Six months shop-free!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Being more creative. Trying new things out, upcycling and matching things new is a way of being creative without spending a cent.
  3. Taking care of what I already own. I invest more time washing, repairing and organizing; I feel this actually adds value to my clothes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.