and feel good in (if you get my point).

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The Power of Female Role Models

As a person who identifies as a woman with a lot of “feminine energy” in me, the role of other women as inspiration has been crucial for my success. I bond very easily with other women, and do not have the classic “female competitiveness” in me, as some women are said to have (is this a real thing??). I never tried to compete with other women over male attention (honestly the whole concept of it is SO patriarchal) or live with the belief that the success of another woman makes me appear as less. For me, it’s the other way around. Every woman who succeeds, that takes a higher authority position, that gets a lot of social space, that follows her dreams, is yet another proof of female greatness.

I was thinking about getting more personal and talk about the women that have inspired me and that continue to push me in the right direction of empowerment.

When I was a kid, my mom was my idol, because she was strong, shouted “women can!”, won over my dad in arm wrestling, and had the guts to divorce my dad when she wasn’t happy in the relationship.

The next woman that impacted my life was Birgitta Henriksson, my teacher from 4-6th grade. Although I was a bit of a geek and quite lost in life, not to mention that I dressed alternatively, she praised me to the entire class about my academic achievements. She recognised my hard work and although I went to a help-teacher for spelling and grammar, she was never slow in recognising me in the other subjects. She made me identify myself as “smart” which would have a major impact on the rest of my life.

My aunt, Alexandra, gave me my first job at 15. And yeah, did I mention that she was/is absolutely gorgeous too and filled with women power. Nothing is impossible according to her. And she taught me early on to not be scared to push my personal brand. She took me in, praised me for my hard work in her store, and made me feel great about myself. After working there, she has continued to be my life coach and inspiration.

I was working as an accountant/financial controller over two summers for Scania. My boss Petra Rydenman, really took me under her wings, believed in me to do things I was initially intimidated by and was constantly encouraging. She told me I would go far and those words stuck with me. Having someone else believe in you is worth more than money could ever buy.

My best friends. Rebecca Heine, Caroline Ljungström, and Hanna Partoft, three girls with amazing talents, guts, and personalities, are just a few of my amazing girlfriends that have all thought me important life lessons. Rebecca has taught me that my sexuality is no one’s but mine and that I can do what the heck I want. Her constant response when I ask her opinion on doing something crazy is always “Do it!”. And yeah, she is overall the most humble yet successful/amazing/intelligent person I know. A conversation with her turns out to always be meaningful, inspiring, and/or healing. She is my oldest friend and she has always accepted me for who I was and where I was in life, and always been that support. Caroline (Carro) has been that tough-love friend over the years. She says it as it is, tells me to get my shit together, and has given me mainly two life lessons: 1. Everything is going to be fine in the end, just chill. 2. Fork it, you can do whatever you want. Don’t settle. Don’t take shit. You are amazing and deserve the best. Hanna has taught me things more indirectly by just being herself. She is one of the most “real” people I know and she is not scared of being herself, to stand up for what she believes in, of asking questions, of bonding with people. She laughs a lot, and has this passion and hunger in life few people ever get to experience. These women have conquered their own struggles and insecurities to reach for the life and the experiences they want to have. – Empowered women indeed.

And last, but not least, my grandmother. Well, I can’t summarise everything she has done for me. Let’s just say that she’s an angel. That she pushes me to do my best. That she showers me with unconditional love. That she has patience with me. That she respects me. That her life story is more incredible than most. She is the embodiment of an empowered woman, that empowers me through support, encouragement, love, and understanding.

Women in my personal life that have inspired me:

Alva Hall – Her ability to be sincere towards herself, for tapping-in with people, for being kind, caring of others, standing up for herself, displaying empathy and vulnerability, for being strong

Matilde Andersen – Her ability to just go her own way. To put herself in authority positions without hesitation.

Andrea Rebollo – For saying out loud that she’s a bad ass bitch and sorry not sorry

Lisa Hällström – For going into her job position and her new life with such professionalism at a such a young age.

Aleksandra Naglik – For working hard and committing – but always laughing and not taking life so seriously. For teaching me that you can go on vacation on your own if you would like.

Denise Fiona – For being so committed to her responsibilities and work, for following through, staying through thick and thin, to meet challenges without fear.

Rebecca Connor – For her ways of empowering herself, standing up for what she believes in. For applying to her dream job and working hard to get there.

Weronika Grec – Because she was 18 in London on her own and she took care of me, in her cool french way.

Kristina Bergman – Because she’s not scared to be dominant, to be the center of attention, to be leading

Camilla Bergman – Because she dares to passionately try new things that she believes in, because she empower and care for the women around her. Because of the way she is raising her daughter.

Haley Quantz – Because she took charge over her own life and destiny, did the things that appealed to her, because she talks about important things that matters.

Felicia Lindhe – Because she was my key support when I lived in the US. Being a true friend, when we both were in a difficult situation.

