Reduce Reuse Recycle

So I’ve been shopping a lot lately. Italy just got me going in a bad bad way. I bought all kinds of shoes there and now the momentum just has me in a frenzy.

This is a problem for me because something I’ve really wanted to start doing is not buy anything new for a while…
It’s going beyond the fantastic idea that Adbusters puts out there with its Buy Nothing Day, which is meant to replace Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving.
There are lots of bloggers leading the way with the concept of not buying anything new and there’s even a Facebook group about it: not buying anything new in 2008.

It seems to be something that’s gaining some traction with a lot of people. For instance, there’s a “Compact” that started in San Francisco (of course) with some “compactors” trying to create a movement–to reduce their unnecessarily wasteful consumption habits (common of pretty much all Americans) and maybe become something other than just a consumer, or customer, by not buying anything new. There are of course, some caveats to the rule, and I did think this was kind of hillarious:

One member recalls asking permission to purchase a new toilet brush, contending that it was a health issue. Overruled. How about a new house key? Allowed. New tubes of shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen are okay, but skin bronzer would be frowned upon.

In 2006 and 2007, the idea has gotten a lot of attention and apparently this group was on the Today show and other pretty powerful spotlights. While some actually accused the group of trying to ruin the economy (which may be a valid argument if no one ever bought new things ever again, but is pretty unlikely), the idea is obviously about reducing our consumption, which is so above and beyond levels of need that it’s just irresponsible, to put it lightly.

This is a concept I can readily agree with. There is no doubt in my mind that I have amassed enough crap to meet the necessities of me and probably a few more like-minded, materialistic young women.

Nevertheless, I can’t get passed the feeling that in order to make it through my experiment in faux-asceticism I would have to charge my yarn stash (with organics and the like) first…but I suppose there are creative ways to get a hold of old/recycled yarn. It’s all about being creative, like using freecycle.
I think a lot of my inability to stick to principles like these is my own laziness, which I’d like to start owning up to.

In the meantime, one thing I’ve decided to do more of is to rework my old clothes into stuff I’ll actually wear in this day and age. I found a bunch of stuff from the past this past weekend, some posing much simpler challenges than others.  One of the easier ones is a pair of wide leg jeans I bought in Brazil 7 or so years ago, back from my more hippie days. It turns out we’re now finding ourselves in the middle of one of the cyclical wide-leg comebacks, sort of like the locust cycle. Actually I think the legging cycle may be more akin to the locusts.

I hate leggings.

Anyway. I didn’t even have to do much to make them work again.  I guess as a hippie I wanted my pants 5 or 6 inches too long thus making them look less flattering and allowing them to drag enough to give me that natural dirty look…(I swear I don’t remember actually putting the contrived thought into it back then…)

So. I hemmed them.

I (obviously) did it by hand with bright red thread, which I though looked cute with the light denim. They’re nice jeans, so I’m glad they’re not going to waste anymore.

So now I have a “new” pair of jeans.

And the earth didn’t have to cry for them…or else it already did once 7 years ago.


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