Boycotting Clothes

Rebecca is a few years older than me and growing up my sister and I were always the beneficiaries of Rebecca and her sisters hand me downs. It was one of the highlights of my teen years getting clothes from her. Guess that tells you how exciting my teens years were, huh?
When Rebecca heard about my challenge to only shop at second hand stores she told me she was on a challenge to not buy any clothes for an entire year I was intrigued. 
And then forgot about it. 
But I remembered again and had the brilliant idea of asking her to write about it and I am so glad I did because I just love her story and think you will too!

Rebecca has graciously written a guest post on her boycotting of clothes - I do so love it worded like that!

Rebecca's Story:

My name is Rebecca and I'm boycotting clothes... not the wearing of, but instead, the purchasing of... for an entire year.
In a quest to find out where my money is ACTUALLY going, in July of 2009 I decided to cut out a few things from my lifestyle: clothes, shoes, and accessories were first to go. Why? I was inspired. How? Partially because I never want to fall into debt, partially because I love daring myself to do dumb things, and partially because of Danny Wallace's book, "Yes Man." Now, if you've read this book you're probably thinking, "you dummy, aren't you supposed to be saying 'yes' to things? You're a 'No Woman'!" Admittedly, I guess I am. Kind of. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not really a 'No Woman' at all.
While saying no to clothes, I am actually saying yes to do more with my money than just wear it. I'm saying yes to experiences as well as saving and investing my money. I'm saying yes as in "yes, it is possible to not NEED to buy an abundance of clothes." I'm also saying, yes, YOU can do it, too. Try it. Some people will be skeptical, and others will be encouraging. I have a number of shopaholic friends who regularly empty their closets and donate clothes to me that they aren't wearing anymore. Clothing swaps are the main reason why this challenge has been relatively easy. If you're going to take up this challenge, I strongly encourage assessing your friendships and becoming closer to those that are the same size as you. I should probably take this opportunity to apologize to my short and tiny friends, if I've been avoiding you, your value obviously plummeted when you couldn't be of help to my clothing needs. All joking aside, one of my friends actually bet me that I wouldn't be able to last the full year and she's going to be owing me quite a chunk of change come August 1st! My own sister told me she would sneak me new clothes if I paid her to! I haven't, and I won't... plus that would just botch this entire thing.
I'm not saying this has been ridiculously easy at all. Originally, I just stayed out of malls. Out of sight, out of mind. Right? Then came time for Christmas shopping. I wouldn't even say I have the SLIGHTEST shopping addiction, but the second I stepped foot in that mall I wanted one of EVERYTHING.  I may have partially blacked out and envisioned how glorious it would be to be jumping off my roof top into a mound of new clothes while even newer clothes rained down upon me... Surprisingly, I made it out of the mall with not a thing for myself! From then on it's been smooth sailing.
There was one catch when I made this plan, the idea was that I couldn't spend any of MY own money on clothing for myself. So, for Christmas, I got a little sneaky and asked for gift cards. I've been so cautious with spending them because it's an extremely limited fund to last me until August 1st; I still have $42 left and am weary about spending it. What if I simultaneously get holes in ALL my socks and need new ones? I'm not even kidding, I've thought about this and if I had no money left on my gift cards, it would be tragic... my toes are the ugliest. Odds are $42 will be sitting on that gift card inside my wallet until the end of July. 
Ridiculously unnecessary long story cut short (and at the risk of sounding like the motivational speaker that I'm not): Challenge yourself. If not to this, to something else. You'd be surprised at your will power (and savings in some instances).
I have no idea what's up next for me, but I'm always up to some kind of shenanigan, odds are this is just the beginning.


Siobhan said...

People and experience always trump things when it comes to spending.

Unless your car breaks down or you get holes in your socks or your one pair of shoes falls apart.

But I really like the idea of saving money for experiences and people rather than things. It's what I try to live by where possible (even when it gets a bit hard)

All your money saving posts are pretty inspiring - this one is too.


RIVER Organization Christian Church said...

This was a great post by Rebecca. (I bet I have uglier toes than she.)

Growing up, I was the second from the youngest out of six boys. So, of course I had hand-me-downs.

After growing up, I seldom would wear second-hand clothes.

Shortly before I lost almost everything and two years before becoming homeless, I had three full-size closets full of clothes, some I had never worn.

So, I've been kind of on the opposite side of the fence than Rebecca, I'm the giver and giving feels as good as saving or receiving in such case.

Even though I became homeless, I had a storage facility and have been able to give others of my size clothes they needed. Also many friends and strangers in my area donate clothes which I store and distribute to the homeless when they need them.

Everyone could go through their closets and find clothes they never wear and don't need for giving to others.

It is especially important for odd sizes collecting for the needy.

Rebecca and you set a fine example of how to save money by sharing. Rather we give or receive; once the clothes are worn they are no longer new no matter whose back they are on.

We all wear "used" clothes and none of us really wear new clothes.

Extend that idea to just about anything in the household (of which many toss in the trash) and our savings and values can mount.

Thanks for sharing your ideas, both you, Jessica, and Rebecca.

esther lee said...

I made a decision last December to go without buying clothes for a year and am glad I did. Cool story.

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