Thoughts on consumerism – The no buy challenge
Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog, today’s post is all about my thoughts on consumerism, this blog post kind of carries on from a post I did in September (so if you haven’t read it I would recommend doing so first) called thoughts on consumerism which I will link here.
So with the New Year comes the ‘new me’ mantra and trying to do activities like going to the gym or doing a massive tidy up. Well I guess tidying up is something that has sparked these thoughts again, much like in my last post where it was sparked from doing a car boot.
I was inspired to do a tidy up/clear out from watching ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’ which has recently come out on Netflix. I also find cleaning quite therapeutic, I like to remind myself of the things that I own, so I know where everything is and that if I’ve forgotten about something I can reuse it. Or I guess maybe the other reason is to remind myself of my financial achievements in material forms, which is where my issue begins.
I think that I am quite a mindless shopper (well hopefully use to be). Shopping was something that sparked joy in me and quite honestly when I’m shopping something comes over me that just makes me want stuff that I don’t even need. I guess I feel that if I go into a shop actively wanting to buy and I don’t really see anything that properly ‘sparks joy’ I would feel as if I have failed? (I don’t know if that’s the right word). I would end up buying something that I don’t 100% love. I mean bare this in mind, I am a perfectionist so my standards are pretty high, so I would talk my self down into thinking ‘well I need this but it’s not perfect, it’s a bit short or tight or whatever it is but, I’m not going to find anything that is perfect, so I’m just going to buy it anyway’.
NO, NO and NO.
So I buy the item and then what happens is that I find it uncomfortable because it doesn’t fit me the way I would like it too and then never wear it again and then it just lives in my wardrobe for the rest of eternity… Or alternatively my other dilemma is that if I love the item I wear it to death until I no longer like it and get bored of it.
Now this past week I’ve been tidying my room again and like at the car boot I did over summer have formed a mountain of clothes that no longer ‘spark joy’ and quite honestly it makes me feel sick. I look in my wardrobe now and even with a mountain of clothes gone it still looks full!
So this is where I’m taking a stand, I’m not going to buy any clothes or in fact any materialistic item for 3 months. I’m going to try and do longer than this but I don’t want to feel as if I’m restricting myself and therefore give up and fail. I clearly have enough clothes as it is, so nothing should need replacing in that period of time, I mean if it does lets face it, I can wear something else.
I need to stop ‘rewarding’ myself with materialistic items, yeah they may make you feel happy temporarily as you get a hit of dopamine but that soon disappears you then want the next thing and then the next and the next. Not only is it hurting my bank balance but it is also hurting the planet. I recently watched ‘Stacey Dooley investigates fashion’s dirty secrets’ on BBC iPlayer and was shocked, if you haven’t watched it I would highly recommend doing so.
I’ve taken a few actions to stop myself from falling into the consumerism trap of want, want, want on my no buy challenge.
1. Don’t look
Don’t go into town and have a wonder around because guaranteed you will find something you like. Don’t look at online clothing stores because again you will find something you like.
2. Unsubscribe from emails
Unsubscribe from emails from all fashion outlets. This took a long time and I was shocked at how many emails I could get from one company even per day, saying that have this sale on and that this is new etc.
3. Tidy up your socials
Unfollow and or unsubscribe from people who’s content is purely based on selling you material items.
4. Notice when you have the urge to shop
Only when you notice what triggers you into shopping is when you can nip it in the bud. For some people it might be from seeing something, for others it might be an emotion, I think for me I tend shop when I get bored. Instead of shopping I’m going to teach myself something new or read or book or do something that is going to reward me spiritually.
So I hope this blog post gave you some food for thought if you’re like me and a a bit sick of how mindlessly you’re spending your money. I would love it if you take up the no buy challenge with me and let me know how you get on!
In 3 months time or hopefully longer I’ll do a blog post about how I found this challenge and what I learnt from it, so stay tuned for that.
Lots of love, Melissa x