Nina Sandström – Because of her entrepreneurial spirit and kind soul.

Kristine Knudsen – Because of her determination and success in her career at such an young age.

Hanna Olsson – Because of her ability to follow her dreams and do the things she loves, and being who she wants.

Alexandra Barganowski – Because her major support, her career, and all around badass-ness.

Angelica Holmquist – Because she is non-apologetic about her success and dares to take social space and speak her mind.

Caitlin McDonald – Because of her strong feminine energy and kindness combined with her badass career progress.

Birgitta Elvin – Because of her dominant attitude and leading position in most of her relationships.

Klara Westby – Because of her over-winning her fears, committing to hard work, and follow-through on her dreams.

Ana Rozman – Because of her ability to not being intimidated by anything.

Frida Nilsson – For her ability to be both this cool and confident person while also being one the most warm and kind people I’ve ever met.

Amanda Kanange – For standing up and improvise a speech for a full group of people without minor hesitation or fear.

Malin Birol – For being a role model of a woman that both displays independence and authority, while also enjoying life at its fullest.

Annika Nylen – For acknowledging the creativity in me and for encouraging creative and emotional expressions in academia.

and many more.

 

My conclusion is that I would be nowhere without these women.

We need female presidents, teachers, coaches, bosses. We need female relationships to not only tell us that we can, but that also lead by example. I believe that there will be a whiplash effect. The more power women get, the easier will it be for the next generation of women to do the same. Because someone showed these girls that it is possible for a woman to do it too.

Some of the points that I’ve raised, like sexuality, leadership, authority, knowledge, love, support, are all equally important. We have so many voices in society that tell women what they can and cannot do. That their bodies are public property, that their purpose is limited to be wives and mothers, and that women can’t be as intelligent, successful, or as good leaders as men. It is of course all bullshit, but do we really believe that until we can see it with our own eyes? That a woman shamelessly live out her sexual freedom for the pleasure of herself. That a woman believes and says proudly that she’s intelligent, capable, and strong – without diminishing her own capacity. That a woman is a leader, boss, and make her own fortune without the support of a man. I’m not sure.

Having someone seeing me, believing in me, telling me that I can, recognising my work and my strong skills – was building me up. We need to build each other up. We need to keep telling each other that we can, even when all evidences goes against it. We have to be the alternative role models and support network for each other. For all women.

#micdrop

Say after me… I won’t spend more than I make

Even if you earn a £50,000 salary, if you spend it all,
you will still not be rich or financially stable.
Don’t consume for money you don’t have.
Save 10% of your salary to long-term investment.

Can not be said enough times….


For other advice on how to become financially rich click here


Spread the kindness

Love, Marika 

A Minimalist Guide: How to look decent in all situations while owning a minimum amount of clothes

Disclaimer: This post is purely based on personal preferences, experience and style. If it does not float your boat you’re obviously free to wear whatever makes you happy. 

My current wardrobe:

  • Top: 4 turtlenecks|2 button-up shirts|4 cable-knitted jumpers 3 blouses|3 undershirts | 2 suit-blazers
  • Bottom: 2 jeans|2 suitpants|2 skirts
  • Workout: 4 tops|3 yoga pants|3 sports bras|1 pair of sneakers
  • Other: 1 black dress|1 pair of black stockings|1 pair of boots|1 two-piece pyjamas|14 white socks|7 underwear|1 bra|1 purse|1 watch|2 necklases|6 pairs of earrings|3 rings|1 waist belt|
Monday - Normal Work-Day
  •  Black jeans + black turtleneck + suit-jacket as “outwear jacket”.
    • Accessories: wrist watch and silver loop-earings
    • Hair: hanging loose.
    • Make-up: basic under-eye concealer, bended eye-lashes and eye-brow pencil
Tuesday - Slightly Colder Weather Work-Day
  • Dark blue jeans + button-up shirt under a cable-knitted jumper –
    • Accessories: pearl earrings, silver chain necklace, wrist watch
    • Hair: semi-high pony
    • Make-up: same as day 1 but perhaps with some mascara or touch of blush
Wednesday - Presentation Day 
  • Suit pants + turtleneck or blouse + suit jacket
    • Accessories: Pearl earrings, wrist watch, ring
    • Hair: Low pony side-parting
    • Make-up: A little more concealer/foundation, mascara, eye-brow pencil, and perhaps some cheek-bone contouring
Thursday - Work-day Version 2 
  • Black dress with waist belt + tights
    • Accessories: gold pendant necklace with matching gold ring.
    • Hair: Sleek pony
    • Make-up: same as Monday
Friday - Work-day and Going-Out for AW 
  • Suit pants + black tie-blouse in silk or a lace-top. Can bring suit jacket and roll up the sleeves for a more casual look.
    • Accessories: Gold hanging statement earrings, ring and wristwatch
    • Hair: Hanging loose in a low messy bun
    • Make-up: Same as Monday + a red lip
Saturday - Casual at Home or Out-and About 
  • Black cotton-yoga pants with undershirt and cable-knitted jumper. Black and white sneakers.
    • No jewellery
    • Hair: Casual ponytail
    • No make-up
Sunday - Family Lunch 
  • Blue jeans + turtleneck. Black boots.
    • Accessories: Pearl earrings
    • Hair: Side-parted low ponytail
    • Make-up: Minimal make-up – some concealer and drawn eyebrows maybe

