Going on a No Buy

One of my plans for 2019 – or actually entire life – is a more conscious way of living. That starts at less social media and goes all the way to a green lifestyle. I do intend to write about more about all of this in the upcoming weeks and months. That will include a lot of topics, so I am still thinking of an overarching title to tie it all together.

This one however is only about shopping or the stopping thereof. So, here is the outline of my no buy.
This is inspired by two things – Hannah Louise Poston and me being just overwhelmed by belongings and wanting to get rid of stuff rather than accumulate it. The discrepancy between what I buy and what I truly love is unpleasant. While makeup or fast fashion clothing are not really something I buy a lot of, I do excuse buying Vintage/Second Hand/Small Buisness by them being the better choice. Small purchases (Etsy endorses that a lot and while I love a lot there were bad buys) are easily getting to me. Yet, when I think about it – experiences, travels and creative work mean a lot more to me than any material good.

February 1st to August 31st. In a perfect world this will continue in a modified way forever. For now, I think seven months are a good place to start at.

It applies to:
– cosmetica*
– fashion – clothing/shoes/jewellery and the likes
– homewares
– books, dvds, video games
– diy materials – fabric, etc.
*excluding replacements. I want to use up things like shower gel and lipsticks. Following that line of behaviour, I want to substitute cosmetica with package-free alternatives or even better alternatives made by me (I have made my makeup remover for years now and I wouldn’t want anything else). So, when something like dry shampoo is used up, I try to find a less wasteful alternative as soon as possible. If I do not find a good handmade alternative – or maybe need a certain coat for our excursions with uni and cannot borrow one – I have to shop either used or ethical and buy the thing unwrapped and local (not online). That also includes things that break – I only have one bathing suit, so even though I doubt something will happen, I can buy a new one should this one be irreparably broken.

It does not apply to:
– food (though I will write a separate post about food shopping) & things for our shared apartment like cleaning supplies (even though I want to try to make some)
– events (going to the theatre, cinema, getting tattooed, hairdresser or any other non-material purchases, even though I still want to look exactly at where my money goes)
– things I need for uni, health or safety
– developing photos from my analogue cameras (which does not happen often anyway)
– plants (as I want to make a habit of buying flowers once or twice a month, and am also looking for more potted plants to decorate my room)
– gifts (I will also accept gifts, though ask for things on the list below – though since I don’t have anything to celebrate coming up I do not expect anything)

I did include some exceptions in this, (which might make this a low buy rather than a no buy) with conditions and reasoning. Some of them might not even happen within the upcoming months, but I did want to make it very clear for myself.
– a white shirt (from a thrift store or even better a friend): I want to do some embroidery on the shirt instead of buying a certain shirt I like
– a small shelf to substitute the callax I will get rid of. At this point the callax is too big for me and I want to settle for something smaller. I am looking for something friends want to get rid of, I find on ebay, I can build or maybe find on the street like my beautiful cabinet
– the fifth installment in a book series I love and that will come out in late March. It’s a book series I treasure and re-read a lot, lending it to my mum, reading it again… so I consider it a wise purchase. As soon as it moves in however another book or dvd has to go.
– Assassin’s Creed Odyssey once I finish Syndicate (used).
– one item at the Hayley Kiyoko concert in February – one only, no matter what, but again connected to getting rid of something similar.
Then I have three sewing projects I would like to work on during that time for which I do require fabric, so after carefully considering the exact plan for each of these pieces – what I have, what friends have etc. – I am allowed to buy the needed materials. However, only those and only very carefully selected. If possible used and/or produced in Europe, so I will have to do some research.
– linen pants
– hunting/riding pants
– a traditional dirndl (probably linen as well maybe with two aprons, a classic and an intricate one)
The tree pieces will all be in a 19th century style and beige-brown, so I will have to find/create nice patterns, look at photographs and invests quite some time in them.
The last exception I have is this one: Vintage pieces. Not just any, but due to travelling I wanted to add that. In case I find something amazing, that I would wear and that fits perfectly, I can buy one piece per month (I cannot move one over to the next month if I did not buy something). That is however connected to getting rid of one piece of clothing of similar size or two smaller ones. So if I buy a dress, I could either get rid of a dress or a pair of pants or two tights or two berets. This rule is especially applicant to February when I go to Malaga, March when I might go to Livorno and April when I might visit one of the Vintage stores here in Munich again. In June or July that would instead be a Pride Flag for CSD.
Travelling is a time where I spend a lot on unimportant things excusing them by being memories and then having trouble parting, so the decision of only being able to get one particular thing is quite important.

Shopping in a way is a vice. It’s a procrastination habit, a way to accomplished short-lived happiness. Things are cluttering my life and I want to reassess what exactly I own, what I like, what I maybe still want and need. One of the best videos on the topic is this one and the entire playlist.