FOR Masa and Michael Ofei, happiness doesn’t come from things these days.
The Canberra couple says their priorities are living mindfully, with as little impact as possible to animals or the environment, and two years ago started living a minimalist lifestyle.
“Over time we began to see the benefits of being less attracted to things and accumulating possessions, and we started to see success as something different,” says Michael.
“It was hard for me at first, because I loved all the little bits and things – I come from an artistic family and grew up surrounded by beautiful items,” Masa says.
“As a photographer I had built up a large collection of props, though really they were things I thought were cute and wanted to have!
“Once we started to scrutinise it, I felt we could do without so much of what we had. Happiness doesn’t come from things.
“We’ll happily spend our money on plant-based food, travel, experiences and ethical products.”
Michael says: “We feel more at peace living this way.”
“We’re lucky to be living in Canberra, with a roof over our heads – and we want to use the opportunity we have to do something better.”
To that end the couple launched an online store, Fairlings, which sells day-to-day products that are fair trade, vegan, eco-friendly and organic.
“For us, it was important that we could shop for essentials with a clear conscience, without having to check the ingredients and the ethics of every company ourselves,” Masa says.
“We struggled to find a shop that met our criteria, so we decided to start one.”
Fairlings sells one product for each need, such as one shampoo, deodorant, skin cleanser and moisturiser, in order to keep things simple.
“We don’t want to encourage consumerism as it can be overwhelming,” says Michael.
“There is so much rubbish and toxic chemicals in everyday products, so we decided to focus on the things you use every day. As minimalists we prefer to invest in practical things that we use constantly.”
Masa says that she and Michael have thoroughly tested everything they stock themselves.
“I’m very picky about what I use. Finding a good natural deodorant that works took forever, but we love the one we stock,” she says.
“We see Fairlings as a shop that will evolve and grow. We like to support local as much as possible but also brands that are doing the right thing.”
Visit theminimalistvegan.com.au or fairlings.com.au
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