WHAT’S A SLOW DECO OR SLOW DECORATION?
Ecological and human issues are at the heart of our current concerns. We can no longer pretend that nothing has happened, and more and more of us eat organic, quality, local food, prefer healthy cosmetics, make our own household products… It is in this continuity that the notion of sustainable decoration, or slow deco, is embedded. When we know that the French decoration market is between 16 and 24 billion euros in 2017 (28 billion for the clothing market), we can only imagine the real environmental and human impact of our eco-consumption. The one I want to talk about is a balance, specific to each one, combining sustainability, ecology, respect for health, aesthetics, authenticity, simplicity, naturalness, quality, local, solidarity, sharing and joy.
Many terms share this common philosophy, it is not always easy to find your way around. Slow deco combines the visions of eco-responsible decoration, moderate minimalism, kinfolk and green deco.
The notion of eco-responsibility is a new word that echoes the protection of nature and the environment. It is about “doing” and consuming with a reduced impact on the earth by favouring local production, renewable and abundant materials.
Kinfolk, originally an American magazine, whose style has spread all over the world. It is a question of praising slow life through chic and singular interiors. The Kinfolk style promotes simplicity through natural tones, a mixture of old-fashioned objects, raw, rural, minimalist….
By definition, it is a question of extreme simplification. Minimalism advocates a return to the essential by reducing clutter and eliminating the superfluous. We prefer to surround ourselves with little, only useful things and to prefer quality to quantity.
The concept embodies respect for the environment. It favours recycled, recyclable and plants. It is also a question of protecting against the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that flood our interiors.
SLOW DECO OR SLOW DECORATION
The notion of slow evokes the idea of taking time, but its meaning has expanded considerably since the arrival of Slow Food in the 1980s, then Slow Life, Slow Fashion,… Indeed, by Slow, we evoke both authenticity, true things, beauty, goodness, durability, quality and locality.
All these terms are linked in both their definition and vision, with the difference that the notion of Slow Deco seems to be the one that encompasses all the environmental, human and social aspects that are dear to me.
It is about living with the times while limiting the human and ecological impacts of our consumption. To keep your comfort and the aesthetics of what surrounds you while living in a more responsible and reasoned way.
It is also a question of considering one’s place of life as an ally of our daily fulfilment and joy. It is therefore a question of building a healthy interior and in our image to feel good about yourself and your head.
SLOW DECO VALUES
The term slow deco goes beyond the notion of ecological decoration and takes into account different environmental, human and social impacts.
Natural, high-quality, renewable and abundant materials are preferred (wood, textiles, ceramics, etc.). The question of matter must be considered for each component of an object: the main material, that of the accessories, the finishing products used, the assembly adhesives…
The extraction process of these materials must respect natural resources and biodiversity…
To reduce the carbon impact of production and transport (material, places of production…), we choose local.
Mass production is often unsuitable, leaving part of its production for unsold waste. Small quantity, on-demand or single piece production is a good solution for a fair production, in order to reduce waste, it is preferable to opt for objects that can be easily recycled or upcycled. In this sense, acquiring second-hand objects is a preferred option. The circle is complete.
The notion of “who makes” and “how” is at the heart of social concern. It is a question of ensuring that the producer does so with dignity, respect for his rights and obtains fair remuneration in accordance with the principles of fair trade.
This questioning includes the notion of non-alienant work. Repetitive tasks, objects produced in identical mass production, have a negative impact on the daily life of the producer. Here again, preference is given to objects manufactured in small quantities and under healthy working conditions.
An eco-responsible consumption must favour local companies, craftsmen and groups of craftsmen, SCOPs, and also products manufactured by people within the framework of reintegration or support associations that our purchase supports.
Products made by hand or by machine to support and preserve ancestral know-how, and thus protect part of our cultural heritage, are privileged. Care is taken, as far as possible, to ensure that tasks are not alienating to those who produce.
Handmade objects also have an extra soul that will warm our homes for a long time to come. The imperfections of manual work have the power to humanize a place of life.
The welfare impact of an object is also important. The impact can be linked to a technical characteristic (relaxing, soothing, cleansing…) or in connection with its intrinsic characteristics (object with a history, whose color calms us, whose touch of the material comforts us, a favorite piece…).
The notion of health impact is also important. We prefer objects whose materials do not pollute the air. Some objects emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, fumes toxic to our health) for weeks or even years after their production.
A well thought-out object must also have an intuitive function or use.
« I REFUSE TO BUY ANYTHING THAT HAS HARMED A HUMAN BEING OR THE PLANET. »
THE NOTION OF TIME
The term slow deco carries the notion of time itself. And finally, it is the one that brings together all the values mentioned above, it constitutes the foundation.
- Take the time to arrange your living space so that it corresponds to your habits, your traffic, your family life. Accept that it may take time to select objects that really correspond to us. This requires looking inside and not giving in to the trend purchase. Trends reflect our societies and carry history within them, they are not bad in themselves. The problem is what brands have done with them in our fast-paced society: ready-to-use, ready-to-use collections that change every six months. Brands use them with abuse to sell. Do you really like this object or does it make an eye on you because you see it everywhere on Instagram in dream scenes?
- We find time through second-hand and hunting objects. You offer them a second life, they carry within them the traces of time, their previous life(s). Time is a vector of history and gives extra soul to objects that have passed through time.
- Slow deco also invites you to reconnect with the value of time and the fair price of things. Quality products in small quantities made by craftsmen require an incompressible production time. The Man behind the object will have given time of his life, time that cannot be replaced by machines, a piece of his soul. Production costs do not decrease for an artisan if you order in large quantities (unlike industry and machinery). This is the time you pay for when you invest in an object made by a human being’s hands.
The notion of slow home evokes for me the idea of adapting one’s home to oneself, of thinking about it, of arranging it according to the seasons, according to the evolution of our lives. It requires observation and listening: what I feel in a room with this arrangement there, what I feel when I put this armchair on the other side, what is the natural luminosity in this room when I come home from work, what sensations I feel in these linen sheets, under this wool plaid, in front of this colourful painting,… I move, I listen to what I feel, I try to move again, I listen to myself, and I improve again.
A house is a place to live, by definition it is not fixed and must adapt. Slow deco invites you to build a decoration to live in phase with yourself.