Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No new stuff for a year? Really?

I recently heard the revelatory story about the woman who didn't buy any new clothing for a year. She got a lot of press for her restraint.

I did read the piece she wrote about going new-free for a year.

She divulged that she, like many other women, is a therapeutic shopper. Shopping is a treat; something we're apparently owed.

She eventually did experience the revelation that shopping is a bit of a red herring when it comes to how we consumers see the world. And she provided valuable information about how those who have, spend:

"According to the National Consumer Council, we chuck out about 80 percent of what we buy after just one use."

That's crazy.

Several sources I've resourced indicate that, collectively, Americans alone discard two quadrillion pounds of clothing and textiles every year. All of this most likely reusable merch winds up in a landfill that's conveniently out of our field of myopic vision.

And as I've blogged about before, one culture's trash is another's treasure. Much of what we benevolently donate to thrift stores that isn't purchased is ultimately shipped overseas in big crates, and is sold or given away to people who think that what we consider discards is golden.

As for me, I can honestly say that more than 80 percent of what I own was previously owned by someone else.

Maybe more than 80 percent.

Am I ashamed? No. Do I look like I recently sashayed out of a thrift store? I don't think so.

Because people throw away really cool stuff.

So living without new items for a year? Really? Is that considered to be some kind of a sacrifice?

Try it for a while. It's an experience.

Can you remember where you bought your last Coach purse or Vuitton tote?

I can.

I don't want to brag, but I bet I spent less than you did, and no one knows the difference.

Really, the only difference is that mine didn't end up in a landfill.

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