Not wanting to start the year with too much self-celebration but…small drum roll here please…I did it! A whole year of buying Nothing New. I didn’t buy any new clothes in 2017, despite a late trip to (very tempting) India and save for a couple of birthday presents from middleagedad and my lovely sis, I’ve happily made do with what I’ve already got in my (admittedly extensive) wardrobe.
And it was SO much easier than I could ever have imagined. I wrote a post here about the hardest bits and how it had changed my thoughts, but I enjoyed the challenge so much, I wanted to set myself some follow-up goals.
I know everyone’s banging on about buying less stuff now, but I can honestly say it feels BETTER with fewer clothes. I’ve not just been holding back from buying, I’ve been thinning out my wardrobe too. Anything that didn’t fit, looked scrappy or hadn’t been worn for over two years was ditched and everything else has to fit on two small rails, with two small suitcases for storage.
It’s also been really thrilling to hear how many of you were inspired by this project to limit your own buying, or re look at your wardrobes and take stock of what you already owned. This was really unexpected and I get a real kick out of hearing from friends and from our comments section how you are all doing. We could start a movement!
So what now? Working on the premise that I need absolutely NOTHING, I don’t think I’ll slip back into my old ways, but I thought I’d set some rules for future buying just in case I’m tempted. so here they are;
One out, one in.
I really don’t want to end up with so many clothes again. Rails and cupboards STUFFED with hardly worn clothes are stressful! And its hard to make your wardrobe work properly if you can’t see/remember what you’ve got. So now I’ve got it to about the right size and it’s so easy to get dressed, I’m only allowing a new item in if I get rid of something.
30 times wearable.
New clothes must meet the 30 Times rule that Livia Firth suggests we all follow. I admired her eco-age campaign of buying clothes that are not made in sweat shops or anywhere that have a dubious origin (follow her on Insta and she will keep you on track). She advises not to buy anything you wont wear at least 30 times and frequently appears at red carpet events wearing clothes she’s inherited from her mum. So no more regret-the-next-day, impulse buys.
No bulk buying the same thing
One thing I’ve learned about my old habits is that I buy the same thing over and over, in a slightly different variation. From white shirts to jeans to Chinese jackets, I seem to drift into buying lots of the same thing. Before every new purchase I’m going to make myself ask ‘how many of these have I already got?’
Who gets my money?
One of the reason’s I stopped buying clothes was because I didn’t like what was happening to fashion retail, where big organisations were making shed loads of money off my purchase to fund yacht collections and treat their employees badly. Now, no one’s getting my cash unless I like the sound of the brand. Where possible I’ll look first in second hand or charity stores (although I love doing this so it’s hardly a strain). We should all weaponize our purchasing power, if we want to see change, we can just stop giving badly behaved brands our money.
So, after a whole year of not buying, do you want to know what was my first purchase of the new year? And how it felt? I’ll tell you in my next post…