What is Wabi-sabi?

What is Wabi-sabi?

A lot of the things that we love the most in life are perfectly imperfect. 

Your favourite jumper with the holes around the hem and that funny stain on the sleeve that just won’t come out.  Or maybe the book you found as a teenager which still smells the same but it has one too many dog eared pages to close properly and somehow you’ve spilt coffee on your favourite ending.  

Someone else might take these little imperfections as signs that these items haven’t been cared for properly, but you know that they’re signs of just how much you love them.  Each imperfection might have a funny story or a fond memory attached to it which wouldn’t come from a brand new pristine jumper or the kindle version of your book.  

If you have an almost unwearable jumper or a stained book then it sounds like you may be unknowingly taking part in wabi-sabi.  

wabi sabi style bowl
One of the most beautiful aspects of our planet is the nature that surrounds us.  But nothing in nature is necessarily 'perfect'.  Each snowflake is different from the next, each beach with different shells, sand and pebbles.

Yet, these are the things we find the most beautiful.  Just because something is not entirely uniform, or the perfect shape or size doesn't mean it is not beautiful.  

What is Wabi-sabi?

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy that finds beauty in imperfections.  Instead of spending time overthinking what something could be or how that particular item could be better if it was new or undamaged, wabi-sabi teaches us to appreciate the journey that item has been on and learn to love it for exactly what it is.  

A great example is materials such as wood being used to build Japanese architecture.  Over time this wood will be affected by the changing weathers.  It's wood may become dull and worn.  But this creates a story.  It makes you think about the journey that it has been through.  Wabi-sabi allows us to think differently about things we may have otherwise overlooked completely.   

japanese architecture

There are many ways that we can incorporate wabi-sabi into our everyday lives.  We can learn to appreciate and love old products that we may have shunned away for being a bit rusty. 

We can learn to love ourselves a little bit more.  We tend to be very critical of ourselves and push ourselves but be perfect 24/7, but that is just not realistic.  The wabi-sabi philosophy would be to appreciate all the hard work you have put in to be the best person you can be, and focus on that rather than the negatives.  

In general wabi-sabi is a philosophy that teaches you to love flaws, whether they be your personal flaws or not.  Forgive that stubborn mark that won’t come off your kitchen table, look outside and appreciate all the different shades of leaves - yes even the damp brown ones.  

colourful autumn leaves

Wabi-sabi at Evolve

Here at Evolve we embrace different viewpoints and use wabi-sabi to embrace the natural imperfections of our planet. 

All of our products at Evolve are hand made by our lovely product artisans here in our Eco studio.  They are mixed, bottled and sent out all in house by the same team. So if you have ever ordered a product from us and noticed that maybe the label on the product is a little wonky, then that’s why!  

To us it’s important to appreciate the little things, and making all of our products here in the Eco studio is really special to us.  This way we can make sure that everything we are making and sending to our wonderful customers is made with love and care - so if that means that you might get a label that’s a bit wonky that’s fine by us!  Wabi-sabi teaches us that little imperfections like that come with a story, and show the journey of the product you’re holding.

handmade organic vegan skincare

How You Can Adopt the Wabi-sabi Philosophy?

Wabi-sabi is an easy philosophy to adopt in some way.  It is a really simple way to try and turn more negative thoughts into positive ones, and is a great philosophy to practice if you want to spend more time reflecting on your surroundings.  

On a Monday morning you might look outside on your way to work and notice the grey clouds.  Rather than put yourself in a bad mood, why not admire the shapes that they are creating? Appreciate how these wonderful swirls and patterns in the sky are natural and beautiful.  

Why not try and take some smaller steps to become green?  Don’t get annoyed at yourself for not doing everything all at once.  Try using reusable cotton pads with your make up rather than throwing away non-recyclable ones.  Or why don’t you bring a coffee flask into work with you rather than stopping at a coffee shop every morning?  It’ll save you money and help the planet!

These little steps are easy to fit into your daily routines and will make your day to day (hopefully) that little bit more positive.

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