January 6, 2021

I did a no shopping challenge in 2020 and I’m doing it again in 2021 and here is why:


“I did a no-shopping-challenge in 2020 and I’m doing it again in 2021”

Here is why: 


Last year was a great year for me to reach some of my goals. The first one being that I didn’t want to buy anything new for myself. No malls, no online shopping, no local boutiques. If I really really needed something I could only go to my local thrift store.


If you were to ask me to do this “no buy challenge” 10 or so years ago I would have said no way! You see, things were a bit different back then. 


Consumerism literally consumed me... Fast fashion-filled my closet. If there was an online sale you bet your bottom dollar I was the first one to buy from it.



There is this one distinct memory that still haunts me: I worked for a corporate office where I had to dress up every single day, and there was this one specific day that after going out to lunch with a coworker I spilled my drink all over my skirt. We were near a Kohl’s at the time and my lunchtime was running out but I looked at my coworker and said: hmm I think I’m going to stop in here quickly and buy myself a new skirt. This one is wet! ~wake up dummy. I can’t believe that that person was me! I’m still really speechless over the fact that I would go off and replace a piece of clothing because a liquid was spilled on it knowing that I would have been fine once it was dried. 


So yes, back then there wasn’t a lot of research on FAST FASHION so my clueless-self didn’t know just how much I was contributing to polluting our Earth. How much I was helping this highly profitable business by buying their cheaply made clothing because “it was in style” because “all my other friends were doing it” and because “I saw it on my favorite fashion blog”. 


Fast Fashion: inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.

"the high-street leader when it comes to fast fashion"


“Fast fashion makes shopping for clothes more affordable, but it comes at an environmental cost. The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply, and pollutes the oceans with microplastics.”



Back to last year, I’m going to start by admitting that buying my first piece of clothing from a thrift store was a process in itself. Not because I didn’t see the benefits in it. It was purely because I was grossed out over the fact that someone else had worn that shirt before and it might smell. Crazy right? So if you currently feel the same way, here is what I have to say: it’s a mental process. It will take you going in a couple of times and browsing the racks in hopes to find something that you like. One of my most successful trips was planned out beforehand. 


Here is how it went: 

-It was a members-only 50% red tag day at Savers.

-I went through my closet the night before thinking of what I might need

-when I got to the store, my only goal was to search for red tags.

-my next goal was to search for some of my favorite brands like Lululemon, Express, Loft, well-made sweaters, H&M, and any well-known designer. 

-looking for those specific items made it where I didn’t just buy everything and anything. I know that these brands are fast fashion, and there is probably a grey area here but this is where I knew I would feel a little bit better because I wasn’t buying brand new.

-I left the store with a wide variety of my favorite clothes and with a feeling of achievement.


I’m lucky to live in the city I do because there are a lot of second-hand stores here. One of my favorites is uptown cheapskate. I have been able to buy brand new items from there. They also have a $10 dollar grab bag sale that whatever you can fit in this bag you will only pay $10 for it. 



How do you make the shift from consumerism to minimalist shopping?


Consumerism is the idea that increasing consumption of goods and services purchased in the market is always a desirable goal and that a person's wellbeing and happiness depends fundamentally on obtaining consumer goods and material possessions.”


Influencers are on Instagram daily sharing their favorite buys with beautifully modeled pictures and affiliate links to all these stores. Makes it extremely difficult in this day and age.


Back to my last year's goal:


I started by deleting the Instagram app from my phone. I knew that it would not help my mental health if I was mindless scrolling and seeing all these beautiful outfits. It would defeat the purpose of my “no fast fashion shopping”


Then, I made an “inventory” of sorts of my closet. There was a section for t-shirts, jeans, workout clothes, fancy dresses, sweaters, and “sentimental items” these were either given to me or just something that brought me happiness and was used for a special occasion.


After doing that I decided to donate the rest of the clothes I either wasn’t using or didn’t see a need for it. Guess what? My closet was still pretty full after all this.


One thing I’ve noticed about my wardrobe is that a lot of the clothes in there I’ve had for a few years now. So technically I haven’t been going on crazy shopping sprees for a while now. 


My next goal was to only go shopping if I absolutely had to and my closet just didn’t have it. Oh! Another great thing is that if someone goes shopping for you then that’s an advantage right? My mom is amazing and bought me some pregnancy clothing last year.


Starting from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 I went shopping for a total of 5 times. 


One of my favorite finds was this Calvin Klein dress I wore to my brother and sister-in-law wedding:




How to do a “no shopping in 2021”


Follow these simple steps and you should be well on your way to boycotting fast fashion:


  1. Only buy if it is absolutely necessary 
  2. Shop your closet first
  3. Find local thrift stores in your area
  4. Visit local thrift stores and browse their clothing section
  5. Stay aware of sales. If you have savers near you they have great coupons and 50% off sales all the time
  6. If you want to be extreme like me, delete your Instagram app for a couple of months so that there is no temptation. (I still haven’t downloaded the app on my phone)
  7. Trade clothes with your family members or friends. I do this quite often with my mom and sister!
  8. Say it with me: “Do I love it? Do I need it? Can I live without it? 
  9. Do your research on Fast Fashion (my favorite articles have been: Fashion RevolutionFast fashion emits more carbon than international flights, and many more)
  10. Find brands that are doing their part to save the earth. I will warn you because these clothing items are ethically made, it can become quite pricey. ( I will soon write a blog post on these brands)


There you have it, this is how I was able to dial back on my shopping and do my part to help our carbon footprint.


Are you ready to take this challenge? 






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