My friend Sophie spent 2009 not spending anything at all on clothes. As someone who has an imploding wardrobe and accessory collection, I was impressed by this feat and wanted to find our more. I put four questions to her…
Why did you decide to take a no-purchase stance in 2009?
I spent four months travelling, living out of a suitcase and when I returned to Melbourne I was overwhelmed by the amount of clothes in my wardrobe, and how many items I had not worn for years. I was confident I had enough clothes to last a year without a purchase so I made the New Year resolution.
Did you find it difficult to survive without things you needed or wanted?
It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. Need and want are two very separate issues. I needed little as I had so much however I wanted, and I wanted even more because I couldn’t have. The year without buying did further highlight this difference and I now buy more of what I need and less of what I want. However it is very satisfying when the two overlap.
Do you think it is sustainable?
I am certain some people could sustain it, however for me a year was enough. Living in the shopping capital of the Southern Hemisphere [Melbourne] doesn’t help.
Would you recommend others to do a year without purchasing anything?
I would encourage people to do it if they were aware of the consequences and were prepared for the ups and downs.
So, even though we’re getting well into 2010 already, I would like to take a similar stance to Sophie as a resolution for this year. Having ‘stuff’ around you – especially too much – can really weigh you down. I would like to liberate myself by having only the items that I need to exist around me. I tend to hoard items for sentimental reasons, which is fine, but when too much is entering the system, a lack of mental and physical space really does become an issue…