Not buying clothes for a year challenge: I did it!

Well, this it it! The 4th and final quarterly status update on my challenge to not buy any clothes, for a year!

Not buying clothes for a year - final report

If you’ve read my 3 months status update & my 6 months status update, you already know that, at the very least, I didn’t buy any clothes for 6 months!

There was a little hiccup in September with the purchase of gear. Because of this, my 9 months report was a mix of guilt and self consolation.

So the big question….

Did I buy clothes in the last 3 months? 

No!!! Nothing!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 And it was easy, so easy!

OK, I was slightly tempted to go buy some socks, when I’m was looking at my socks pile! And I do think that socks will be the first thing I buy this year, although, weirdly, I haven’t done so yet.

Like the previous quarter, the thing is that, I pretty much didn’t buy anything else either. This no shopping for clothes challenge has impacted all my spendings.

I bought flowers for my mom’s grave, a book for my dad, chocolate for a friend and frame hangers for the office. If you read this again, you’ll probably definitively notice that none of these things were for me!

I also made a donation to Edgardo SalvaPerros, the guy who walks around Mexico to save dogs. Do check him out and make a donation if you can.

You didn’t buy anything? really? Not even on Black Friday?!

No, nothing!! Zero, nada! Black Friday being at the end of November, and since I had managed to have a below budget month, despite a huge spending for my Indian motorcycle, I wasn’t going to blow it up!

OK, so on Cyber Monday? No nothing either!!

Am I happy? Yes, very! This “no buy challenge” has definitively changed things for me. For my budget and for my perspective on life. As you can see below…

But before we talk about the experience I had when I went to a mall, let’s see about the other part of my challenge…

What did I sew in the last 3 months? 

As you may have read in my previous reports, the idea I had, when I started this year challenge, was that if I wanted a new piece of clothing, I should sew it myself, with my vintage Singer sewing machine.

My vintage Singer sewing machine 15K from 1923 - 1 year to learn how to sew

That definitively should have taught me patience and most importantly, to chose carefully what I really needed, versus what I just wanted.

At the beginning of the year, I thought I would sew every week something new. Quickly, I realized that a weekly sewing project was unrealistic! So I thought a monthly sewing project was good?! Well that was still too much for me!! 😂

So let’s just summarize by saying that the sewing part of the challenge has not gone so well!

I did sew a couple things, I did learn to use my machine and I did become really good at repairing clothes! Sewing new clothing items is, however, not yet my forte.

Maybe next year? Maybe not!

So… I went to a mall!

But why??

Ah ah! That is a really good question!

Well, the answer is simple actually: it was late, I was on my way back from the airport, I had to eat something and since it was a new mall, I thought it was a good idea to stop by to grab a bite.

I was so wrong!

The minute I drove in the parking lot, I felt oppressed. Up on the escalator, I didn’t really feel any better. And once there? Yuck!… It’s a bran new mall which has been considered a ‘revolution’ in shopping experience and yet, I saw no differences with what they usually are. What is so new?

The light is still mostly artificial and blinding. The music unpleasant, too loud and yet not loud enough to cover people noises. The smell? Hum, well it’s new… The shops were just the same as everywhere else, the alleys sprinkled with little areas to wait for your shopaholic friend or spouse, in between escalators taking you from one floor to another. But what is revolutionary here? I seriously kept wondering and never found the answer!

Oh yeah, the food wasn’t even good.

It was an unpleasant experience but also a good lesson: I was never a shopaholic but this has shown me that my “no buy challenge” year had transformed me into an even more reluctant consumer!

As I looked at some of the shops’ windows, I felt what I can only describe as disgust, for all the overpriced useless stuff, I could see.

Most importantly, I felt that I wasn’t a part of this anymore and I felt free.

Not buy year challenge - I did it

The conclusion of a no buy challenge!

Well, it feels weird now, to know that I ‘can’ go out and buy stuff. It wasn’t like it was forbidden or that I would have my hands chopped off, if I did. It was just a conscious decision, to refrain from doing something that I didn’t really enjoy to start with.

At this point, I don’t feel like going shopping at all. I like to hibernate too much anyhow!!

Also, I’m almost a bit lost without my challenge. Humm…

Will I buy clothes this year? Yes, I guess I will most likely do… but in moderation.

I’m not in a rush but as you understood my socks pile is a problem!! Maybe I’ll make buying clothes a reward thing. Achieve a goal (a big one!), get a gift for yourself.

If, at some point I do get sudden shopping urges, I’ll probably pu some barriers in place, like a waiting period before purchasing something I ‘want’.

Not sure yet, as the problem has not arisen and there is nothing I absolutely need or want at the moment.

Will I continue sewing? Yes, I will. As mentioned previously, I feel that maybe buying second hand clothes and altering them will be a gentle way to continue sewing but without the stress of creating something completely new. Once again, I’m not sure as there is nothing I really need or want at the moment. Apart from socks and I’m not sewing those!

On buying second hand, all the repairs I had to do on my own clothes, made me realize that one has to be very careful to buy items that are not too worn out. Looking for the stitches quality is one thing, but looking for good quality fabric, that is still in excellent condition, seems even more important.

*****

You may not see it, but truly, after a year, I’m now entering new territories and I can only wonder what is next.

So, believe me, when I say that, no matter how many times you read how life changing a no-buy challenge can be, I don’t think you can truly understand it before trying it for yourself.

I certainly had no clue how many aspect of my life would be altered by my depth year and this “not buying clothes for a year challenge”.

I am myself, blown by such changes and I suspect I haven’t even identified them all yet.

But I will tell you when I do!

Happy New Year and thanks for sticking around!

Not buying clothes for a year - 1 year report