I don’t buy new stuff – and I just love it!
Out of personal and professional interest, I have recently followed very actively all climate change related topics in media. Recently, Helsingin Sanomat reported that Finnish people now support or even demand climate actions – as long as someone else takes these actions. Those who fly only a little, support taxes to air traveling. Those who don’t have a car, support rush hour fees to traffic. This fights against my basic thinking of always trying to focus on things I can control or influence. I am worried about climate change, but what I can do about it myself?
Firstly, I decided to start a shopping strike
Well, what I really can control are my consumption habits. In December I started a shopping strike. This means that I don’t shop anything for myself that fills up my closets and ultimately creates a problem of disposal (like new clothes or shoes). I also challenged my shopaholic sister (no offense, dear!) to join me. We will be on strike until end of May.
I thought that this will be a real problem to my sister since she really loves shoes. But I was wrong. We had a talk when we met on a Sunday lunch at our parents and she had actually avoided shopping all together. And she had even started to invent new and creative ways to wear her clothes so they start to feel as new.
So no actual need to buy new stuff. I love it! We still have several months to critically examine our consumption habits and discuss about them. I am sure one of us ends up renting something – like an evening dress or a bag to a party. And who knows, maybe we extend our strike until end of the year?
Secondly, I have told everybody about it!
Starting a shopping strike is one thing. Making it public is another. I have told about our shopping strike to everybody who shows even the tiniest interest to the subject. And my colleagues even challenged me to blog about it, so here I am!
What people have been asking me is why. Why do you do this? There are 3 reasons:
- to avoid waste
- to save money
- and to teach these 2 things to my kids too.
In my job, I have faced the fact that the growing amount of textile waste is a huge problem globally. A Huge problem. I am relieved that as a textile rental company and paying attention to maximizing the lifecycle of textiles, my employer is rather part of the solution than the problem. We are soon publishing a sustainability report covering this issue too.
But I think we all could do something about it. Like thinking about how we could maximize the lifecycle of all the things we own, including clothes. Maybe this is why Konmari by Marie Kondo does not appeal to me so much. Getting rid of stuff does not actually solve this issue unless you think what you do with the waste. How you could utilize material more efficiently and even upcycle to new products. I have a secret dream to start a business and make new things out of waste. Maybe some day this dream will come true.
What we need to do now is to teach ourselves (and our children) that climate change will not be fixed if all of us think that someone else somewhere else is doing something. What could you do yourself and to how many people can you tell about it?