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Things I stopped buying

Mon, 09 Nov 2020 19:42:33 +0000

Things I stopped buying

Along with things I never owned or no longer own, there are also heaps of things I have stopped buying. 

My main reason why I don’t buy certain items is not minimalism per se, but rather the desire to be more sustainable. I found that having a lighter impact on the planet goes hand in hand with owning less stuff: buying less stuff means decreasing the demand for stuff, which means less stuff is being produced. Plus, most of the stuff I owned throughout my life was cheaply and unethically made, whereas now I both try to buy less stuff and make sure the stuff I do buy is sustainably and ethically made.

(Shall we play a drinking game where you take a shot every time I say the word “stuff”?)

So here are a few things I have stopped buying.

  • Clothes from a specific brand just because I want something from that brand
    I might be alone in this, but for years I have been keeping lists of clothing I wanted just because they were from a fancy brand. I remember specifically Madewell and Lululemon. When I was in high school I even had a list called “I will die happy once I own these”, and the list included a pair of Levi’s jeans, a Fred Perry sweater, and a Lacoste polo shirt. Don’t ask me why.
    I currently own a pair of (secondhand) Lululemon leggings that I love and use regularly, but I have in the past bought garments that I didn’t even like that much just because they were from a brand I wanted, and I ended up getting rid of all of them.

  • T-shirts with big logos on them
    And tops with loud patterns in general. I find these very hard to style (not that I have any sense of style at all), and I’m not saying I only wear black (different shades of black count as different colours), but having more plain garments makes my decision making in the morning quicker and smoother, as pretty much everything in my closet goes with everything. I’m also no longer a fun of advertising brands, logos or anything in general on your clothes anyway.

  • Paper towels, disposable cotton rounds, tampons and pads
    And everything else I can have a reusable, low waste alternative to. I use cloths, reusable home-made cotton rounds, and a menstrual cup or period pads. This list could be longer but I think it deserves its own post.

  • Souvenirs
    Not that I’ve been anywhere exotic recently, but growing up I always used to pick up a tacky souvenir every place I’d go on holidays to. Recently, if I really want something to remember my trip, I’d buy either a patch that I can stitch on my backpack, or something ethically and locally made to support a local business.

  • Backups
    I used to have an entire cupboard of backups, especially bathroom items: shampoo, cotton buds, cotton rounds, but also cleaning products or even my favourite socks. However, I would rarely end up using those backups, as I would constantly get tempted to buy new products even though I already had plenty of the same at home.
    I would also stock up on long-shelf-life food when I found it on special: cans, rice, pasta, you name it. But then I would forget about it until it eventually expired. Needless to say, I would end up having way more stuff than I could possibly use in a life time.
    Now, the only thing I have a backup of is soap (that’s because I buy it when I’m stressed, but if I have to be honest I only have one bar left before I actually have to buy more).

  • Makeup
    When I lived in London I used to love going into Boots and buy random makeup. I thought I as that kind of person who would experiment with different blushes and shades of eyeshadow, but guess what? I am not that person. I ended up with a huge makeup collection I hardly ever used, and I am ashamed of the amount of money I wasted on it.
    I do wear makeup occasionally, but I’ve recently decluttered all the makeup I had been accumulating throughout the years (it was old and expired) and upgraded to a new, more sustainable option from Elate. Now I only own make up I use (still not often, but at least I have accepted that I am not a highlighter person, so I simply don’t own any).

  • Things on sale
    Just because something is a good deal, it doesn’t mean you should buy it. It’s so easy to get tempted though! Especially when you shop ethically, the products are likely to be more pricey than what you’re used to, so when a deal pops up it’s hard to look the other way. What I’ve done is, I have unsubscribed to any newsletters that might tempt me to waste my time and money, and I have pretty much stopped going into shops just for the sake of shopping. I know what my favourite brands and go-to shops are, so if I do need something I would still head that direction - I don’t need a newsletter to remind me, and if I then do find a deal, even better.

  • Fast fashion
    Well this shouldn’t be a surprise by now. I have written several posts about fast fashion and sustainable wardrobes, but since I came to New Zealand I haven’t bought anything from fast fashions companies. I buy secondhand or from ethical and sustainable brands as much as I can, as well as local (although New Zealand is a small place, there are still some cool, sustainable, local businesses you can support - let me know if you want me to go into more details!).

  • Gum
    In high school I had a gum addiction. I would chew so much gum I would go through an entire packet a day. It gave me stomach issues and made me bloated so I stopped consuming gum altogether when I was 16 and I haven’t chewed gums since. (Gum goes straight into landfill once you’re done chewing.)

I’d be curious to know if anyone out there also has stopped buying any of these things, or if I’ve missed any? What have you stopped buying?
As usual, thank you for tuning in and see you next time!

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