Monday, 28 March 2011

Buy nothing new: six items challenge

**So you remember that I started the "Buy nothing new for a year" challenge on February 1?
So far, the hardest thing that I have had to deal with is presents for others.

When the Geege and I decided to embark on the challenge, we decided that for birthdays and things we would *try* to buy second hand (or re-gift!). And if that wasn't possible for the particular person, we would *try* to buy handmade. And if that wasn't possible, we would *try* to buy ethically and environmentally. And if that wasn't possible, then we would go to one of the local shops and buy something Australian made.

It is pretty hard when you own a camping store, and you are really disorganised a lot of the time, not to just grab something from the store to give as a gift. My sister-in-law's birthday was a prime example and we broke the 'nothing new' challenge by getting her a piece of Icebreaker on the way to her birthday brunch (technically is it 'buying something new' when you steal it?).

I also bought a pair of school socks for Nugget. I tried to get him second hand ones from the clothing pool, but there just weren't any there. He was down a sock so we were rotating 2 pairs and with me going back to work an extra day as of this week, I felt that the purchase of another pair will save him having to wear dirty socks once a week. That seems reasonable? But I'm not sure if it is allowed.

Other than those little digressions from the path, all has gone well and after two months we are (mostly) sticking to the program. I have many questions such as:
  • Are haircuts okay? (not style cuts but genuine get-this-hair-out-of-my-eyes cuts? 
  • What do I do about moisturiser? And skin cleansers? Are they luxuries or necessities?
  • When my paper subscription runs out, can I renew? And if I don't, does that mean I can't buy a paper for the rest of the year?
  • What is the deal with school uniforms? If we can't get stuff second hand, are we breaking the rules to get new things?
So, if you have done this challenge before, and can shed light on these little quandries, please do!

And as of this morning, inspired my by friend Tricia, I am starting my six items or less challenge. It is all about working out needs and wants. Living simply. Buying clothes that last. Reducing the angst of choosing your daily wardrobe. Minimalism. Anti-consumerism. All that good stuff that keeps me ticking, and will definitely help me buy nothing new for my wardrobe this month!

So I will be wearing the same six items of clothing for a whole month*! You can sign up too if you want? But you had better get in quick because today is the last day to enter (and bare with the website, it is somewhat temperamental!)  I will share my wardrobe choices later this week and more about the challenge rules etc.

So tell me, if you are buying nothing new this year, how are you going? And if you know any good, online stores specialising in hand-made and recycled stuff for the purpose of gift shopping, please share!

*Undies, PJs, outerwear (like coats and rainjackets), accessories and workout clothes are excepted.

**For some reason my images are not showing today, so it is all about the text for this one!


Quill and Ink Handmade said...

This is such an interesting challenge - full of admiration for you for giving it a go!
A small idea for birthday presents: I often bake delicious things, like a big batch of chocolate chip cookies, a beautiful cake, or sweet cupcakes, using ingredients from my pantry. I guess it could fall into your handmade category...:)

Lucy said...

The Minx - would she like to be the recipient of some hand me down things? Lexie is in need of someone to pass down me? xx

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you were doing this. I am shamelessly materialistic but have this tiny nagging at the edge of my conscience that this would be a really fulfilling thing to do. Intrigued to see your wardrobe choices. I remember the story of the girl who wore the same black dress for a whole year. Looking forward to your next post.

DancingInTheRain said...

So far so good. I have been enjoying checking out the local op shops. I do have a few birthdays coming up that I hadnt pre planned for so will have to start putting the thinkning cap on.

Wa Waa designs for cute baby clothes - local handmade crafts from Mt Colah!!

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I'd be able to do this one easy - I'm sure I only wear six items all month anyway...

Kelly said...

Wow, what an interesting idea. I'm sure you will finds ways to make it work. I don't think I could go so long without buying something but I admire you for it!

Tricia said...

Good luck with the six items challenge :-)

I'm looking forward to seeing your six. This random changing weather is going to make it interesting for you. t x.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Allison - I think I wear the same 6 items already. Only I have several pairs of same yoga pant, as I am often glooped on by small hands.
I really admire you doing this. I think shopping has become a hobby for a lot of people (and I say this with qualification that I used to shop for entertainment when I had only one child). I miss the days when you bought something and it was special, and made to last. Now it seems nothing is.
Good for you MM. :)

Be A Fun Mum said...

Feeling SOOO inspired right now. I've been thinking about starting something myself under the banner of "Say NO to stuff". I love buying new things but I've come to love, and value the simple things. We, as a society, live in such excess don't we? I'm going to give this some though but THANK YOU SO MUCH for inspiring me. xx

PartlySunny said...

I'm going to have to go think about this because I might actually (sadly) be close to this six item thing already. I'm so pathetic in the clothing department, and I wear the same thing over and over. So maybe I'll join you. My only hitches could be Easter and going to a couple of theater performances. Then the uniform might not cut it.

Alice Becomes said...

think this is SUCH an interesting challenge....not sure if i could do it..

haircuts - i say these are fine?!

hmmm, skincare - you could do the natural thing and use stuff from your kitchen cupboard...oats, avocado, olive oil...might be messy and time consuming...but good for the environment!

Kymmie said...

I love this challenge! Mostly, I love the anti-consumerism thing. I've been wearing most of the same clothes for around four or more years now, and only buy replacements once it's ruined/so worn it has holes in it. If I DO buy something new, I have to take something else out of my wardrobe good enough to take to the op-shops. It certainly does keep purchases to a minimum.

Because I'm only just reading this now, it means that I might have missed the formal registration of the 6 items in a month. But I might just join in anyway (does that exclude Fancy Pants days though?) x

Kymmie said...

So, I did it. I started the BNN challenge. And of course, I'm coming up and asking pretty much the same questions you were at this time.

So, what did you do with haircuts, school uniforms, presents?

We have gotten all Madison's school uniform second hand and I'm thinking haircuts are a necessity (and I can't do it!). I'm thinking I'll be making presents this year. Lots of edibles and consumables!

But any advice you have on gifts is probably the most essential right now!

Now that you're not BNN, how are you finding things? Have you stuck with your habits, or spending like a mad thing?


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