Today, after completing a shopping ban lasting 15 months, I purchased my first item of clothing (I still haven’t purchased any shoes, jewelry, makeup, or accessories in over 15 months). Technically, I started the shopping ban last year and expected it to only last six months. After I hit the six-month mark, I realized that I didn’t need to buy anything, and I didn’t want to buy anything. Another nine months passed before I decided I needed or wanted something.
What did I buy and why did I buy it?
As a mini-minimalist (what I call myself because I’m not really a minimalist, but I try to be), I only own one pair of leggings. I received them as a Christmas gift from my sister three years ago, and I wear them about four times a week. Made of quality material, they’re comfy, and, since they’re black, they match any outfit. I even sleep and work out in them.
Recently, however, I realized it’s time to invest in a second pair. Lucky for me, another sister (I have three) sent me a link to receive free leggings from Girlfriend Collective. Originally retailing for $100, a pair of high quality black leggings cost only the price of shipping—around $20. An added bonus? These leggings are made from recycled plastic bottles and produced by a company that follows strict ethical guidelines.
Since starting the ban, I’ve learned so much about how clothes are made and the toll they take on the earth and people. Long ago, I decided that when I began to purchase new things—when I needed something new or couldn’t find it used—I would purchase items that were eco-friendly and sustainably made. Girlfriend Collective leggings fit such guidelines.
If I can avoid it, I don’t want to add anything more to landfills. I’m sure there are ways in which I can live a more sustainable life: I could turn off the heat, wash laundry half as often (not like I wash laundry more than once a week), give up my car (which is 21 years old), live in less square footage with more people, or become a vegan. Or I can continue to not accumulate or consume things that I truly don’t need, which is a start to mending our fragile planet.
Not everyone has the desire or ability to take part in one specific ecofriendly lifestyle, but we can all choose at least one behavior to altar in hopes of reducing our carbon footprint.
Remember that every item you purchase will either wind up in a landfill or be left behind for others to deal with.
Take a look around you. Perhaps your home or office doesn’t reflect minimalism, but perhaps you want it to. Start a shopping ban or commit to consuming less or switch to buying used. Find any way to reduce the amount of things you dump into landfills because you think you “need” them. Changing your behavior might wind up being the very thing you need, reducing your stress, increasing your savings, and allowing you to live more meaningfully.
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