Friday, 11 November 2011

Thrift, Anti-Consumerism ... What's going on?

Having surfed through parts of the blogsphere during the past 2 years, I arrived at a point where I feel as if there are only to approaches towards consumerism "available" in the blogsphere:
  1. the anti-consumerism that comes with de-cluttering and thrift on the one side
  2. the compulsive consumerism that comes with shopping and often also returning the shopped goods.
Another step towards a clutter free home

Both approaches are time-consuming: it takes time to de-clutter and it takes time to shop and return goods. Shopping and dealing around with stuff (returning, feeling unsure, visiting another shop/website) feels like a waste of time to me. I rather spend the limited time I have with creating an evironment with less, not with more.

You can tell, I don't take it easy. Bloggers may attract other bloggers of the same kind. I would love to meet bloggers who don't care about shopping/fashion/no-shopping, clutter or de-clutter but focus on other aspects in life. If you are one of them, please leave me a comment! I would love to follow your blog.

Pictured above you see a part of the clothes I delivered at the facility for homeless, led by the church. The only take clothes you could wash in a washing machine. So cotton is more than welcome! Do you remember the red sweater? Here it goes! Mr Paula parted from some brownish sweaters, his pile actually outclassed my lousy pile of 2 mere sweaters.

What a long way away from shopping I find myself today ...

No doubt, my anti-consumerism against fashion is triggered by full closets and drawers, but mainly it comes from an profound feeling of having arrived at a point of abolute no-neediness. We have so much and we have enough. Plus: inflation is rising like crazy and I have to admit: shopping is no fun, when the price for a standard v-neck cashmere sweater went up by 18% within the past 10 months.

Maybe my resentment to shopping, especially fashion-shopping it has to do with the cashmere sweaters I bought last winter – they filled a gap and seemed to have shut the door towards consumerism.
[EDIT: I choose Cashemre, because it's the only wool you get in 100% quality in the shops, merino and lambswool is always mixed with synthetic fibres, the SA say it's to reduce the pilling. Aha.]
Also I choose to wear those 2 sweaters at least 2, 3 times a week. They are never too cool, never too warm, just perfect. Which means I need less alternatives to choose from. Plus: I figured out, nothing flatters me more than a starched white shirt. Which means I can let go plenty of T-shirts and I won't buy any new T-Shirts, because there are those 3 white shirts hanging in my closet, waiting to flatter me.

Maybe my resentment comes from the pair of diamond studs I have bought earlier this year, they will hopefully last and maintain their value – something you could not say about clothes you get to buy today. It's not just me, even our friends are somehow afraid of spending money, because we know/feel the quality we will receive in return will be nothing like the quality you used to get for your money 10, 15 years back. This is actually quite sad.

Don' get me wrong, there are still plenty of things, I would love to own:
  • a white balance lense cap for my SLR camera
  • an altimeter for ski-mountaineering
  • a black cashmere cardigan.
  • ...
Black cashmere seems to be out of fashion these days. Cashmere cardigans, too. I am patient. I can wait. I had been waiting over a decade for the return of the flats (ballerinas etc). When they appeared on the fashion radar a few years ago, I bought 3 pairs. Because they will leave the fashion radar (actually have already left). Too bad I was not ready for the black cashmere cardigan when it was around the last time. But it will come around again. No doubt!

The trees behind the house are de-cluttering like crazy these days:
I don't recall a past autumn-season that came with leaves like that! Usually the snow surprises the trees and their leaves have no time to turn yellow/red/brown. Not this year!


  1. Isn't thrifting just another sneaky marketing trick to dupe us into believing we're getting more for our money? Seemingly cheap clothing is always at the bottom of this dirty game, that's why all those H&M collaborations with designer brands are a succes.
    I think your view on this is very isolated, and in blogosphere you are the equivalent of a Comodo dragon, a virtually extinct species.
    I'm tired of fashion bloggers infiltrating everywhere with their pushy attitute of look at me, I'm wearing the latest this or that and then everyone sycophanticly cheers on.
    And in the spirit of integrity: I don't care for cashmere. There I said it. I love pure wool and if I could afford it: alpaca knits.
    Happy weekeend!

  2. Hi coffeeaddict! I forgot to mention - I choose Cashemre, because it's the only wool you get in 100% quality in the shops, merino and lambswool is always mixed with synthetic fibres, the SA say its to reduce pilling. :-/ I will edit the post rightaway :-)

  3. Know so well, what you mean - although there are still a few pieces missing in my closet, I'm not the big shopper at all. ;-) Cheers to my similar spirited blog companion, xox, Macs

  4. i didn't know ballerina flats ever went out of style paula. i've always had a pair in my closet for as long as i can remember. i'm not sure if i agree with coffee addict b/c i do get more for my money by thrifting as much as possible. i don't have a huge wardrobe but i always try for quality over quantity at the tiniest price point. good post paula. xo janet

  5. I think one can take a middle road. Shop some, clean some, clear some, give some. But I feel like that about everything in the universe.

  6. I actually want more stuff! When my job went part time a few years back, I bought nothing for about three years or so and now I want everything - very unfashionable, aren't I?
    Still, I can't afford to, so that's that!

  7. Hi Paula, I'm definitely a minimalist. Yay for minimalists!

    I'm trying to come out of my shell a little bit though and spend some on myself. It's hard to change as it goes against my natural tendencies.

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