That’s it! Today is the official end-day of my year-long consumption sabbatical.
I am facing this day with both pleasure and with trepidation. Certainly, my experience to clothing (and to stuff in general) has changed. There’s no way I could communicate all the things I’ve learned, and I’m probably still figuring out what most of those things are. But anyway, here are a few highlights:
1) Having fewer items of clothing really is easier and more enjoyable than having a lot.
2) Today’s fast-fashion clothes are not meant to last a year. This I know for absolute certain and have proof. However, these clothes can be made to last longer than they’re meant to, and can be re-purposed to extend their useful life on this planet.
3) I have lots of books. I will always have lots of books and I will always want more. However, expanding my bookshelves by borrowing, and expanding others’ bookshelves by lending is fun and strengthens friendships. I was introduced to some new favourites this way.
4) Using less plastic is easier than it seems. It takes some more work, creativity, and the willingness to appear a bit silly (read, counter-cultural). Every effort is worth it.
5) I still love clothes. I need a few new things, and I want a few new things. Now, however, instead of simply wanting and buying the clothes I covet from friends and peers, I want well-made, versatile items that will last years (of my hard wearing), rather than clothes I will wear out or get bored with right away. The point is not to have a large donation pile along with a large closet (which has been my strategy for years), but to have things so good and loved that I will not want to give them away.
So now I go back into the world of purchasing. I will now be working on the commitment to buy ethically-made goods. I am willing to spend the extra money on something I believe in. (Also, if I just buy fewer items, I can afford to spend the extra money). I want to buy better and smarter. I want to maintain a focus on needs rather than wants.
I still want to be, rather than buy.
But on that note, I’m going shopping.
P.S. Even though this sabbatical is over (for now, who knows what’s next), I’ll be keeping up this blog with my further adventures in (or out of) this crazy world of consumption. I will also be featuring some amazing guest bloggers who also care about these issues. If you are interested in contributing, send me a message!