The intrinsic value of material goods is discounted by consumerism; yet many of us still sense our "stuff" is of value. It is part of a process of reacquainting ourselves with a "true" materialism where we tend and care for material goods more deliberately; where we see ourselves as more conscientious custodians of our material world.
"Back-packing is quite a good exercise in ethical fashion because you can’t carry so many things and you have to leave 95% of your wardrobe at home… I got this in India - I was in India for three months - and I was trying to find a really good value pashmina when I was there. So during my search I found this. They were calling it pashmina but it is not made using the wool that’s normally used. It was made using yak wool, so I call it my ‘yakmina’. (laughs).
And it’s hand made, and it’s just really warm, and it’s much chunkier than a regular pashmina would be… it is quite rough and ready and textured. And the hand work and the embroidery is just amazing - like everything in India they spend so much time on every piece.
I laboured [over what to take with me when I went travelling], and was so upset about a few things that I had to leave at home, you know, my favourite pair of shoes… And now, a few months later, I’ve moved on and I forgot I ever had these things and I don’t even really know what I left home… I’ve now purchased a few small affordable items…"
Wellington, New Zealand - March 2013
Photograph by Aliscia Young