Why is it important for you to own?

When you have kids, you tend to find that the hardest of questions come from the simplest of situations. The other day, my son came to think about something he wanted that we could just buy for him. In these situations I often find that I lack the answers. If we can buy something at any given moment any given day, why shouldn’t we?

In society today, we tend to define success through ownership. How well you’re doing in life can be viewed through the things you can afford to buy. And it seems we’re doing very well and hence consumption is reaching new heights. For myself and many of the women I’m close to, this has been particularly true for clothes and apparel. We’ve planned our career start with the outfits we wear. We’ve celebrated our first salary or big promotion by buying that bag we’ve been dreaming about, knowing that every time we look at it we’ll be reminded of our success.

I also think we can all agree that it’s not working. With every new thing you buy there’s a short moment of pleasure, then we forever have to store it in our life (or go through the hassle associated with passing it on). With every item comes new problems, new plans, new goals. The question I’ve been asking myself lately is this:

Why is it important for me to own?

The world has to move towards less ownership. It’s becoming pretty obvious that owning does not make us happy (in fact we appear to be more unhappy than ever), and also we’re running out of natural resources to support our consumption. We now have to do the hard work to find what really makes us happy, and quit turning to the quick and easy fixes.

This is our mission with It’s Re:Leased. We want to do the hard work to make it as simple and smooth as possible to enjoy clothes without owning them. We want to shift focus from owning and wearing the right thing, to access and enjoying the variation. We want to open your mind and invite you to be curious and adventurous with clothes. Because that’s what clothes are really about, supporting your self expression and lifting your mood on a grey Tuesday in November.

It won’t be an easy shift, but with all the modern tools and technologies at hand we can surely make it happen. In five years the walk-in-wardrobe will be a relic of the past, and what we own will be about function and value rather than success and self worth. To help us create this new future, I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on all of this.

Why is it important for you to own?

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Annie Thorell

Frontend engineer with a passion for usability and design. Co-founder and CTO at It’s Re:Leased. Strong advocator for more women in tech.