Awesome Ideas: Buy-Nothing Challenge

I’ve always loved acquiring things. Objects that may not have any meaning to others, but which all have a reason to be in my possession. In recent years, most of these acquisitions have been purchases (rather than gifts or swaps) and the vast majority have been clothing or accessories. Whether it’s a want or a need, I rarely buy something completely on impulse without a use for it. It might be a practical handbag from a heritage brand whose factory I have visited, a hand-made accessory from a creative small business owner on Etsy, or something I’ve been eyeing up for ages from Collectif or Tatty Devine that will go with lots of other things in my wardrobe.

As I wrote recently, every one of these purchases makes me happy, but recently I’ve realised that this over-consumption must stop. To clarify, I’m only talking about stuff that’s in my wardrobe here. Although I do also buy other things like books, stuff that I wear makes up the vast majority of my unnecessary spending at the moment. I’ve heard of people buying nothing new for a year, but my current spending is out of control so I figured just switching to that would mean spending loads on second-hand and vintage clothing instead! Therefore, I thought I should try to break the cycle buy trying a month of buying no clothing or accessories at all. This may not sound like much of an effort, but my office is right by Oxford Street and the internet is full of temptation. When you’re signed up to mailing lists of various fashion brands/retailers, plus follow loads of them on Instagram, it becomes all too easy to get into the habit of clicking *add to basket* without a second thought.

Lori's WardrobeSo, this will be 31 days of really thinking about why I’m considering buying something when I already have a full wardrobe. Later this month I have an event to go to where a themed fancy dress outfit is required. Normally I would have gone straight to eBay to find something new, but this time round I’ll restrict myself to items I already own or can borrow from friends. My rule for this Buy-Nothing Challenge is simple: No clothing/accessories purchases for myself during the month of August. (I’m excluding gifts from this as my sister’s birthday is on 2nd September and I don’t want to limit my options!) Keep an eye on Twitter for updates throughout the month, and I’ll post here when I have time. It’s just a small change, but hopefully it will be a habit-breaking one.

UPDATE: On day 1, I resisted opening an email from Collectif about the extension of their 50% off event, and I managed to avoid buying any bras when I visited the Selfridges Body Studio for a pre-booked bra fitting and browse of their AW16 stock. For a full update, check out my September blog post.

44 thoughts on “Awesome Ideas: Buy-Nothing Challenge

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  1. I’ve managed two Buy Nothing challenges – the first for 10 weeks and the second for 3 months. Deleting shopping apps from my phone and unsubscribing from all marketing emails helped a ton; I found it relatively easy going both times, but it speaks volumes that I never extended the challenges after my initial time period was up, despite claiming both times that I’d try! Fact is, I love shopping and I love clothes, so denying myself both for a longer period of time just was never going to work. Good luck!

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