Lagom: a philosophy to live by?
Lagom. It’s the ‘it’ word of the year and the ‘trendy’ Swedish concept that’s encouraging us to live simply, buy less and lead a balanced life, but is it just another fad? Or can it be a philosophy to live by?
We live in a world where happiness is so often measured by how much we own; our economy is reliant on hyper-consumption of unsustainable, disposable goods that, given the scarcity of earthly resources and the appearance of accelerated political unrest, can’t be leading to anything good.
Last year was all about Hygge.
We buried ourselves behind blankets, lit candles and drank wine in the name of an untranslatable Danish word that encouraged all things comfort.
But the warm cosy rug of Hygge is being pulled from beneath our slippered feet, with a need for a more thoughtful philosophy that can directly respond to the current environmental and political climate.
Enter Swedish Lagom. Translated as ‘Not too little. Not too much. Just right’, it’s all about living mindfully, simply and appears to be reflective of a seismic shift in the way we think about what we buy.
Eporta and WGSN have reported that the ‘advance of technology’ has led to consumers demanding sustainable materials, and showing increased interest in crafts and DIY. In other words, we’re going back to basics, and finding balance in response to technological acceleration, political turmoil and environmental downturn.
We want to get on board with the Lagom trend, but something isn’t sitting quite right with us.
We are of course all for balance, minimalism and thoughtful consumption – it’s what we’re all about. However, extracting the Swedish word and calling it a ‘trend’ turns it into something that it’s not.
Lagom is a philosophical concept that’s supposed to run through the heart of the economic, social and political makeup of Sweden. It transcends trend and thus should be applied to the way we live rather than being a direct influence on the style of the next line of products.
We don’t need Lagom as a buzzword in order to focus on being content, buying well and looking after our environmental resources. This reminds us that, unlike passing obsessions with Scandinavian words, the implications of consumerism go far beyond the trend of 2017.
We should all have our own version of Lagom and, taking a leaf out of Sweden’s books, allow it to be a philosophy, not a trend.