It’s been six and a half months since we embarked on our challenge to purchase only thrifted clothing in 2015.
Eunice and I both felt prompted to try this separately and when we chatted way back in December and realized that we were contemplating the same New Year’s resolution, we decided to take it to the blog! Our goals, upon greater reflection, became to live more simply and become more conscious of the amount of stuff we own by reforming our shopping habits. We hoped that by purchasing only second hand clothing items, we would decrease our carbon footprint, foster more creativity, and spend less on ourselves.
Recap of the rules:
- Nothing New: We vowed not to purchase any new clothing, accessories, or jewelry. Second hand items from thrift shops and consignment stores had an upper limit of $50.
- Giving doubly: Each time we made a purchase, we would donate the same amount of $$$ to a worthy cause.
- Exceptions: Socks and undergarments were our exceptions! No seconding on that front!
I have been surprised by the challenges faced so far.. while I have had a great time scouting out new finds at my local thrift stores and vintage clothing haunts, (truthbomb) I’ve found it incredibly hard sticking to the $50 limit and giving the same amount of money away that I’ve been spending. And, this resolution will prove more challenging than I anticipated, as I now need to find a few formal dresses for parties and weddings on the calendar for the remainder of 2015. Any ideas??
With the release of Laudato Si, I now have a lot of raw material for reflecting on my own consumption and what I am learning from the #NothingNewYear challenge. One of the quotes I keep coming back to–and this is just one of many–is the following:
“When people become self-centred and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears.” -Laudato Si, 204
This challenge has made me mindful of how programmed I have become to ‘pick up something new’ for my wardrobe whenever I am weary, exhausted, or disillusioned. Instead of running to prayer for refreshment, I consume, which offers limited satisfaction. I eschew mindfulness because its more work that then the temporary high of a shopping trip. And yet, oftentimes the clothing I would purchase was inexpensive, low quality, and very similar to something I already own. And while one piece may not seem like a big deal, it all adds up.
I am currently reflecting my way through Laudato Si and I highly recommend it. Check out the PDF copy here! It is a long and uncomfortable read, to be sure, but so very important. Pope Francis challenges us to change our very understanding of ourselves as children of God and stewards of the earth. It’s important to feel the weight of that responsibility. I know, I know..what a buzzkill.
And the next project on the horizon? Repairing the holes that are now growing in my running shoes and favourite jeans! Feel free to follow us on Instagram (@rebeccaamcevoy, @eunicejacinta) if you want to see our misadventures in thrifting. We are using the hashtag #NothingNewYear.