The latest iPhone. A bigger flat screen, with an even sharper picture. ‘Ultra-fast-fashion’ with 52 collections in a year, made to be worn briefly. As a consumer, it is hard to resist temptation sometimes. And eager buying is good for the economy. But we also increasingly run up against the limits of our consumerism. What are those limits? And what does all that consuming yield? In this series, we get people to look at this from their specific point of view. Episode 2: the perspective of Heleen van der Sanden, former publisher of Genoeg (Enough).
perspective of Heleen van der Sanden, former publisher of Genoeg (Enough).
Doing more with less. That’s how you could describe the mission of quarterly magazine and Internet platform Genoeg. At first glance, that just sounds like frugal living, but when you talk to Heleen van der Sanden, it quickly becomes clear that it is about more than that - freedom, autonomy, solidarity. Van der Sanden was the publisher of Genoeg (the successor to the illustrious “Vrekkenkrant” 25 years ago) for sixteen years, and she was the editor-in-chief and designer for about ten years as well. She recently sold the magazine to a new publisher: Virtùmedia.
When do you have enough?
“Personally, I like the dictionary definition: enough is the balance between too much and too little. And that balance is always in flux - what is not enough today may be enough tomorrow and vice versa. The answer to the question of when something is enough varies from person to person. So, if you’re publishing a magazine about ‘doing more with less’, you can’t take an attitude of ‘we know what’s right’. If hiking is your joy and your life, a hundred-euro backpack may be a basic need. For someone else that may be an extravagant expense, but that person may spend a fortune on painting supplies. Genoeg always encourages readers to evaluate their own situation. The important thing is to consciously choose what is important to you. And for the rest: just eliminate the things that are less important to you!