Could you go one month without buying anything new? That seems easy, right? What about one year? That would be quite hard. How about five years? Sound insanely impossible? Well it's not, as Portlander Katy Wolk-Stanley is proving. She came up with the idea after reading an article in the Oregonian about some San Francisco ladies who started "The Compact" because of their disgust over our wasteful and consumerist society. The goal was to not buy anything new for one year. Wolk-Stanley was already a thrift store aficionado, and after making a list of exceptions (socks, underwear, personal products, food, etc.) she figured it would be a piece of cake. Five years later she is still going strong and even has a blog, The Non-Consumer Advocate, that highlights her adventures in living her non-consumer life.
I completely commend her ability to not buy anything new, and as a society I do think we buy a lot of shit we don't need, but as a fashion lover I don't think I could take this to the extremes she has. I go weeks without buying anything, not because I want to, but because everything I want is expensive and I can't afford it, so I just don't buy anything. Also because most of what is out there is pure ugly crap and is poorly made. I do occasionally buy new things though, like shoes, which I refuse to buy used unless they are in near perfect condition (and because I have a major shoe addiction.)
Maybe we can take a lesson away from Wolk-Stanley and cut down on our wasteful spending and (I know I sound like a broken record here), buy only what we need, and when we do try our best to buy those things that are locally/independently made? I know, I know, I have said this a million times on this blog, but it's something I truly believe in.