Six months shop-free (only clothes). This is what I have learned:
I decided to stop buying clothes for a year and it was, without a doubt, one of the best decisions I’ve made lately. This experiment started after I realized I would give more thought to buying a zucchini than a cheap T-shirt. My shopping behavior was unmindful and unthought and led to a wide collection of items: some I don’t really like or don’t really fit but for some reason, still ended up in my closet. It also expresses my commitment to finally assuming the responsibility I have as a consumer and supporting practices that are fair and sustainable. What I thought would be a tough experience, has surprisingly turned into a time to develop love for simplicity and detail. Here is a summary of the last six months:
- Focusing entirely on what I have. I never realized how much of my dressing ritual was influenced by the thought of getting something new. Knowing “you already have all you need” is deeply comforting at many levels.
- Being more creative. Trying new things out, upcycling and matching things new is a way of being creative without spending a cent.
- Taking care of what I already own. I invest more time washing, repairing and organizing; I feel this actually adds value to my clothes.
- Time to de-clutter. Sticking to clothes I like and actually wear; items that fit and I feel good in. I don’t have time or space for anything that doesn’t fit that definition.
- Knowing less is more. Realizing that instead of a wardrobe full of clothes I don’t even know I own, I actually prefer one with a few special pieces. All else feels like background noise.
This experiment has slowed me down (in terms of shopping) and made me see that a life away from mass consumerism is possible and that detail, love and mindfulness deserve a place in my closet as well.