A few days ago I was sitting filling up another online clothes shopping basket I had no intention of checking out. Today I did two loads of washing and as I went to put it away in my over flowing cupboard I thought it was probably time for a sort out. Two fulls rubbish bags later and I feel so, so guilty about the waste. Of course everything is going to a charity shop, but why on earth did I ever think I needed all that stuff? It is bizarre to me. So many things I remember liking the idea of in the shop regardless of whether they suited me. So many mass produced, poorly produced, sweatshop produced things…it breaks my heart.
So, in order to break the cycle of want rather than need, I thought I ought to do a no spend challenge. I did no spend January at the start of the year and I really enjoyed it. It stopped me browsing and that in turn stopped me feeling the need to purchase. I felt a lot less stressed. When I started the month, I made a list of all the things I thought about buying. It was amazing how many things I felt I ‘needed’ in those first days. More often than not, if I didn’t write them down straight away, I couldn’t even remember what it was that I had wanted. As the month went on the thoughts of buying disappeared.
I have tried to be more mindful of my spending since, and I really have stopped buying clothes and tat in supermarkets (which where we live is pretty much my only shopping experience!). I have rediscovered Fat Face, whose clothes suit me and they seem to be the most ethical high street store I can come by. I would certainly be gutted if I learnt otherwise. But I really do need to do more, because I just don’t need any more.
My pledge is that I will not buy myself any clothes or shoes for twelve months. If, by some washing machine disaster, all my undies disintegrate, then I will obviously replace, but…twelve months…no clothes, no shoes, no bags or accessories, no jewellery, no makeup. I can’t actually see myself needing anything. After all, it would be really nice to give some of the things I’ve owned for over a decade a chance to wear out. Instead of mooching around the online shops, perhaps I’ll find some more productive things to do with my time. I don’t need any more clothes and I’m certainly not going on a spree before I start my twelve months. They’ve started the day I started this blog post…the 13th August 2018. I did buy two things in the sales a couple of months ago that are tucked away for Francis to give me at Christmas, which he will. Maybe I will appreciate them more.
I will let you know how I get on. Twelve months….I have no doubt there are plenty of people in this world who do it without a conscious thought…and some who do it because they have to. I didn’t grow up in a wasteful house. Mum and Dad were both very careful with money and instilled those values in me. But I do think times are different. Advertising is everywhere…particularly, for me, through Instagram. I’ve also gone from working to being pregnant to becoming a stay at home Mummy to being pregnant again and now having had all the children we plan to have. So there has been, rightly or wrongly, cause to have a few wardrobe refreshes over the last five years. Time to stop.