Living Simply: De-branding My Life
I had a teacher in high school who refused to wear any logos - to the point where she even unstitched the leather tag on the belt loops of jeans. To me and my classmate who loved “Aero” and “A&F”, this seemed “so extra”. Well guys, now I’m extra too.
My old english teacher did it because she didn’t want to be a walking advertisement for companies (which I now agree with) but there are plenty of other reasons why I’ve unbranded my life:
Brands Create Visual Clutter
Human beings are inherently visual. Visual cues are constantly stimulating our brains: traffic lights, someone’s gestures and even labels and signs that are practically everywhere in life. I’ve found that having less labels in my house that vie for visual attention has actually helped me be more zen at home because there’s not as much to take in.
Brands ≠ Style
When I was younger, brands meant something to me. The “cool” kids wore branded items with pride and that held their rank in the school popularity hierarchy. However, that sort of thing doesn’t matter to me anymore and in fact, I don’t want to give brands that platform (aka wearing branded shirt) which gives them power. I find that as I get older, brands begin to matter less and less (in general) and I look for other qualities in clothing rather than the name.
The most important shift for me was focussing on quality rather than the name of a brand. This is really easy since I’ve started to shop Canadian-made, ethically and sustainably. For the most part, the “aesthetic” of those brands tend to be un-branded which makes it really easy to eliminate unneeded labels.
Ripping Off Labels Is Fun
Literally and figuratively. C’mon, there’s a small portion of you that wants the satisfaction of peeling off the label from your hand cream (LOL). I actually find it fun and satisfying to peel off unnecessary labels from items and having clean, minimal items within my home is calming!
Is my space totally brand-free? Absolutely not! I have items that have labels that are too hard to remove and I have labels on items like medications, etc where its safer to keep the label attached so anyone knows whats inside. But, in general, removing the labels on items creates less visual clutter and also is less to think about (especialIy if brands have a pull on your life). Brands don’t really add anything for me, rather they distract, so I’m gradually removing what I can while also maintaining that not everything needs to be label free!