This time last year I set myself a challenge to buy nothing new for the whole of 2019. I was reading more & more about over-consumption, fast fashion and the negative effects on our planet, and after watching Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets I decided that my buying habits needed to change. And what better way than with a complete reboot?
For the entire year I would buy no new clothing or accessories, just secondhand. I chose to do it as a year long project rather than a few weeks or months because I wanted to really challenge and assess my thought process when it came to buying things. So what were the results? Did I succeed in buying nothing new throughout the year? Did #NoNew19 change my outlook when it comes to fashion & buying?
“I definitely shop different, less impulse buying”
Ok, so lets not beat about the bush… I did buy a few new things. I bought some kids clothes but only what they really needed and I also managed to accidentally buy myself a new woolly hat when I was in Tesco! Not entirely sure how that happened; it just goes to show how mindless our purchasing can be. I also got some new running gear from sustainable brand Apexgray. I absolutely love their EcoLite range which is made from recycled plastic bottles and I’m now an Apexgray ambassador so you can get 15% off with the code APX31ADELE15%. If you follow my running Instagram account you’ll know I’m always banging on about them!
Despite those purchases I do feel like my #NoNew19 journey was a successful one. I completely changed my shopping habits and am a much more conscious consumer than I was 12 months ago. I have only bought things if I really needed them and most of the time I managed to source them secondhand. I’ve also learnt an awful lot about circular economy & sustainable fabrics and have discovered some awesome ethical brands.
“I’ll definitely be checking eBay before I buy anything to see if I can get something off there second hand that’s exactly the same or seeing if someone has anything I can borrow instead!”
It’s been so great chatting to people about how the challenge has changed their shopping practices, too. Every single one of you has pledged to be a more conscious shopper in the future which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! The fast fashion culture is so ingrained into us as a society that these habits and thought processes are really hard to change. I’m very proud of you all!
So what will I take forward in to 2020? Well, I can safely say that fast fashion is a distant memory for me! I will continue to scour the charity shops as I always have and check eBay or Depop if I’m looking for something in particular, but I’m also looking forward to adding some brand new ethically produced clothes to my wardrobe. There are so many small eco-conscious businesses out there doing awesome things and I’m really excited to introduce you to them!
“It has made me think about every purchase – do I really need it, do I really like it and will I actually wear it?”
Not surprisingly, I wasn’t the only genius that came up with the idea of #NoNew19 (although it is strange that I wasn’t mentioned in the New Year Honours list, don’t you think?). Through the hashtag and the wonders of Instagram I discovered Mel & Clare from Brisbane in Australia who had also committed to buying nothing new for the whole year. They did amazingly, especially Clare who had to dress a baby bump and then find breastfeeding-friendly clothing from just charity shops! I really enjoyed seeing their secondhand finds and it’ll be great to see how they continue into 2020.
“The year has taught us spending less on clothes and unnecessary fast fashion is easy. Op shopping gives you so many thrills and one off pieces you won’t find in the shops. Plus it’s so much more sustainable! We’ve also loved giving our outfits ‘second chances’ and repeating them at different events!”
Mel & Clare