Stephen Spencer

Slow- lifers

Taking one’s time. Indulging. Idling. Loafing. The art and practice of intentional downshifting and slow living that’s sweeping through culture.

Slow lifers wide

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The veg king
Gerald Stratford is the septuagenarian growing veg in his back garden in England who has won 300K Twitter followers, a global legion of fans and even a campaign with Gucci.

Encapsulating elements of connected drivers (S.L.O.W can also be thought of as an acronym covering Sustainable, Local, Organic and Whole), this rising, albeit quiet, revolution against the exhausting cult of busyness and productivity has never felt more relevant.

As a backlash against speed and expediency, slow living kicked off as a food movement in the ‘80s as a response to the emergence of fast food.

Right now, the trend speaks to the desire to ‘stop the ride’ that many people are feeling after the relentlessness that was (and kinda still is) 2020.

Recently published books like ‘Work Won’t Love You Back’ by Sarah Jaffe and comments left beneath any number of ‘slow living for beginners’ videos on YT give us a window into this world:

  • I needed this. I've legit burned out again.

  • This video makes me feel so much better about not stressing myself out in order to feel productive and successful.

Brands are also stepping into the ‘slow’ space. Waterford Whisky, champions of the concept of terroir in whisky, allow inquisitive drinkers to scan bottle codes and explore the brand’s barley farms. The experience goes deep. Soil type, geographical location, the aspect and elevation of the farm - how the waves of the sea sound from the barley field. An experience to pore over whilst pouring out and savouring your dram.

In weirder and more wonderful ways, the rise of visual ASMR and #oddlysatisfying (5.6M members on r/oddlysatisfying) neatly captures what ‘slow lifers’ and downshifters are searching for. Soothing moments of calm in an increasingly chaotic world.

Searching for slowness
4x increase in views of videos with ‘slow living’ in the title in 2020 vs 2019. “People are exploring interests and taking up hobbies previously considered too time -consuming”  - Google Trends

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