I recently took a trip to the mall, a place I am familiar with. I use to spend my Saturday's there sifting through racks and buying things because they were cute and in style. As we made our way past stores I'd spent hours in, down the halls filled with people hunting for their next new thing, I started to feel ill. If you are a frequent visitor here on Makeshift, you've be a part of the journey I've gone on to lessen our load of belongs. A few weeks ago, I sent a large suitcase full of my old clothes and shoes to Spain for some distant family members. The girls who received them asked my aunt, why I would have gotten rid of them. My aunts response, "that's just what people do in America"
It's true. I did that. I use to spend all my spare change from my 50 hr work week on clothes, shoes, and accessories for myself and pillows, baskets and little knickknacks for my house. I'd buy a new chapstick because mine was half empty. I rarely wore the same outfit twice and never did if it was fancy. As I made my way through the mall, thinking about all the purchases I've made over the years and how they've ended up trashed or donated, I realized I hate this way of living. As extreme as that sounds, it's the only word I have to describe my frustration with the consumer industry. The styles change and shift so quickly it's nearly impossible to keep up and while I don't hate the humans who enjoy the process of keeping up with the latest, I have to remove myself from it.
1. One of the ways I've enjoyed stepping back, shopping less, is by slowing down. Not making quick decisions. Before, I'd walk into a story, pick my favorite dress and walk out with it. Now, I look at dress I like and for weeks ponder if I want it. I just bought a new red bathing suit, I thought about buying it for a full year. A little trick I use has been the Laundry Lists I make with Maddie. We collect some things we are interested in and let them soak in so we can make a better effort in purchasing for our needs over our wants. You can see our Laundry Lists here.
2. Another thing I've been doing is researching and finding a company or brand I trust and purchasing from them for specific needs. Like earrings, a new make-up bag, or tampons. You can find my list of go to shopping here. (There might be some little treats over there for you too!)
This isn't my way of convincing you to consume less. I am not the judge of how much feels like too much for you. There are people out there who don't buy anything in or with plastic. I'm not at that level and I might never be. This is just one step I am taking to bring in less. I picture it like a diet. I don't eat dairy because I can't, that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Please do! If I eat pizza and ice cream I will get sick. If I buy a new outfit every week (like I use to) I will feel full. There is a difference between full and satisfied, and that difference is different depending on the person. So I am on the diet I am on because it's what works for me right now. Consuming less and becoming more conscious about where what I consume comes from.