Involuntary minimalism and what I learned from that experience

Two days ago I lost my wallet, id, phone, student card, and my two payment cards… i.e. all the money I own in this world. At the same time my computer charger broke.. leaving me without means of connection in a foreign country without a security network.

This was truly eyeopening and very scary indeed.

Not having the means to go on with your everyday life, being so close to total social exclusion, made a privileged middle-class woman as myself, start to think. Besides the growing understanding for what poverty felt like – a sense of powerlessness and exclusion – this situation also brought me to an unexpected place.

I honestly didn’t care for my phone, wallet, student card or even ID, although they represented some of my identity and means of communication. But it was terrifying to loose my bank id and my payment cards. I came to realise that all the things I own, in theory, could disappear without me grieving, but not having money that brings the possibility of being independent, being mobile and solve day-to-day issues, was what stirred panic in my mind. 

Taking this one step further: money securely on an account is way better than in a take-away latte, in a designer bag, or even in a trip. Although I hated the fact that money played such an important role of my happiness – having fundamental financial security, for me, comes above everything else.

That’s they key difference between money and consumption. Money brings us the ability to say – fork off – to whatever makes us unhappy, to make environmental-friendly choices, to live as we like. Money can not alone make us happy and happiness can’t be bought (in 99% of the cases), but money brings us freedom.

Therefor, we need to reconsider how we spend money, why we spend money, and how we thereby can prevent spending money to maximise our utility (happiness)

  • There are necessities – you need to eat and drink everyday, you need to pay rent, you need keep-up your hygiene, and you need clothes that keeps you warm. – These things needs to be covered by the money you have and these are things that you cannot live without. There are hacks on how to minimise these costs and one should consider doing so no matter ones income. Just because you maybe have more money than 10 years ago is not real reason for living in a larger space than necessary. Drinking water, eating cheap home-made vegan food (like potatoes, beans, rice), not using shampoo and stable soap, use a basic wardrobe, and living small are some of the tricks to achieve this. 
  • There are individual necessities – I have bad eye sight so I need eye glasses or eye contacts. If I turn ill I would need medical stuff, and will need things like life-insurance, home-insurance and dental care-insurance to keep a sense of security.
  • Then there are lifestyle necessities – things you choose to bring into your life based on your lifestyle, costs that symbolises your identity, embody your interests and your personality. This is usually where things get out of hand – where consumption society sneaks in an make you waste your entire salary. You want to keep this category cost as low as possible: as the higher your lifestyle necessities costs are:
  1. The less money you can save
  2. The more vulnerable you become to external change
  3. The less able you become to say – fork off – to whatever it is that makes you unhappy

For this category goes things like clothes, beauty products, make-up, hobby stuff, interior design, coffee or eating out, expensive food, alcohol, having a car when you don’t need one, Netflix subscription, magazines, super-food powder and the list goes on. These things are the things you can cut out entirely if needed, and you should cut out most of it already. Most lifestyle necessities are mainly ideas you’ve received from marketing campaigns on how to live a happy life. Being in nature, moving my body, yoga, mediation, a home cooked meal, being with friends. Those things are all things that in most cases don’t cost anything, while being more than fulfilling. Then of course, adopting a dog (not buying from a breeder!) have been scientifically proven to increase happiness.

What are your lifestyle necessity that you are going to reconsider?

 

 

 

 

No-poo: Week 3 – Part 3

For those of you that have read my previous posts (that can be found here and here),  you’re aware that I’m on my 3rd week of transitioning into No-Poo.

Finally I'm m starting to see a difference!

The change really came a few days after the last post where my hair started to stop producing excess oil. But the change really came after this morning when I used baking soda (that sucked out all the oils) and rinsed my scalp with apple cider vinegar. The vinegar especially did a great job in fighting the dandruff and I almost felt a “burning” pleasure as it ran across my head and killed off the overgrowth. All the dandruff is not gone after just one wash but probably 70-90%.

 And. The. Hair.

It has texture, it looks fresh, shiny and bouncy. I didn’t even use conditioner and it was so easy to de-tangle (first time was a sad mess) and it keeps getting easier for each time. I felt really attractive today and credit most of that feeling to my hair, what a difference it makes in confidence to have nice hair!

