Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One year. No new clothes. For realz.

There's no denying that we are a society of rampant consumers, gobbling up more and more disposable goods, chewing on them ever so briefly until the luster just begins to wears off, before spitting them into the trash like chewing gum that's lost its flavor. We are insatiable in our lust for the bigger, faster, shinier versions of the things we already own; proclaiming our "need" for the new iWhatever because ours is white and the new model is black. We waste valuable resources to manufacture New, while the dumps overflow with perfectly functioning Old.

Frankly, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

At least, I'm ashamed of myself. Which is why I've decided to conduct a little experiment to see what will happen if I restrict myself from buying any new clothes for an entire year.

One year. No new clothes. No new jewelry. No new shoes. No new accessories. 

Here are the rules (and, ahem, the exceptions):

  1. New means new. Thrift store finds are still acceptable. 
  2. As are homemade items.
  3. And gifts.
  4. Though lobbying for gifts is not.
  5. Replacing an item that has bitten the dust is okay, so long as I first try to replace it with something that already exists in my closest or, failing that, try to find it second hand. If both these fail, I let myself off the hook for that particular item and can buy a new replacement. So, for example, if the heel breaks off my favorite pair of black Mary Janes, I will "replace" them with one of the other several pairs of black heels already in my closet, even though (gasp!) none of the others have an ankle strap. I know. The horror.
  6. If the need arises for an item I don't currently own, I can buy new so long as I first attempt to find it used. For example, I have no snow gear. Should we get hit with another snow storm, I can buy myself some damn boots. 
  7. Should I need replacement underwear, I am allowed to buy new. Period.
  8. Bras count as underwear.
  9. Impractical lingerie does not.
  10. I will post everything I buy here, so you can call me a cheater.
To be clear, it's not purchasing needed items that I find problematic (hence the "exceptions" at rules #5 and #6). Nor do I find anything at all distasteful about the occasional frivolous treat. It's the reflexive purchasing, the (literally) buying into planned obsolescence, the "occasional" frivolous treat that happens so often as to no longer be a treat but a habit, the confusion of the meaning of want with the meaning of need

Mindful consumption. 

That's what this challenge is about. (Also? Less laundry.) 

Effective now – actually, retroactive to January 1 – the pledge is on! Here's hoping none of my friends throw a fancy party worthy of a new dress until 2013!

1 comment:

Green City Garden Girl said...

Martini Mom, this idea rocks!

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