Buying Nothing

The other day, already halfway through October, I found out about Buy Nothing New Month. It’s an Australian campaign set up to encourage people to reuse things they already have and buy second-hand goods. Alas, I thought. It’s already half way through October, I’ll have to do it another month. But a quick check of the bank account and PayPal account showed that I actually hadn’t bought anything new for a while, definitely not during October. (And in my birthday month as well!)

There is already so much crap floating around the world, and I often feel like a hypocrite for feeling that way while being a maker of plastic jewels. But it’s not about never having anything new, it’s about making purchasing decisions consciously. Getting things you love instead of things you merely like enough to snap up when they’re on sale. Choosing to get things tailored to you body and tastes and colour preferences. Supporting small business. Supporting sustainable business. Supporting people who are nice!

I have more clothes than I need. I decided not to unpack when I got back from Asia and instead find the things I need as I want to use them. Would you believe that most of what I own is still in boxes? I have a suitcase and a storage box full of clothes that I haven’t looked at in over 6 months (including the time I was away). I have guides for electronics that have long since died. I have a box of old worn shoes. Why?

Living out of a backpack for the first time really changed my views on stuff. I love stuff. But what I really love is stuff I really love.

You’re probably the same. You’re probably holding on to bad gifts and cheap impulse buys. I’m slowly downsizing my life. Gifting, reselling, swapping, and altering things I don’t love any more (or never loved). I wear the jewellery I make, and happily accept second-hand clothes. I spend money on good food now instead of splurging at my nearest chain store. And every now and then I buy something new that I fall hopelessly in love with. But not this month.

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5 comments

  1. This is one thing that I think many people don’t realise – and one of the reasons that I started the business! So many people hold onto things that have no real purpose for them anymore! We manage to keep things fairly streamlined here – owning that I’m an organisational freak – but the one thing I struggle with letting go of is books… I have to find them new homes before I’m letting go of them!

  2. Good thinking! I’m trying to be like this with my wardrobe – really hunt through it and find things rather than just buying in the heat of the moment. Sometimes this applies to food as well for me :)

  3. I totally cleared out my wardrobe last month, with the help of my neighbour. and we worked out a couple of items I needed to buy just to compliment my wardrobe, but it was very therapeutic getting rid of stuff I’d never worn, stuff I hadn’t touched since pregnancy and stuff that just didn’t suit me. I always give my stuff away to charity so it’s not wasteful. Next step is to declutter the house. I’m seriously tempted to get rid of most of Charlie’s plastic toys and just keep the good quality ones…but we’ll see about that :-)

  4. Pingback: I dressed up as a feminist for halloween except actually I didn’t, but that’s a great idea for next year. | Cupcakes and Mace

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