Would you say there’s a big difference between week 2 and 3 after looking at these photos?

Going vegan: Taking responsibility over my footprint, my animal consumption, and my health

A mentality that won’t take us anywhere, that will prolong pain and environmental damage is that of the mentality of “somebody else’s problem”.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it –

“I won’t go vegan/consume ethically because politicians should taker greater responsibility”

“It does not matter if I go vegan, because it’s such a small impact on a large scale anyways”

People are waiting around for the problems in this world to be fixed by someone else. That someday, someone will just show up and fix the environmental issues, fix the horrible treatments of the animals, fix the ever more consumption driven society. This is a mentality of entitlement, a mentality of laziness, a mentality of not my problem.

But it is your problem. You are part of a collective, but you are making your decisions.

Don’t disempower yourself. 

Become vegan today – because you’re tired of thinking that the world will just suddenly change without anyone taking action. Don’t accept and contribute to abuse, torture and enslavement of animals. “But cheese tho” No. Your tastebuds don’t come above the life of an animal that doesn’t want to be killed and abused.

Be responsible, be the change.

eco footpring

 

 

No-Poo Part 2: Week 2

So I’ve been No-Poo now for about two weeks and…. what can I say.

My hair is absolutely disgusting and the dandruff is worse than before, I may as well start singing Christmas carols because I constantly have a winter wonderland around me. I’ve spend the day in the library feeling like a package of butter. It is embarrassing and emotionally difficult I must say and I realise even more how much value I place on looking my best. So far I haven’t used the recommended baking-soda and apple cider vinegar, only washing with water, which may be the problem. There is no odour as far as I can tell, but the grease and dandruff is the worst! I really want this to workout so I can get rid of the problem once and for all, but my patience is running low.

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll give you an update on how it worked out.

Does anyone have similar experience of what I can do? Should I give up?

noo poo
Feeling so gross

Luxury is dead – and then what?

I’m an upcoming intern at Vogue… I also happen to work on a website called fashionomics(check it out). I’m a fashionista at heart. I study marketing and one of my biggest interests has been luxury brands. And there is a lot to say on the topic and the future that lays ahead.

As a society we are traditionally hardwired to identify people with luxury items, so called “signifiers“, with power, status, and success. This comes from a social order where power and success often is connected to financial assets and belonging of an “it” group with a certain qualified taste. Luxury also equals scarcity, where once everyone can access a certain item it loses its value of prestige and taste, while may still have certain hedonic values (like chocolate for example).

For example, a diamond ring. Is it still status or is it tacky to wear? When Louis Vuitton collaborated with Supreme – is that the essence of luxury and, in that case, why is it luxury? The price? The quality? Because a small group of people told us so? Because influencers and people we look up to (reference groups) buy it?

However, what I like to ask is what has value when everything can reach everyone? When every style and creative expression through fabric is already done? What is exclusiveness when the top quality can be reached by the many? What becomes the new luxury when many can access information about what the ”it” people and the ”rich” people wear and can therefore buy things that are considered tasteful. When social class and cultural capital is more accessible to anyone than ever before? What can style blogs and fashion magazines put out there that is an example of luxury and something for the general public to aim for in terms of consumption and style?

What comes after luxury?

We have broken down, redefined, and made luxury more democratic since the 1800’s. Luxury used to be something for the aristocracy and the kings and queens, where, after the worker’s movement, women’s right to vote, the rise of the middle-class and the impact of fast fashion, we’re left with a concept that is in decay. The whole idea of fashion is about social hierarchy = fashion is political. Has been. What happens after liberation? Where we are free to wear whatever we like, where Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, two of the most influential people of our time, wear the same thing everyday, clothes anyone can get in any store.

So.. luxury is dead?

Of course the whole race is not done, for the working class, understandably the concept of luxury is still remaining, as everything is still not completely accessible, but for the middle class and the upper middle class? What is luxury for them? What will be luxury for them tomorrow?

I don’t know, all I know is that these questions are more relevant than ever. Especially for a magazine like Vogue that are competing in a saturated market with over-fed consumers looking for meaning and direction.

The only thing I know is that more is not the answer.

My luxury is to afford to have an high-quality capsule wardrobe with items that will remain stylish and socially acceptable through the years. But my idea of luxury does also not necessary have to constitute of things. Luxury for me can be not hurting the planet, not using plastic, have time to take care of my body and soul, have time to spend some time in nature or with people I love. Have time to do nothing for a while and just be.

That more, bigger, better, or to up-grade is not the answer to luxury values of tomorrow, I hope and think. When certain taste and prestige is gone, and when we allow sensory values of being present and feeling good to be more precious in our lives than stuff.

Take a moment to think: What is luxury for you?