No one knew how to pronounce it but hygge – or the Danish art of living cosily – took over the winter of 2016.
Now, there’s another Scandinavian lifestyle trend to jump on to. Forget hot chocolates and layers upon layers of knitwear and enter the time of ‘lagom’.
The idea of being frugal and creating balance, lagom translates to ‘just the right amount’. It’s a state of having “not too much of one-or-the-other, but more a Goldilocks ‘just right’,” according to Kathleen Bryson, a PhD student in evolutionary anthropology.
If this is the first time you’re hearing the word, you may be surprised to find that it’s the title of a Bristol-based magazine celebrating people with a good work/life balance, the name of a Korean beauty brand and the inspiration behind IKEA’s latest project. Live Lagom is a three-year initiative aiming to teach people “how to make sustainable living easier, more affordable and attractive.” The furniture giant is handing out gift vouchers to customers to encourage them to purchase IKEA’s range of eco-friendly products.
“This is a way of life for most households in Sweden. Scandinavians are greener than Britons because there’s a feeling of collective action – everyone’s doing their bit,” IKEA’s head of sustainability, Joanna Yarrow told the Evening Standard.
Although the word is seen as being pretty dull in Sweden, it seems a sense of stability in post-Brexit Britain is what people are really looking for. Lagom’s focus on environmentalism and reducing waste will appeal to those already embarking on the clean living hype.
“We think lagom will become even bigger than hygge. In a world of extremes and contradictions, a calm, soothing promise of a happier, more balanced way of life is very attractive,” said the founder of UK-based fashion brand, LAGOM.
According to the BBC, the term has seen a steady increase in Google searches and has been tweeted over 13,500 times in the past three months alone.
So how can you get involved? It can be a simple case of watching your spending and researching the brands that you buy. Instead of handing over 5p for a plastic bag, why not bring a reusable one with you every time?
After all, it’s the little things that count.