I don’t know how to explain why I need this. It’s depressing really, that I live in such a developed, over processed society that I need to consciously stop buying stuff. That I have lost my sense of self control and am acting as a cog in a consumer capitalist machine and ENJOYING it. That the constant advertising I’m exposed to is working. That I’m the dream of digital marketers, like those Instagram advertisements you might wonder who they work on? It’s me, they work on me. And I work in comms/marketing so I don’t know how I still fall for my own tactics. But I do. And I shop when I’m bored. I have given in to the want of wanting. The need to constantly be improving my life by purchasing. I don’t love this about myself. So I need to change it. The lethal combination of my sagittariusness, boredom, constant curiosity, interest in new and love of beautiful things is quite literally destroying the planet through carbon emissions, textile waste and excess plastic packaging. It also ain’t doing great things for my bank account, my small one bedroom apartment or my mental state. So we’re doing a low-buy.
What is a low buy year?
A low buy year has a different definition for every person who does it. Everyone has a different problem area in which they purchase way too many things. For me it’s clothes and it always has been. I love clothing, I love the creativity of it, the experience of it, the joy of it. But I also know that I’ve taken it too far. For me it means:
- No “new” clothes. Vintage, secondhand and thrifted items are acceptable but only for items that I actually feel add value to my wardrobe or have been seriously considering for a long time or do not own anything similar. I can also replace worn, ruined or lost items if need be.
- No buying things I “should” buy. Sometimes I see things on sale that I don’t really need because I already have it but I’m like I “should” buy this now while it’s on sale. I’m a preparer. For example toothpaste. I really enjoy a certain kind of toothpaste and if it was on sale, I would buy it. So then I would have a backup. Backups take up space in your mind, wallet and home that they really shouldn’t. I live close to stores. I live a mobile lifestyle. I don’t need 3 toothpastes “just in case.” Just because it’s there doesn’t mean I need it. A low buy year means only buying items when I absolutely need them.
- No buying stuff until I’ve used my own stuff. This particularly applies to books, candles, essential oils and other things I have a tendency to hoard. No buying new books until I’ve read every book I own. No buying new candles til I’ve used up every candle on my coffee table. No buying new skincare items until I’ve used up every skincare item hidden under other skincare items. Stuff like that. That stuff you accidentally never use and always buy. No buying takeout food when I have groceries rotting in my own fridge. You get it.
So should you do a low buy year? Are you an over-consuming, less than perfect, human being profiting in a capitalist society who feels like life is getting a little cluttered? Then probably. Do it with me. We can be kind of bad at it together. Here’s to doing way, way more with way, way less.