Lagom: The Swedish Philosophy of Finding Balance
What Exactly is Lagom?
Lagom is a Swedish word that defines the essence of the Swedish way of life. Directly translating to “not too little, not too much,” the word was first documented in 17th century legal texts and has been ingrained in Swedish culture ever since. If you’re anything like me and hail from Western civilization, this concept rings synonymous to the “not too hot, not too cold” metaphor found in the popular fairytale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” However, the values and resulting practices associated with lagom go much deeper than simply judging the degree of extremity something has. When intent and action are put behind practicing the philosophy of lagom, it can provide a framework for people to live their lives with purpose and harmony.
The lagom way of life has been attributed to the high rates of efficiency and quality of life that Swedes experience. Sweden has been ranked the seventh happiest country in the world from 2017 to 2019, in addition to their capital city of Stockholm being named the 9th happiest city globally in 2020. These statistics represent the quintessential nature of lagom; it isn’t flashy in nature, nor does it strive to be. It represents the harmony one experiences with oneself and one’s environment, when the desire for external validation is triumphed by a deeper yearning to live without resistance to what already is and what will be. There’s no need to “keep up with the Joneses” because people who live life with a sense of lagom accept who they are, stand firmly by what they believe, and accept the differences of others without judgement.
Lagom and ÀLA.HAUSSE
As both an app and a brand, we at ÀLA.HAUSSE embody the same philosophy of balance, but in an innovative and modern way. Our driving purpose is to help reduce the carbon footprint that the fashion industry has accelerated by serving as a digital medium between people who ultimately want to revamp their closets in an ethical and responsible manner.
#HAUSSEPEOPLE are aware that their actions have an effect on their own lives and the greater environment at large. Hence why we are committed to creating an ecosystem that promotes rewearing and swapping out fashionable items over buying new clothes each season from a fast-fashion retailer. When “just enough is best” is applied to fashion (whether it be more consideration of how frequently someone shops or toning it down on the hot pink) it has the potential to create waves with conservation efforts while still promoting self-expression. And that’s what the best of both worlds is all about, right?
The Lagom Aesthetic
Everything Has A Purpose To It
Living life with a sense of lagom requires intention behind our actions, and requires each component, whether it be tangible or intangible, to serve a specific need. For example, Swedish living rooms tend to be clutter-free with an emphasis on the objects that make the room both livable and inviting to guests. For example, small trinkets are used to highlight, rather than distract from, the larger pieces of furniture. This application of lagom leaves space for only what is necessary and thoroughly beloved.
Less is More
To piggyback off the statement above, when everything has a purpose, it results in allocating time and energy that’s spread between multiple things to only focusing on a few endeavors. Such a concept can be applied to various aspects of your lifestyle, whether that be creating a capsule wardrobe instead of buying items seasonally or saying no to an extra project at work so you can focus on one that you’re more passionate about. If you’re looking to build a capsule wardrobe, we have some tips for you.
Emphasis on Finding Stillness
With the rapid pace at which our world is changing, life can feel overwhelming to keep up with at times. The essence of “just enough is best” means that you don’t have to overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion in order to see your hard work pay-off. I have found in my own life that when I take 15 minutes to do nothing but stare out the window or take a quick walk around the block, I come back feeling much more energized than I did when staring at my computer screen forcing myself to be productive. The lagom aesthetic is all about letting things simply exist as they are but having routines in place to ensure that the integrity you have towards yourself can be upheld instead of forgotten in the heat of the moment.
Don’t Feel Guilty About Indulging
A crucial part of living life with lagom is taking the time to indulge in an act that serves as something to enjoy in the present moment. In Sweden there is a tradition known as “fika,” which translates directly to “drinking coffee.” Swedes have turned having coffee into a daily afternoon ritual that’s accompanied by a sweet treat to celebrate their hard work. Finding a pause during the day to appreciate your own efforts through little self-care practices instead of unconsciously doing work without stopping can boost productivity and make the mundane parts of life pleasant again.
As you have probably picked up by now, the defining features of the lagom aesthetic provides guidance on how to live life in harmony with one’s self and their environment. When put into practice, the philosophy of lagom can serve as a guiding compass for piecing together a timeless wardrobe, diet, room schematic, and even what direction to take in life. Since lagom is all about cohesion and balance, applying it to your lifestyle can eliminate unnecessary time spent trying to make decisions around organization. Its simplicity in nature also elicits a routine that has less stress and more time spent enjoying the little things in life.
Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.
#ALAHAUSSE #WEARYOURPURPOSE #HAUSSEPEOPLE
Originally published at https://alahausse.ca on April 9, 2021.