1 clio: Not Buying.

Not Buying.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I am trying not to buy things. Or I am trying to buy less things. The other night I was lamenting to Richard that I needed to buy a good water bottle because buying water from the shop every day was giving me hives (of the metaphorical variety). It’s like I could feel all those plastic water bottles piling up, gathering on shelves, in the bottom of my bag, around the sink and, ultimately in the (recycling) bin. It made me feel claustrophobic when I thought about it. He laughed at me but agreed it was probably a good idea to get something reusable. He’s a great appeaser, that one. I am now the proud and delighted owner of a reusable, dishwasher-able, filter water bottle from Stock, and it feels good.

The main way I am implementing this not buying things decision is by not buying clothes. I have decided not to buy new clothes this year. If I want to wear something new it must be second hand, hand made or vintage. So far I’ve bought two jumpers this year. One was new but I had a voucher that needed to be spent that I didn’t get around to using up after Christmas. The second is vintage. I know I’m only six or so weeks into the year and I probably wouldn’t have bought much anyway but being able to look around the shops, see things I like and then let them go is so liberating. Knowing that I don’t actually need things, that I can walk away and forget all about them leaves me calm. I am not restricting the buying of anything else but I am trying to shop with intention and mindfulness. I mean, do I really need a new nail varnish that I won’t like next week? No, is usually the answer. Stuff is stressful. And nobody needs more stress.

As I work in a tiny little shop—a shop that is independent and reliant on loyal customers, word of mouth and people coming out to see us despite the wind and rain—I have come to appreciate the value of shopping local. When I do need to buy things now, like for instance a shiny pink water bottle, I want to spend that money somewhere independent, somewhere where the owner actually works behind the till…even if that does mean it costs me a little bit more.

I am intrigued as to if it will all get boring or too difficult halfway through the year, or if I’ll be dreaming of new t-shirts from Gap or sandals and bikinis from Penneys come July…I hope I don’t. I hope this experience teaches me more than I expect about wanting and needing and wearing and value.

What do you think, could you ever give up clothes shopping for a year? What would you miss most? 

PS Obvioussssly underwear/tights/socks not included…cause, well, gross. 


  1. I'm in very much the same boat as you! Each time I walk into a big box store, I get overwhelmed by the amount of THINGS that exist. Sometimes, I can't believe how much of a consumerist society we live in. Furthermore, I hate how everything has become so disposable--plasticware, plates, furniture, technology, even people. Within the last year or two, I've become increasingly interested in the quality of things I buy--I want to make sure that they last. That they're safe for the environment and for me. (I recently invested in stoneware dishes, for example, over plastic, and wool dryer balls, instead of chemical-filled dryer sheets.) And, like you, the majority of my clothes are used or vintage or secondhand. I'm much more comfortable purchasing things that already exist, if that makes sense. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I may want to do a similar post, too.


Thank you for your thoughts and kind words of encouragement.

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