Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The decision to not buy anything new for 365 days.

I have been pondering on whether I might take on the 'buy nothing new' challenge for a while now.  

I started thrifting, up-cyling and buying more 'old things' when I started my business Handmade by You, a couple of years ago.  Partly driven by financial constraints, I stopped shopping on the high-street, favouring thrifty alternatives, instead.  Now that the business is well established, I have found myself venturing back into the high street, making less and less things for pleasure and feeling less of a connection with the things I am buying.  

I have also been inspired by a couple of other thrifty bods like Secondhand Safari and My  Make Do and Mend Year who I have been following in 2012.   

I think the challenge of restricting my purchases in this way will do me good, by boosting my creativity and being fun. There will no doubt be challenges- I have never, ever bought a pair of second hand shoes for example (makes me feel a bit bleugh) and I imagine there will be points when I feel the effort of the hunt and rummage is too much and I will want to take the direct route to the high street.  I am hoping the support of my Twitter followers and friends will help keep me motivated.

So- how will this challenge work? What are ze rules? 

I commit to not buying anything new in my personal life for a whole year, starting today, but buy secondhand instead.   

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Shoes, clothes, accessories, 
  • Home-wares, decorative items, major electrical purchases, technology, books, CDs, magazines.
  • Leisure/game/music related items.   
  • Dog-related items
  • Skin care products that I can make
  • Cleaning and laundry products that I can make

Things that I can buy include anything second hand, recycled and anything that it is impossible to buy second-hand or anything that might be considered unsafe, if I were to do so:

  • Underwear, socks, tights, swimwear
  • Food (but I will be experimenting with some lovely new recipes)
  • Medicines, vitamins and some toiletries (see list above)
  • Anything recycled or derived from recycled materials
  • Craft items/ingredients in order to make things
  • Anything needed to make a repair to another item
  • Services- e.g. Dentist, hairdresser, travel, postage etc
  • Anything handmade by a person or small business that is primarily up-cycled.
  • Anything previously owned by someone else
  • Anything that is a virtual service and thus reduces waste e.g. music downloads, film downloads.  I think that LoveFilm counts as is a recycled DVD or game as does anything from the library.  
  • Anything needed in my business (but no cheating!)
My partner H also says she will have a go at this challenge.  I can't wait to start sharing how we get on (with the challenge- not with each-other- that would be weird!)  

So, what do you think, Dear Readers- am I completely mad?  Could you go for a year without buying anything new?


  1. Fabulous! Good luck Alice (and H), I look forward to reading all about it this new year! Chloe Bobbin x

    1. Ooooh my first comment!! Thank you Lovely Chloe Bobbin xx

  2. I really admire you for setting yourself this challenge, can't wait to see how you get on!

    1. Thank-you Jodi, that is very kind. Yes- we will see!!! xx

  3. Go ladies - happy to support you from upstairs anytime you need it :-)

  4. What a fabulous challenge! Good luck! I am aiming to curb my spending by customising and making stuff this year. Looking forward to reading your updates.

    1. Aw, thank you Joanna- I think this will spark many more craft club evenings where we can upcycle to our hearts content xx

  5. Yay! welcome aboard the good ship Buy Nothing New!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am! Jen (aka My Make Do and Mend Year)

    1. Thank you so much Jen- hope to keep in touch over the course of this year to swap tips etc xx

  6. This is a brilliant idea Alice! Let us know how you get on and how much money you save!

    1. Thanks Ruth- yes I am hoping to save muchos £!! I might add a tab for a running total of £ saved. Hope you are well? xx