Buy-Nothing Challenge: Month 1

At the start of this month, I decided to aim to buy no new clothing or accessories for myself for six months. Should there be anything that I decide I actually need during this time – e.g. for weather/an event I cannot currently dress for, of if something I currently own breaks/wears out – I vowed to make a considered purchase, asking myself the following questions:

  • Is there nothing that’s already in my wardrobe which will suffice?
  • Can I alter an item I already own, or make something myself?
  • Could I borrow something suitable from a friend?
  • If I can’t make do, can I purchase a second-hand item that will fit my needs?
  • If I absolutely have to make a new purchase, can I find an ethical/sustainable company to buy from?

I’d done this before, and have a bulging wardrobe, so figured that it couldn’t be too hard to keep my purse in my bag. February got off to a good start and I was doing well, but then I spotted a post by Dawn O’Porter on Instagram:

Dear Friends, BOB (@bob_by_dop) is going on maternity leave. The site will be trying to get some sleep from the end of this month for the foreseeable future. Until then we have a massive clearance sale. Last orders will be taken on Feb 24th, after that these styles will never be seen again. If you want them, now is your time. You snooze, you lose! You know what to do.

Equality Collection, BOB by Dawn O'PorterNow, I’d had my eye on items from her Equality collection for ages. Since visiting a BOB pop-up shop in 2015 and buying a few vintage bits, I’ve been keen to own something from Dawn’s vintage-inspired range of clothing and the Karen Mabon ‘Love Wins’ print is ridiculously cute. I pondered the gorgeous 1960s style shirt for months, with its cute Peter Pan collar and easy care Cupro fabric, but kept thinking I could buy it another time. Once I saw Dawn’s Instagram announcement, I clicked through to the site to see if the shirt was still there and was disappointed to discover that is wasn’t. However, there was a 1950s style skirt (the same style that I’d tried on at the pop-up) available in a different colourway of the same print.

Before I had even stopped to think if I actually needed another skirt, I’d bought it. (I’ve not photographed it yet, but you can see leopardprint72 looking ace in it on Instagram.) So, my progress on this challenge so far is one purchase that fails the ‘need test’ but, as far as I know, fits into the final category on my list. Most of the info on the BOB by Dawn O’Porter vintage-inspired collection has been taken down now that it’s off sale, but I recall that it was all made in London so I’m assuming everyone involved in production was paid a fair wage. Let’s hope that I do better with my challenge in March!

Images via and BuzzFeed.

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