One of my favorite bloggers is Katy Wolk-Stanley, aka The Non-Consumer Advocate. Her blog challenges me to take a close look at my actions as a consumer, and has helped me make choices that are more in line with my values. Since 2007, Katy has been part of “The Compact”, a movement in which people commit to buying nothing new.
I know what you are thinking… “Wait, are you telling me that this lady hasn’t bought anything new in the past 9 years!?” Well, not exactly, but pretty darn close. Katy makes exceptions for undergarments, socks, food, and the occasional gift for another. She has been able to find everything else she needs secondhand. She consciously chooses to buy less and buy secondhand for several reasons, as far as I can tell: 1) to reduce her environmental impact, 2) to be able to only work part time as a labor and delivery nurse, and 3) to save as much money as possible. She and her husband are currently saving to fund their two sons’ college education without any loans or debt.
While I completely admire Katy’s dedication and resolve, I’m not ready to commit to not buying anything new just yet. I did find a like-new coffee maker at Goodwill this week after ours died. But if I couldn’t find one there I was ready to pull the trigger on a new one at Kohl’s. 😉
I do think I am ready to take one small step towards buying nothing new, however. And I’m going to commit to it publicly here on the blog. One of the things I love most about blogging is that I am accountable to an amazing group of people… you, my readers! But that also makes me think really hard before I commit to something and share it here!
So I’ve decided that I’m not buying any new clothes, shoes, or accessories in 2016. Like Katy, I am making an exception for underwear and bras, and my motivation is much the same. I’ve committed to being more intentional this year with everything from my words to our finances, and buying only secondhand helps me live more aligned with my values.
I realize it’s already May and kind of an unusual time to be making New Year’s resolutions! But I have already successfully gone without buying anything new clothing-wise so far in 2016, so I figure I would just take the plunge and commit to the rest of the year.
It has actually been really easy for most part. I have found some incredible online secondhand shops that make it SO easy to find anything I might need without leaving my house. You’ve probably seen me share about them on the blog before, but here’s a quick recap:
Schoola is quickly becoming my favorite source for secondhand clothing. They have a huge selection, low prices, and often have free shipping offers. Here is a post with an honest review of one of my orders. If you are new to Schoola you’ll get a free$10 credit using this link. I got most of our three-year-old’s summer wardrobe during a sale on Schoola this past winter!
Not only do I buy some of our clothing through Swap.com, I sell our stuff there, too! They have a HUGE inventory (currently 178,000 girls items alone), great quality and competitive prices. You can read my tips and review of Swap.com here.
If you like brands such as Banana Republic, J. Crew, and Anthropologie, then thredUP might be right up your alley. They are an excellent source for high-end clothing, and you’ll get a free $10 credit if you are new to their site if you click through this link.
And my last recommendation is to check out Yerdle for secondhand clothes. Yerdle is a place to share useful items that you no longer need with others, while getting items you DO need in return.I just scored a pair of shoes to wear to a friend’s wedding for $7 shipped. If you are new to Yerdle click any link on this page for free $35 Yerdlebucks to get you started!
So as you can see, I’m not hurting for options in the secondhand clothing department. I don’t actually buy very much clothing for myself, but I do have to clothe a little one who seems to grow out of her clothes faster than she can wear them. I hope my pledge to not buy any new clothing in 2016 has at least sparked your interest in buying clothing secondhand. Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think!