Mindfulness About Consumption: As Told by Lindsey

The first post on The Forum is by someone close to my heart on a subject that should be a lot closer to our hearts. My sister, Lindsey Epifano, wrote a piece on the issue of mass consumption and the things we should focus on rather than shopping–a fitting topic for this time of the year.

Consumer Crunch Time and Going Outside

The more Black Fridays that pass by, the more aggravated I get with consumerism. I was in Target the other day grabbing a couple quick items just to wrap a few small gifts, internally judging the person behind me for buying gobs of plastic toys that I assume were for her small children. But wasn’t I doing the same? I had a couple gift-cards, candy, cards, and gift-bags headed into another plastic bag that most likely would end up in my mom’s reusable box in our pantry.


Even more so, I started to get extremely frustrated the weekend I arrived home for Thanksgiving and loud commercials blared across the screen for what I deemed “crap we don’t need” aka holiday-themed fuzzy socks and other annoying novelties. The worst commercial was that JCPenny opened its doors 2 p.m. Thursday. 2 p.m.? What happened to 8 p.m. Thursday being an insane hour to open?

Then I began to think back to the week before. I spoke to a friend about “opting outside” like REI suggests by closing their stores for the biggest shopping day of the year. Last year alone, 101.7 million people braved the crowds, and we spent over $655 billion in holiday sales (statistics from The Balance). Let that sink in. Think about the amount of materials, plastics, and other chemicals that go into your child’s new toys that they’ll forget about a week after they tear it open on Christmas morning.


I spent my black Friday doing homework, but also taking a small adventure for myself, to be in the moment. As I was outside, I took no photos–something that killed me as a photographer–but also brought me a sense of clarity. I stood a few times and pivoted around observing the sounds of dogs, people, cars in the distance, the smell of the crisp air, and saw the last of the fall leaves vividly against the bare trees and blue sky. It was beautiful. I looked up, loved what I saw and I didn’t need to fight over a TV to see this beautiful day.

So, just like myself, I encourage you to go outside instead of shop. Appreciate all the beauty in this world and bring a friend. Just getting the thought of going out there and partaking in the movement away from consumption can do so much good. Supporting local shops or small start ups is another way to fight against detrimental amounts of consumerism. Shop around your local town or buy a meaningful gift from a crafty friend. Instead of shopping with a friend maybe ask if they would like to go for a walk and shop later, or make it an experience. It requires $0 and you might just feel amazing afterwards. 


Words by Lindsey Epifano
Photos by Lindsey Epifano and Savannah Mendoza

Welcome to The Forum

I've never been able to get behind blogging. Not the idea of it, but simply because it wasn't something I felt I could do or was comfortable with. Posting about myself every day felt annoying and talking about my outfits got old fast. I wanted to write about other things, but the blog-o-sphere–no matter how big–still categorizes bloggers and no label felt fitting.

This isn't to say there aren't bloggers who blow my mind and the industry. They cultivate stories and outfits and ideas that make blogging worth their readers' time (I could list them all but that would take a while). 

This became an issue because there were (and are) things I wanted to talk about, I wanted to write, and I missed putting words down on a page. Freelancing was an option–but it has it's restrictions. If you happen to land a gig, it's on the company's terms and you write what you promised and what they want to hear. Working for a magazine is another goal of mine, but you're catering your words to a specific audience. I also wanted to hear thoughts and ideas from other people. Writers, yes, but even those outside the industry. 

I felt sick of themes and boundaries, but wanted somewhere other than a journal to put my thoughts and allow the thoughts of others to be pushed into the universe. So that's why I created The Forum. So I could write, you could write, and anyone could write and be published. 

Here's a space that might be considered a blog, but with a different structure. If you're interested in contributing or writing a thoughtful post about anything that makes you tick, jump for joy, or keeps you up at night (ideas, frustrations, accomplishments, studies/research, style, creations, art projects, sports analyses–yes just about anything) send them over at the submission box under my "About" page. If you're also interested in submitting original photos, works of art, or anything of that sort along with your post or even captions for your work: don't hesitate! Let's make some words.