365 Days Without Shopping

The rules are simple: - I can only shop in a local supermarket - The rest I'll MAKE, BARTER, FIND, BORROW (or steal... just kidding :)

A year is up!


Aaaaaand a year is up!

Did I run screaming to the shops on first of January? No. That was the first thing that surprised me. I did miss shopping, but for different reasons than I thought I would. I missed the hunt, the social aspect, but after a year of not shopping, I didn’t feel like I needed more clothes.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find enough time to document all my discoveries and experiences and there’s so much I still want to try out and learn about. So I’ve decided to continue the blog. Not as another year of “not shopping” but as a journal where I can document all my finding and discoveries in a world of DIY, upcycling, recycling, and all things weird and wonderful that are happening around me.

So what did I learn this year, you ask? Here it is, the good, the bad and the ugly:

The good:

  • Saved money. Yes, well, no point of elaborating on this one. Overall I did save a lot of money this year. But one point I do have to make: the ingredients for DIY products did cost surprisingly more than I thought they would.

  • Clearing out my wardrobe and starting to use most of my clothes more. When you have to work with a limited set of tools, you need to become more creative in how you use them. I made my spring and summer dresses work throughout the winter by paring them up with tights and layering with sweaters. I experimented with different color combinations. I learned the importance of using accessories to breathe fresh life into an otherwise boring outfit. With limitations, my wardrobe became more versatile than ever. I look at style and fashion with a new pair of eyes now. I feel like I have more fun, I play more and take more risks in my styling. Here is how I went through my closet

  • Use up all the beauty/bath product samples and gifts. We all have little sample–sized bottles litter our bathrooms and bedrooms. Once saved for future use, they lay collecting dust. This was a perfect excuse to use them all. Litter free bathroom: - Check; free stuff: - Check; discovered a few nice new beauty products: - Check.

  • Being given a lot of clothes and shoes. This was a nice bonus with this project. The second people heard about what I was doing, they started to bring me their stuff. Maybe out of pity, maybe because they knew I was open to it. I even got to know my neighbors better

  • Getting in touch with my community, finding out what’s happening in my neighborhood. Well… I had to get crafty with finding new things, so I’ve learned about clothes swapping parties, DIY workshops, secret knitting groups, etc.

  • Being contacted by long-lost friends. I guess when you do something out of ordinary, it generates interest, maybe strikes a note with some people. So many friends and distant family members contacted me with DIY ideas; beauty product recipes, etc. It was so lovely to just reconnect again! Through this project I’ve also met so many interesting people, passionate about recycling, upcycling and environment.

  • Learning about how beauty/cleaning products are made; what goes into our food and how/by whom our clothes are created.

The bad:

  • Keeping on trend for each season.

  • Feeling left out when girlfriends went out for shopping trips. I’ve discovered that for me, shopping, is a social activity. I love to browse a few boutiques with my mom or girlfriend before getting some lunch. This aspect I’ve missed the most.

  • Feeling that I’m missing out during sales.

  • Missing out on one off collaborations. This year it was Alexander Wang x H&M ☹

  • DIY projects did take more time to make than getting the same items in the shops. It’s good to know what goes on into our cosmetics, but I fond it a challenge to make them myself. From finding a good recipe (almost impossible with all the thousands and thousands of them online), collecting all the ingredients to actually making the bloody thing, it did take an awful lot of time with no guaranty of success.

  • It’s actually more expensive to make beauty products than to buy them. This point is perhaps not very objective. It all depends on the quality and quantity of the raw ingredients you buy, comparing to the price of ready-made cosmetics. If you buy in bulk with your friends and compare the price to say, Chanel cosmetics, you will end up with cheaper DIY creams.

  • Some of my DIY attempts where pure disaster. My husband and I did this experiment, where we had to go 3 month without shampoo or conditioner, substituting them for baking soda and apple cider vinegar. At first we where extremely happy, him – with no dandruff, me – with shiny, healthy hair. About 2 month into the project, things started to change. Nikolai’s scalp became all scabby (yes… really), my hair was dull, dry and sad. Needless to say, we’ve stopped. Another disaster was learning how to knit or crochet. Couldn’t do it… doesn’t matter how much I’ve tried.

The ugly:

  • Running out of nice undies and tights… doesn’t matter how many clothes swapping parties you go to, some items are just too personal to swap ;)