Buy Nothing New

five people standing against wall

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Well hello there! Yes, it’s been a while,  but I’m back. refreshed, revitalised and ready to share my offline adventures in the online world again!

After my last post, you’ll be pleased to hear that I have been writing. Sitting with a pen and real paper each morning and writing all kinds of cr*p! It’s been good to just write on any subject that takes my fancy. Observations on the garden, short fictional episodes, which may or may not become stories and lists.

Lists are what led to this post. I’ve been writing lists about what’s important to me. My friends, my family, the planet and the people my life impacts. What I want to do and what I want to be remembered for. I saw a post on Instagram about Extinction Rebllion’s Boycott Fashion campaign and that struck home. I’ve long been aware of the human and environmental impacts of fast, throw away fashion and I try to make ethical choices. I make my clothes last and I buy second hand. But I felt there was more I could do, that I could take things a step further and so a plan was hatched to Buy nothing new for 52 weeks.

Nothing new? Well of course there are exceptions. Food, for a start. We grow some of our own and we buy local. Underwear – I draw the line at second hand knickers! Replacements for broken things that can’t be repaired. Gifts for friends (although I’m going to try and make as many as possible) and essential stuff like glasses (although last month I had the lenses replaced and kept my old specs, so you could say I’m already on this path).

I’m loathe to set rules about what I can or cannot buy, but I have begun to think about strategies to mitigate the need to buy new and how we’ll work around the hurdles. It’s possible we’ll need to buy a new car soon, but we’ve already considered trading in both cars and switching back to one car we can share (something we’ve done before, so we know it’s possible).

I don’t want to just “cheat” my way through the year by  allowing myself abundant charity shop purchases, I want to think carefully about what I buy and why I’m parting with my hard earned cash. Our usual approach of “Buy what we need, use what we have”, will still apply.

I know it’s going to be a struggle and getting friends and family on board might be hard (birthdays and Christmas might be a challenge, but maybe these will be opportunities to be gifted new essentials – toiletries and book perhaps – so that every purchase is needed rather than wanted, with the proviso that gifts  have an ethical edge – cruelty free, recycled, hand made perhaps?).

I’m not asking you to join me, but perhaps keep me company on my journey? You can read the press release and background to this campaign by clicking here. Meanwhile, we’re off to France for 2 weeks and we’ll see how the challenge affects our holiday. We’re not big spenders, but we do occasionally come home with a memento or two. I am thinking that maybe I’ll get a couple of my holiday photos printed out and framed (the charity shops are full of second hand frames)? Does printing a photo count as new?


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