I am writing this post, to sheepishly announce that I have decided to spend the next 6 months without shopping.
That’s right! I will not spend a penny on clothes or accessories; nothing, niente, nichts, kahore, NADA…
Some of you reading this may think that it’s pretty minor and may well stop reading here, others will gasp in horror and say ‘Why would you do that!?’
For me, it’s kind of a big deal, and I am going to try to explain why I have decided to do/not do, such a thing.
As some of you may already know, I am going travelling for a year in August!!!
Ahhh! I can hardly contain my excitement!
But this is not what this post is about… although it is in some way related…
3 “Big ?’s” came up when made my decision to travel:
- How on earth will I save enough money?
- How the hell am I going to fit 12 months’ worth of cute outfits into one little bag?!?!
- What am I going to do with All the stuff I can’t take?!
To enable a better understanding of my relationship with shopping I must explain this:
My mum is from an unprivileged background, 7 children and very low means. As a result, she grew up wishing she could have things. Consequently, her dream was to be able to give her children, ‘things’ to show her Love. This may sound familiar, as it is not only reserved for less privileged backgrounds. The thing is, when you have lacked in your life, you have an urge to possess as much as you can #hoardealert and it seems to be transmissible from one generation to the next…
So, although my room is pretty tidy and relatively minimalist, my drawers and cupboards tell stories of dress sizes too small and tasteless monstrosities…what was I thinking?!?
I’ve always loved clothes, but during my short stint in the fashion industry things got out of hand and I would buy a new item of clothing at least once a week. Rarely expensive, but it fatted up my wardrobe and slimmed down my bank balance. I’d laugh about it with my friends, but like any type of compulsive behaviour it shouldn’t be a laughing matter.
Things have improved drastically since I started doing yoga. I learnt ‘Aparigraha (Sanskrit: अपरिग्रह): the concept of non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness’. But every so often I have an ‘outbreak’. I walk into a shop, lured in by a loud SALE sign, lose myself for an hour, and come out of the shop, dizzy, holding bags full of things that I don’t need. I’ve never been one to return things…instead, I hold onto them…just in case I become a size 0 overnight.
So as the year came to an end, I decided to challenge myself and hit 2 birds with one stone, save money and have less things to dispose of by the time I went travelling.
It’s only been a month, but I have felt an immense sense of freedom walking past my favourite shops and knowing I ‘’can’t’’ buy anything. My stubbornness gives me great will power!
Interestingly, at the beginning of January, my awesome mentor and new Lulu Lemon ambassador Will Wheeler asked me if I could assist him for the 1st Sunday morning class at the new Regent’s Street branch. I immediately said yes, and was over the moon to be invited for a fitting during which I got to choose a WHOLE Lulu OUTFIT!! Was I being rewarded for my efforts to step out of consumerism?!
Those were my 1st pair of Lulu leggings and (which actually feel like a second skin!). The fact that they were a gift, and most probably the only new clothes I would be getting for the next 6 month period, gave them a very special value. This made me remember my grandmother telling me that in her times, they only had one pair of shoes and a couple of nice dresses. I felt embarrassed and a little disgusted by how much I have managed to accumulate over the last 10 years.
I have spoken about this little experiment with a few friends and 2 of them have decided to join me on this journey, so if any of this resonates with you, why not join us too?!
As part of this project I have decided to organise an evening/afternoon at my place, where each person can bring 5 items of clothing that they no longer wear/want and we can swap with each other. (Because we all still like a little excitement in our wardrobe, and ‘one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure’. If you would like to be invited please send me a message (date and time to be decided).
Thank you for reading and Happy Saving!!!