The Eyes Of A Minimalist
with By Maren
16 MAY ‘22
Words by Sophie Badaoui
Words by Sophie Badaoui
By Maren is a Youtube channel created by Maren, a freelance photographer based in Hamburg. By Maren videos are an ode to the minimalist lifestyle she leads, and serve as an inspiration to make more mindful choices when it comes to consumption, especially in an industry that is fueled by mass production and fast practices. Maren starts, “In the early years of my career, I worked as a fashion photographer, which gave me a lot of background knowledge about the fashion industry. From a creative point of view I really enjoyed the work, but at the same time I was very shocked by the mass of clothing and the fast pace of the industry. I believe this insight affects me and my attitude towards fashion till today.”
You might wonder how By Maren videos came to life. “I had been thinking about filming a video for YouTube for a long time, simply because I'm tempted to try new things and I wanted to get more involved with video editing”, Maren shares, “then Corona 2020 came and my entire professional environment collapsed, the industry stood still and held its breath, from March on there were no more jobs. Then, I thought: it’s now or never. My first video came out at the end of May. I always wanted to let other people participate in things that inspire me.” Talk about a blessing in disguise! Her Youtube channel By Maren was born to inspire and educate about minimalist practices, for a lifestyle that is more mindful and less wasteful.
“I'm not perfect either. In other areas of my life I could definitely pay more attention to sustainability and I would like to gradually integrate it and get better”
“I'm not perfect either. In other areas of my life I could definitely pay more attention to sustainability and I would like to gradually integrate it and get better.”
To be a Minimalist
But how did she get there in the first place? What inspired the creator of By Maren to be a minimalist and make these conscious choices? She expresses, “In general, I like a very minimalist and reduced look, very Scandinavian. Due to my professional experience, the fashion industry was very important to me and I found the topic of the capsule wardrobe relatively quickly and really wanted to try it out myself. It worked so well for me that I can't imagine it any other way today. It's also important to me that all of my clothing is either second hand, me-made or sustainably sourced and I consider every purchase very carefully. Since a capsule wardrobe is very minimalist, it wouldn't be possible any other way.” Indeed, By Maren videos reveal a minimalist approach and engage people to connect more with those minimalist habits. However, she adds “I'm not perfect either. In other areas of my life I could definitely pay more attention to sustainability and I would like to gradually integrate it and get better.” This is the kind of mindset that gets one to, slowly but surely, shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
Picture from ByMAren
What is a capsule wardobe?
Focusing on fashion, the creator of By Maren highlights that she works with a capsule wardrobe, but what is the concept of a capsule wardrobe? A capsule wardrobe “means I have very few items of clothing in my closet, with which as many and diverse outfits as possible can be combined”, she explains. A capsule wardrobe is the core of a minimalist fashion style, and the purpose extends to not only reducing waste and mass consumption, but caring more and better for the clothes you have, while getting more creative with your looks. Moreover, your personal capsule wardrobe will make you feel more authentic and confident in your clothes, because there should be pieces that you truly love and could wear many times. In fact, if you search for By Maren on YouTube, you will find an enriching content driven by sustainable fashion, and honoring the benefits of a slow and minimalist living. More particularly, you will have a look at her beautiful capsule wardrobe but also her different sewing projects, as well as her minimalist, second-hand, thrifted pieces.
Moreover, the By Maren creator reveals, “the older I get, the more I like the minimalist, clean look. I like that you don't get tired of the clothes so quickly and that you can style and combine them in very different ways. I find inspiration in completely different ways, sometimes it's furniture - I'm a big interior fan - sometimes it’s someone who meets me on the street.”
Picture from Mrs City
Picture from ByMaren
Regarding her own definition of sustainability, the By Maren creator reflects, “I believe that sustainability does not equal perfection. Not every one of us has to be perfect and sustainable in every point of his life. I believe that it is this claim that often prevents us from taking even one step in the right direction.” She continues, “if each and every one of us takes one aspect of our life and thinks about how we could make it more sustainable, then we would live in a much better world. For me it's fashion, for you, it may be food or your working lifestyle!” Indeed, having a minimalist fashion style does not automatically mean that you have a minimalist approach towards food for example, but the mindset is the same, in the sense that it’s all about making more sustainable, mindful choices in a specific aspect of your life that you choose. Maren chose fashion, and made it more sustainable with a capsule wardrobe, sewing and second-hand, thrifted items.
Maren considers the success of By Maren videos based on inspiring rather than dictating. She affirms, “on my YouTube channel, I want to inspire people to think more sustainably without dictating the one perfect way. If a single person is even inspired to reconsider their previous consumption behavior, then I think I have already achieved a lot, and the more people think about the topic, the bigger the movement will be.” The purpose of By Maren videos is simply to show people that a sustainable approach, whether focused on minimalist habits or not, is always possible, and gives so much more value than an unsustainable approach. She continues, “I just saw the Vogue videos with little interviews from the Met Gala. If Billie Eilish calls herself a "thrifter" and Shawn Mendes is proud that his suit is made from recycled material, then I definitely think we're going in the right direction.” Who knows, hopefully in a few years, more people will instinctively create their own capsule wardrobe, which will be a unique mix of sewed, second-hand thrifted and sustainably sourced pieces.
Last but not least, the advice Maren would give to people who would like to start living more sustainably is to “pick one small aspect that you want to change and that is easy for you to achieve. Cycling to work next month? Excellent! And then be proud of yourself - and maybe think about what the next point is, and the next, …”
If you found Maren’s sustainable journey and lifestyle inspiring, discover the diversified content she presents in her By Maren YouTube channel.