I am no stranger to "not buying it." I can't really remember how long it's been, but I do know that I've been making a conscious effort to not buy new clothes and stuff for over a year.
I was prompted by a desire to save money and to save the environment, because it upsets me to think about how our throwaway culture is burning through the earth's resources.
I was also inspired by the Compact, a group of people in San Francisco who vowed to not buy anything new for year; a book called Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping; and fellow bloggers Arduous and Fix, who took a hiatus from all spending July, food included.
And do you know what happened? Something surprising - I started to dislike shopping. I now think of shopping as a chore. I would much rather spend my time in other ways, like indulging in my blog addiction, having a nice meal, going for a walk or bike ride, and so on.
I will warn you though, sometimes I do feel bored with my clothes, or frumpy when I'm wearing the same falling apart shoes every day because I haven't gotten the motivation to go shopping. (I also tend to feel frumpy because I think the business casual crap I have to wear to work is so boring. I don't feel like I have many opportunities to express myself through clothes anymore anyway. It sucks.)
But it works for me because I am also not one of those girls who cares about looking perfect. I don't wear makeup (have you ever considered how many scary ingredients are in makeup?), I don't blow dry or style my hair. I like me just the way I am, and my boyfriend agrees that I'm pretty without all that stuff.
This is not to say I'm a saint and haven't bought ANYTHING in the past couple years. I will admit to using gift cards to buy new clothes; used clothes are totally allowed; I buy things when I need them (like today I might go out and replace my holey socks!); J-Man and I went a little overboard at ikea this fall; and I ended up buying more gift things for Christmas than I wanted to.
But I think it's better to try to be mindful about consumption than to not try at all. Every little bit we do helps. Which is why i was so happy to see so many blogger friends signing onto the spending hiatus.
Of course everyone's priorities are different, so instead of spending my money on things, I tend to spend the most money on food. I buy most of my food from the farmers market, which is not cheap when meat is involved. And we eat and drink out a lot. Hence why my spending hiatus is more about trying to cut down on spending money at bars and restaurants, to save money and bring food back home, where I have direct control over the healthiness and sustainability of my food.