I was fascinated to learn that there is a Buy Nothing New Month in Australia. I love this idea… though of course retailers will not… (I’m sure the liquor retailers don’t like Dry July either.) I was in the US last summer on holiday with my family and I was completely overwhelmed by the consumerism. (And quite frankly everything began to look the same). I heard that 10% of all women’s clothes sold in Australia are never worn. It is shear waste. I wondered if I could go a year without purchasing anything new for myself. No shoes, clothes or accessories. I have not managed it completely… but I did go for 8 months without anything new for myself personally.
Clearly this aligns to what we believe at RedBalloon– which is all about buying less “stuff” and instead living in the moment and enjoying shared experiences. Our photo albums and our memories are what we treasure.
With self storage one of the fastest growing industries in Australia – do we really need any more stuff? And just think what all this waste is doing to the environment… recycling starts with reusing.
In our little bit for the planet, RedBalloon has a green program, as you would expect… it is the least we can do.
My personal “lose pledge”, earlier in the year to stop buying unnecessary items for my wardrobe – really changed how I viewed shopping. I have learned to really appreciate the things I do have… More more more does not mean better… and where on earth would I store anything else?. I just didn’t need any more new clothes or shoes – they wouldn’t make life any more fabulous, they wouldn’t make me smarter or more efficient, buying new clothes wouldn’t do something worthwhile for the planet. Instead they were just accumulating in the back, front and sides of my wardrobe. So much so that my daughter recently took up her own recycling task of selling my shoes on eBay… I may have a young entrepreneur on my hands. I can gladly report that I have stuck to my guns and found an invigorated sense of enthusiasm in combining my old favourites to create “new” outfits. Red is red after all.
I also believe strongly in giving to others who need it more – RedBalloon is a gifting company, and the team is generous with its time and spirit, and this spirit of generosity is shown in all that we do. For instance, we have a program called ‘We Care,’ where each RedBallooner gets one day to go and work for the charity or cause of their choice. I send my pre-loved outfits to a charity called Dress for Success, which dresses women ready for job interviews and employment… (I can only imagine how many women are turning up for job interviews wearing red.) We also run office clothes swaps a couple of times a year, which are organised by one of our corporate account managers (and chief story-teller) Arielle.
So, here’s the challenge… what do you ‘not need’ ask yourself the question ‘Do I really need this?’… I have a friend who has argued that his wife is ‘saving him into the poor house’ she just cannot resist a deal. You don’t save money if you buy stuff you don’t need (or even like.)
Have fun – it’s a game. Clothes swaps are the new black.