Hello lovelies, I hope you are keeping well. If you are here, you are most certainly getting one step closer to falling more in love with the cottagecore movement. Like many, 2020 compelled me to stumble upon the wholesomeness of cottagecore and got me fantasizing a life away from the hustle and bustle of the urban lifestyle and seeking refuge in the peace of the cottagecore life.
However, what got my attention was, how cottagecore by the name itself is a very western notion of a rural life. I would like to emphasis here, that every place would be grounded in its own geographical and cultural version of this aesthetic. So here, we can probably take cottagecore being more a concept or rather a way of living that embraces simpler living, values sustainable and harmonious co-existence with nature. Keeping this in mind, I invite you to explore the possibilities of how the cottagecore movement could aid us in building a sustainable society. I would like to propose this as a way of life, beyond an aesthetic to a way of living. A sustainable solution to the individual centric urban capitalist life. However, let’s face it, as much as we romanticize the rural life, most of us are urban dwellers. Having this new way of life would entail making huge lifestyle changes and some hit and try to make the best of both worlds. Some sustainable practices of this movement stand up front, but right now let’s try to establish a system in which these practices can thrive.
The lovely Dominique fostering new friendships
Decentralization can be defined as the transfer of control of an activity or organization to several local offices or authorities rather than one single one. Now not only our governments are centralized, so are our production systems (as in the few capitalist companies own the maximum production systems) and make huge profits while exploiting the environment and giving people some mere wages to survive. In lieu, imagine a society, where you have local systems of production, for example a local bakery, local flower shop, farms, boutiques, etc. What this shall do is to enable and support small businesses to flourish, while reducing the carbon footprint of mass production, and you will get individually catered handcrafted love from people around you. This is basically a take on the "Small is beautiful" concept, where small self-sufficient and rural communities exist. The focus is on strengthening human connection and ethically producing for the need of it instead focusing on wants (like the cycle of mindless consumption we get stuck on).
Gorgeous Larissa picking flowers and basking in happiness
The work from home in 2020 taught us how working from home is a plausibility and life can be so much more than ticking to a 9-5.There is no rush, deadlines sure. But you can take a deep breath in nature and manage your stress effectively and take each day, moment by moment. This impactful work and intentional living philosophy would prosper in our cottagecore world. Slow living was born out of the slow food movement, which emphasized more on local and traditional cuisines over fast food. Its core value is that everything faster isn’t better. It’s also a plunge from the rat race where we are rushing to check off our list of things to do. Slow living would entail being mindful and intentional with all you do. An example of it could be, say, the DIY culture where instead of directly buying a jam (which you can do, nothing wrong with it) you go out to forage berries and, prepare the jars, wash the fruit, add sugar to the fruit and let it cook slowly. It’s a whole process in itself. It looks beyond instant gratification and allows us to breathe through the ebb and flow of life. Slow living values quality over quantity, it asks you to say, hold on to vintage, timeless pieces of quality clothes that you whole heartedly love over the environmentally degrading fast fashion.
Delightful Julia saying hola to fluffy cows
This society shall be different from the one of extreme individualism. Rather a group of people collaborating and supporting each other while you work on and polish your individual talents. This shall look like tea parties in the garden, baking cookies together and so much more. The last year, 2020 was an eye opener illuminating the fact how important human connection is. As social beings, it is also proven that being around a community also helps with mental health issues. One key aspect of cottagecore is DIY culture which is making the process of consumption more mindful and humbling and gives little joys of life. However, if we are honest not all of us are skilled in a lot of things. There are online sources to aid us in adopting the practices and aesthetics of cottagecore, but nothing works better than someone teaching you face to face. For example, say you don’t like cooking and that’s perfectly fine, but there is someone in the community around you from whom you can maybe buy tasty jams and pickles. As urban dwellers, most of us have been disconnected with the process of making things handmade. If we are to adopt this way of living, a little help and support can be a game changer. Imagine community baking classes, or foraging hunts. The best part about this will be, that you are not born into this community, but instead you choose this to be your community. Which makes it much more meaningful and shall align with all your individual aspirations as well.
Alisson is making our heart full with her freshly baked cake, flowers and vintage dress.
The way ahead
This article was just a snippet of what life can look like if cottagecore was a way of life. Does this mean we would do everything DIY? Or would all decentralized local shops be able to take care of our needs? Not really. We can aspire for that, but the era we are living in, we still have the perks of online shopping and sourcing from other ethically producing local stores and more. However, what this would do is, it will put less pressure on the carbon footprint, more time for you to connect with people, and spend time in nature. Sounds a bit like utopia, right? But if anyone is up, the popularity of cottagecore can truly pave the path of an alternative and more sustainable society. If you are up, lets even start an experimental cottagecore community in real life!
Meet the author:
Gauri is a writer and content curator. As a child she always found herself daydreaming and fantasizing. Being an empath, she loves connecting with people and learning from them. She completed her master’s in development studies and feels strongly about sustainability and mental health. She found her refuge and healing in aesthetics. Currently, she is working on overcoming her insecurities and executing her creative ideas. You can follow her journey at https://www.instagram.com/being.gauri/
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