This post is inspired by Julia Graf’s video on her Youtube channel as well as ‘The True Cost‘ documentary which she suggested to watch, I found her video really inspiring but watching that documentary was truly disturbing. I think as consumers we sometimes like to live in blissful ignorance and I’m not trying to offend anyone by saying this but I think its true. I think we just get consumed in our everyday lives that we just don’t take the time to think about what we are buying and what the creation or disposal of those things have on the environment and the people making them.
For many years now I’ve only bought second-hand clothes and If I do buy newer items I make sure its something I’m going to be wearing for many years, like boots or a well-made jacket. But after watching ‘The True Cost‘ I am really saddened by the impact that us as consumers in more developed countries are really having on both our environment and the underpaid worker’s whose job it is to make those items. It really makes me cringe to think about the fact that our fast-fashion world has a massive toll on our planet, both in its creation and disposal. It uses massive amounts of our resources and can pollute the environment which can have a huge impact on the people living in the areas surrounding the factories by polluting the air and water they drink.
Watching that documentary really made me feel ashamed of my own consumption over the years.
I try to buy as much as I can second hand because I know that by doing that I am not supporting the creation of a new item, which is better to the environment and means that someone didn’t have to slave away to create something new. I know that buying second hand isn’t for everyone and generally creeps some people out, but the planet we live on gets a beating through the creation of new clothing. Buying second-hand means supporting charities who help the less fortunate, not supporting the manufacturing of new clothes and standing up for human rights of those who are paid the very poorly to make the mass-produced clothes sold in just about every clothing store in developed countries.
Even saying these things I know I do have room for improvement, a few years ago I was really into scrapbooking and I brought massive amounts of stuff that I’ve been slowly trying to get rid of. My mental health condition not only makes me want to keep buying stuff because of the feel-good factor but often makes me feel Claustrophobic because I feel surrounded by things and stuff. These times are when I tend to have massive declutters. I usually donate things but the truth is I still don’t know where these things end up in the end.
Sorry for the long post, This is why I was inspired by Julia’s video and why I wanted to write this post. I want to be more accountable this year, people often think I’m just one person what can I do, the truth is you can do your part by making small changes to your life and what you buy or don’t buy.
I highly recommend you check out ‘The True Cost‘ documentary, you can find more info on their website but its also on Netflix if you have a subscription. I could go into more details about this but it would probably end up a novel so I won’t but my main point of wanting to do this post is to open peoples eyes to what they aren’t seeing.
This isn’t just about clothing this is about us as a society being obsessed with consumerism, when things are cheap we feel more compelled to buy them and we think our lives are better because we brought this thing or that, but do we really need it.
Anyway below you can find my list of things I’m not going to buy this year.
What I’m not going to buy in 2018 –
1. No backup products until I’m down to my last one and then I will only by one or two depending on the size of the product. (For example, I like backups of my face cleanser but I currently have one on the go and three or four backups, way too many. Or Body lotion I currently have one on the go which is almost finished but I have three other full-size body lotions so I won’t be buying any backups this year until I’m finished)
2. No new clothes or shoes including buying second hand, because I just don’t need it so essentials only like socks and underwear.
3.Be thoughtful when buying trinkets, do I really need it. I want to add a few bits of artwork to my house so I will buy frames but only If I really need them. I will be only be buying art that I know comes from the artist so that I know they are getting paid and that I’m not buying some mass-produced canvas that’s artwork is likely stolen anyway.
4. I’m severely limiting my beauty buys to two non-essential beauty items a month, if that and I will only buy new essentials when I have run out of it.
5. I really love to do face masks and lately, I’ve been really loving sheet masks but I’ve come to realize how wasteful they are, not only do you have to discard the packaging but also the product itself after just one use. So in 2018, I’m only using facemasks that come in packaging that can be re-used or recycled, I already have four facemasks on the go so I won’t need any for a while.
I want to also extend this to other beauty products, for example, products that come in bottles, containers or tubes that can be reused or recycled instead of packaging like bags that can’t. Saying this I realise I only recently put up a review where the products come in a plastic bag type packaging and even though the product its self may be considered cruelty free, vegan, etc the packaging its self may not be able to be recycled, which is kind of disappointing. Will I be re-purchasing? probably not.
I know this was an incredibly long post, I hope you will be inspired to think about what you are buying this year I know that I will be putting a lot more thought into what I purchase.
Credits – the picture in banner image is Designed by Freepik. This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links all links are for reference only in case you are interested in what I’ve been discussing.