Tuesday, May 7

My no-clothes-shopping challenge

Two years ago, when we changed our location and moved to Holland, I challenged myself into not buying any clothes for one year. I did one post about it back then. After a while I sort of got used to that idea, and avoided all shops to extent that it has became my lifestyle. I never shop for clothes anymore and today it is over 2 years, exactly 755 days since I started this challenge.

Now I would like to share how this is possible. Easily!

You can live without shopping, and there are few easy steps how to do it:

* First of all check your closet and I can guarantee you that whatever is in there will keep you for a while without any need to add new garments. You already have more than enough. Once you understand that, you are on a good way.

* Care about what you already have - follow washing and cleaning instructions, if you don't have to, don't tumble dry, don't be lazy and do handwash of delicate materials. Your clothes will last longer.

* Tell your friends about your challenge - and they will support you. My friends thought I am in horrible lack of clothes and gave me some of their own clothes, even I didn't ask for that and didn't really need it! People really think we are lacking something, when we don't shop. Wrong!

* Or involve your friends and swap your clothes with them, make a party! ;)

* If you need a special occassion garment, make it yourself from what you already have. I made my own wedding dress from old coctail dress, and it cost me few euros on extra materials. If I can make my own wedding dress, anyone can.

* Learn basics of sewing, tie dying, knitting, any crafting activity you fancy - it is not that hard at all, and as long as you are not planning to set off as a professional maker/seller, the standard does not need to be super high. Amend your old clothes, rip them, sew together back together in your style, put yourself in it. Sometimes just simple exchange of buttons on coat will turn it into stylish garment.

* Probably the most important - avoid shops. There is an endless mass of amazing garments out there, tempting you to buy, to have, to own. If you cannot control yourself over this temtation, then avoid it completely. (And in case you really really really cannot spend another day without buying new garment, at least go for vintage or second hand shops.)

I know there are garments which not everyone can make (like underwear, swimwear), so don't worry to 'break' you challenge in case you really need that garment. But don't turn it into binge shopping. Firts year of my challenge I bought sneakers, and recently I bough boots on flea market. Total cost of 3 euros, and both I am wearing a lot. I am sure I would survive without it, but my old sneakers were so badly worn, that they needed replacement. So as long as you need it and as long as you are reasoble about it - it's fine. Of course we cannot cover everything, like we cannot produce ALL our own food.

After more than 2 years I am still using a lot of clothes and shoes I bought back in UK. I have to say, I was mostly shopping for a good quality, so that is paying off now. And I make my own clothes too - these are mostly sample garments for my shop (I make the first item in my size to see how it feels to wear). So I have to say, soon I will need to do a big clear out of my wardrobe again, even with my challenge still on!

The point of my challenge is to prove that we can reduce. Do you know the three R's of solid waste management?

REDUCE is the most favorited option, the most reasonable, the one I'm talking about, where it all starts.

Love and peace,